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FR118 Module description

  • The Strategies module is intended to introduce you to various forms of French writing, from the fictional to the theoretical, and to a range of genres and styles (comedy, satire, criticism; film, song, essay, prose fiction, romance). You do not need to worry if you have not studied any literature or film, in French or otherwise, before arriving at Warwick.
  • That said, the pace of study on the module is quite rapid, which means that we spend only a few weeks on each text. After the slower pace of A-level study, this can be difficult to adjust to, particularly when students are expected to cover a number of other demanding modules simultaneously.
  • Nevertheless, most students make the transition from A-level to University study fairly smoothly. One way of ensuring this is to read in advance as many of the set texts as possible. This will make for a less hectic start to term and allow you more time to think about and work on the texts as the lectures and seminars progress. In general, the better prepared you are, the more manageable and fulfilling you will find your interaction with the material we are covering.


  • Strategies for Reading French Texts (Strategies for short) will provide you with an indispensable introduction to a range of textual material in French (literature, film, music and theory).
  • It will help you develop the skills to read these different genres and the different styles of French represented within them.
  • It will also encourage you to hone skills of close reading by focusing on the strategies these texts employ to express their ideas, themes and motifs through the study of short chosen extracts.
  • In thinking about our chosen texts, we will pay particular attention to the following:
    • exploring the relationship between the author and the reader;
    • exploring the importance of gender and sexuality to the reader - writer relationship;
    • analysing a text with a view to its historical and cultural contexts;
    • analysing a text with a view to its political and ideological contexts.
  • We shall examine the texts chosen individually, but will also draw comparisons between texts. In particular we will consider how the different cultural, theoretical and ideological approaches to reading we have considered can be compared and contrasted across the variety of genres, time periods and places that our texts represent.
  • In this way, Strategies will lay the foundation for a successful progression to greater in-depth study in the second and final year, both by allowing you to make more informed choices about the options available and by making you acquainted with the “tools of the trade” (essay-writing, commentary, critical analysis, meaningful synthesis etc.).


  • Strategies is taught through a combination of lectures and seminars (one a week each).
  • Lectures are on Fridays 1 - 2 pm. A full list of lectures will be available in September.
  • The screening sessions for the films on the syllabus are an integral part of the lecture course: remember to make a note of them on your timetable!
  • The seminars run mostly in parallel with the lectures; their timing is to be arranged with your seminar tutor.


  • In the course of the year you have to submit four pieces of written work, which will be marked and returned to you.
  • You will choose the best three of these essays, which will constitute your portfolio of summatively-assessed work. These essays will count for 60% of your final mark.
  • You will sit a 2-hour examination at the end of the year in which you will be required to compare two or more texts taken from the module.