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Seminar worksheet week 2

Media in France: week 2. Introduction to module; de Gaulle and the Media



Our topic for weeks 2-5 is 'De Gaulle and the Media'.

It will be very important for understanding de Gaulle's action through the media that you have a good grasp of his overall political action and the background for this (for the present seminar, this means for the period 1940-1946; for weeks 3-5 it will mean the period 1958-1969). The key reading for this week will be to immerse yourself in the necessary background reading to acquire and/or consolidate your understanding of this general context (i.e. 1940-46 and 1958-69 - see the indications on 'background reading' at the top of the de Gaulle bibliography).


The seminar will begin with a brief general overview of the module as a whole.

We will then explore de Gaulle's early use of electronic media (essentially the radio) during the period 1940-1944. We will begin by considering the general political and media context for his interventions (notably by exploring the way in which Vichy orchestrated a range of media in order to assert its control and legitimacy). We will then analyse in detail some of de Gaulle's performances, as well as his views on the uses of the media over this time (as expressed notably in his own war memoirs).

Please download and read through before the sessions the following two documents, which I will use to give two mini-lectures. You should also bring along copies to the class (either on an electronic device or by printing off as paper copies).

a) Information and propaganda frameworks in France, 1940-1944 (PDF Document)

b) De Gaulle on the early electronic media (PDF Document) (excerpts from his war memoirs)


If you would like to view/listen to some of De Gaulle's performances, the Institut National de l'Audiovisuel has a very useful site devoted to him (click HERE), and it is worth familiarising yourself with this (if you find the 'fresque' does not work well with your Internet Explorer, try using Google Chrome). The texts for his speeches and addresses can be found on the website of the Fondation Charles de Gaulle using this link.


Introduction to module:


Information wars, France 1940-1944 (see handout)


De Gaulle's thinking on war, politics and electronic media (see handout)