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Revolution and Empire

Module Code: FR322
Module Name: Revolution and Empire
Module Coordinator: Professor Kate Astbury
Not running 2018-19
Module Credits: 30

Module Description

The French Revolution remains a cultural and political reference point in France and has been the model for numerous revolutions since. How did it start? Why did they execute the king? How did the Republic collapse and give way to an Empire in just a few years? These are just a few of the questions you’ll be posing as you find out more about the key events, people, and ideas of the French Revolution and the First Empire. Above all you will be seeing the Revolution and Napoleonic period through contemporary sources.

You’ll be paying particular attention to the plays of the period since theatre was the cultural form most obviously affected by ideology and public opinion but we’ll be using a range of material, from the Déclarations des droits de l'homme, to short anti-monarchy pamphlets, to Robespierre's speeches, from the words of the Marseillaise to Mme de Staël and Chateaubriand's written texts opposing Napoleon.

Module Outline

  • This module aims to introduce students to the key events, people, and ideas of the French Revolution and the First Empire through contemporary sources.
  • A range of material will be used, from the Déclarations des droits de l'homme, to the declaration of the Empire, from short anti-monarchy pamphlets to Robespierre's speeches, from the words of the Marseillaise to Mme de Staël's written texts opposing Napoleon.
  • Particular attention will be paid to the plays of the period as the cultural form most obviously affected by ideology and public opinion. By the end of the module, students will be able to assess the impact of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Empire as well as the role of the writer in times of great political and social change, when censorship, rhetoric and propaganda all have a part to play.

Assessment Method:

You may choose to be examined in the following ways:
100% formal three-hour examination
OR
100% assessed work, consisting of TWO assessed essays, each of 4,000-5,000 words in length
OR
50% formal two-hour examination plus 50% ONE assessed essay of 4,000-5,000 words in length