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FR326 Literatures of the Great War

Module Code: FR326
Module Name: Literatures of the Great War
Module Coordinator: Dr Amanda Hopkins
Not running 2024-25
Module Credits: 30

Module Description

This module will introduce you to a range of literature in French and English from 1914–18 in relation to the socio-cultural contexts of wartime Britain and France. You will compare how the francophone and anglophone texts demonstrate similarities and differences in wartime experiences. You will consider motives, context and intertextual references expressed in the set texts and explore how the contemporary materials reinforce or refute modern myths surrounding the Great War.

Based round generic and broad thematic approaches to the materials, the module will provide you with insights into how the Great War was perceived by those who experienced it. Through the literature, you will identify and compare the anxieties and contradictions of changing individual and social needs and attitudes at home and at the forefront of battle, considering matters such as expressions and perceptions of gender and sexuality, and how political agendas shape public opinions, as well as how such matters differ between France and Britain. Primary texts will comprise poetry, fiction, letters, diaries and memoirs. Visual materials, such as posters, postcards, artworks and illustrated periodicals, and audio materials, such as songs, will be used to support discussion.

Assessment Method:

For 2019-2020:

100% examination (3 questions / 3 hours)


50% / 50%: 2-hour examination + 1 x 4000-4500 word essay


100% summative essays: 2 x 4000-4500 word essays (1 covering material from each term)

For 2020-2021:

1000 word comparative close reading of primary source (15%)
1000 word critical review of journal article (15%)
6000 word essay (70%)

Preparation for summative assessment
The module is assessed through essays, with students choosing between long summative essays and examination essays, or a combination. Ways of selecting, combining and combining the module‘s primary materials are discussed in seminars over the year, and notably in the module’s round tables, one of which also features a lecture/workshop on research sources and methods led by the subject librarian. Students are offered the opportunity to write formative assignments so as to receive feedback on their work ahead of writing summative essays, and there are also revision classes in Term 3 which cover methods specific to essay–writing in the examination.

Module Moodle: webpages for students registered on the moduleLink opens in a new window