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LN311 Political propaganda in Contemporary Europe from 1975 to the Present

Module Code: LN311
Module Name: Political propaganda in Contemporary Europe from 1975 to the Present
Module Coordinator: Leticia Villamediana Gonzalez
Term 2
Module Credits: 15

Module Description

[This cross-SMLC module complements LN307: Propaganda and Persuasion in modern Europe 1933-1975.]

This module introduces students to aspects of political propaganda from 1975 to the present day in four countries: France, Italy, Spain and Germany. The module aims to enable students to critically examine and compare the principal features of political propaganda in contemporary Europe and to develop students’ capacity to ‘read’ political texts and imagery. Through close textual and filmic analysis of a range of different materials --- from film to posters and from radio programmes to social media --- we will explore the ways in which propaganda has shaped contemporary Europe since 1975. With a teaching team comprised of scholars of modern France, Germany, Spain and Italy, this is a module which offers a broad overview of the impact of propaganda on a range of countries and populations.

This module is especially well-suited to students interested in modern European politics and history or who wish to develop their textual analysis skills. The module is open to students from any degree combination across the School of Modern Languages and Cultures in their second and final-years of study (and also to students from other departments).

All seminars and lectures will engage with material in the target language AND in translation to ensure the material is accessible to students from across the School. Lectures and seminars will be delivered in English.

The module aims are:
  • to develop a critical understanding of the definition of propaganda in a range of contexts;
  • to examine the diverse ways in which propaganda has been produced and received across Western Europe since 1975;
  • to analyse and compare a range of propaganda materials across linguistic, cultural and national borders;
  • to explore the role played by propaganda in contemporary Europe from 1975 to the present day.

Module programme 2023-24

Week 1: Introduction to political propaganda in contemporary Europe [Dr David Lees]

Week 2: France: From Giscard to Mitterrand [Dr David Lees]

Week 3: France: From Chirac to Macron [Dr David Lees]

Week 4: The Media and the Catalan Independence Movement [Dr Leticia Villamediana González]

Week 5: The Spanish Exception? Populism and the rise of the far right in Spain [Dr Leticia Villamediana González]

Week 6: Reading Week

Week 7: Memory and Propaganda in East and West Germany [Molly Harrabin]

Week 8: Never Again, Yet Again, Still Happening: Social Media and the Rise of Populism in Contemporary Germany [Molly Harrabin]

Week 9: Italy: School and propaganda from Fascism to the present day [Dr Cecilia Piantanida]

Week 10: Italy: The role of the family from 1945 to the present day [Dr Cecilia Piantanida]

Student comments and feedback

'I really liked the range of resources available. Using social media and real life propaganda was really cool and felt extremely relevant and was really interesting to discuss'

'Teaching remained engaging and driven, and I felt extremely enthusiastic to get involved thanks in large part to this. As well as this, the themes tackled were just as engaging. Overall, I cannot fault this module's lectures or seminars, they are unparalleled, and were hands down the best I have ever had at university.'

Assessment for the module

For 2023-24:

Students will be assessed through a 3250-3500 word essay.