You will write a dissertation in either French or Politics. You may combine both subjects in one dissertation.
You will take 60 credits in French. French, beginners' and post-A level students will take the same core language module and all students will choose from a range of optional modules. You will develop your command of French to a high level and use it in increasingly sophisticated contexts. You will also study optional modules drawn from the areas of literature, culture and society, history, politics, visual culture and linguistics. You may select to write a dissertation.
You will take 60 credits in Politics. In politics, you may elect to research and write a dissertation under the supervision of a member of staff, and/or take options in political theory, comparative politics and international relations.
You must pass year 4 which is weighted at 67% of your final degree classification.
Citizenship, Ethnicity and National Identity in Post-War France
You'll examine the range of social, political and philosophical questions raised by mass immigration to France in the post-war period. These questions will be tackled through historical analysis of patterns of migration and changing immigration policies, as well as through the study of relevant films, novels and theoretical texts which engage with questions of citizenship, identity and ethnicity.
Individual and Society
On this module we will look at the changing relationship between individuals and society in a French context. Key sociological concepts relating to the social construction of the individual are explored in order to analyse fiction and non-fiction texts that deal with work and social organisation in contemporary France.
The theoretical starting point of the module is Michel Foucault’s analysis of the emergence of ‘disciplinary’ societies.
Key fictional works include Laurent Cantet’s film L’emploi du temps and Thierry Beinstingel’s novel Retour aux mots sauvages.
Theories and Practices of Translation
You'll explore the different theoretical approaches to translation that have been prominent in the Western world. We will examine the history of translation and different translation models across a range of genres: novel, drama, audiovisual media and poetry.
For each theory of translation, a number of case studies will be examined: either French and Francophone texts translated into English or English texts into French. The focus of the module is largely practical, and you are encouraged to develop a critical and reflective approach to translation practice.
The French Avant-Garde
This module will consider a series of avant-garde movements in France, from the late 19th century through to the middle of the 20th century. Students will look at each of these movements through a range of texts (including manifestos, theoretical tracts, art criticism, poetry, plays and novels), as well as through film and the visual arts. The module will thus encourage a comparative and interdisciplinary approach. The first part of the module will consider the Symbolist movement that emerged in the 1880s, touching on the Nabi painters, free verse poetry and Alfred Jarrys play Ubu roi. We will then consider Cubism and Futurism in the years running up to the First World War, focusing on the poetry and art criticism of Guillaume Apollinaire. In the second semester, we will look at Dada and Surrealism, including André Bretons Nadja and various short films. In the final part of the module we will consider the impact of the Second World War on avant-garde cultural production, focusing on a novel by Georges Perec and a film by Chris Marker. Throughout the module, students will be asked to reflect critically on theories of modernism and avant-gardism, and to grasp a range of critical concepts used in the analysis of avant-garde works. We will also be relating avant-garde movements to their broader historical and cultural contexts, and querying in particular whether the avant-garde is always political and if so, whether it is always associated with a progressive politics.
La République gaullienne: 1958 to 1969
The module explores how the Fifth Republic came into being and examines the problems of bedding in a regime that revolutionised French political culture without jettisoning the key features of the 'modèle républicain'.
We follow a chronological narrative of French politics between 1958 and 1969, and will also examine themes such as the ‘écriture de la constitution’, the clash of political visions and bipolarisation and its tensions. We conclude with de Gaulle's apparent act of 'political suicide' in 1969.
Dissertation in French Studies
This year-long module is based on guided independent study of a chosen topic in the field of French and Francophone Studies for which supervision can be offered by the Department. Topics typically relate to a module taken in the second year, or to a module to be taken in the final year, and it is expected that students have some familiarity with the chosen field.
Dissertation topics in past years have included:
- The feminist and humanist aspects of Christine de Pizan's work.
- How Albert Memmi's philosophy of colonised identity is prefigured in his literary work.
- The representation of women in three novels by Dany Laferrière.
- The representation of women in the films of Jean-Luc Godard.
- The definition of malaise in the context of contemporary socio-economic and political issues in France.
- Presidential Power in the Fifth Republic.
- The urban landscape in surrealism.
- Translating humour from English to French.
Teaching takes place in the form of regular individual meetings with the allocated supervisor, and group meetings with the module convenor, centred more generally on research and writing skills.
Semester 1 is devoted to research, reading and planning, leading to the submission of a dissertation abstract, chapter outline and preliminary bibliography, as well as the presentation of posters. In the second semester, students write up and complete the dissertation under the continued guidance of the supervisor.
People and Propaganda: Representing the French Revolution
The module is designed to introduce you to the study of various forms of artistic work in relation to the political and social background of the French Revolutionary decade (1789 - 1799). A variety of works will be studied (theatre, opera, song, iconography, painting) in order to consider the reflection of contemporary events, the notion of politically engaged arts, and questions of cultural administration (theatrical repertory, representation, censorship and privilege).
Language Contact and French
This module looks at various issues relating to the field of language contact, including bilingualism, multilingualism and diglossia.
The module also explores the outcomes of such language contact:
- linguistic borrowing
- language maintenance
- language shift and language death
- the emergence of pidgins and creoles
- the development of language policy and planning
- the shaping of attitudes towards language.
These topics will be explored by using examples from several different languages, and by looking at the French language in contact with other languages in France and further afield.
Subtitling and Dubbing from French into English
This module focuses on the theory and practice of two modes of audio-visual translation: subtitling and dubbing.
The linguistic, technical, and cultural theoretical underpinnings of subtitling and dubbing from French into English will be examined in detail, and students will be able to put the theory into practice using professional dedicated software.
French Documentary Cinema
This module aims to introduce you to key aspects of French documentary cinema by considering a range of documentary cinematic techniques, and by looking at the ways in which documentary form has developed over time. The module examines the work of a range of filmmakers and explores the theoretical, socio-cultural and ethical questions raised by documentary cinema.
You will develop analytical tools that can be used to understand the different ways in which documentaries attempt to engage audiences and deal in a sophisticated and often challenging ways with a range of issues.
From Diderot to Duras: Eroticism and Exoticism
This module offers an introduction to certain recurrent tropes in hexagonal French writing about the colonial other. It will begin with a rich repository of images of sexual licence in Diderot's Supplément au Voyage de Bougainville. It will continue with Flaubert's Salammbô, which has become a key point of reference in writings about Orientalism. The module will also consider twentieth-century examples of the eroticised Oriental, which focus on the male rather than the female object of desire (Gide, Barthes and Duras). Reference will be made to appropriate theoretical texts, and students will be encouraged to make their own close analyses of selected seminal texts.
Communicating and Teaching Languages for Undergraduate Ambassadors
In this module students learn to devise and develop projects and teaching methods appropriate to engage the age and ability group they are working with. The module enables students to gain confidence in communicating their subject, develop strong organisational and interpersonal skills, and to understand how to address the needs of individuals.
The above is a sample of the typical modules that we offer at the date of publication but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. This prospectus may be updated over the duration of the course, as modules may change due to developments in the curriculum or in the research interests of staff.