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FR113 Modern and Contemporary France: Culture and Society

It will be extremely useful to acquire and read before the module begins an accessible general introduction to the history and politics of modern France. This can be found in this volume (the easiest way to acquire it is through an internet bookshop).

  • Helen Drake, Contemporary France (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011)

As an alternative, the following text provides more detailed coverage of the historical background for the module, though it may be rather more difficult to absorb as an introductory pre-module text (if you do use this, you can start from part four, i.e. where it treats the period from 1940 onwards):

  • Charles Sowerwine, France since 1870: Culture, Society and the Making of the Republic, 2nd edition (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009)


The first term of the module will be devoted to the study of key aspects of the political, social and economic history of France since the 1930s.


The second term of the module will look at key cultural aspects of post-war French history, with particular focus on cultural policy, educational policy, and the media.

Teaching on both units will be based on a wide variety of written, aural and visual source materials, with video documentaries, extracts and other supporting materials used as a basis for seminar analysis and discussion.