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The Story of Modern France

Module Code: FR121
Module Name: The Story of Modern France
Module Coordinator: Dr Cathy Hampton
Fridays 13.00-14.00 (lectures). Room L4
Module Credits: 30

Module Description

  • Why is modern France so obsessed by the past?
  • What do we mean by 'Frenchness'?
  • What are the major landmarks in the creation of modern France?
  • What is 'culture générale’?

These are just some of the questions we will explore on this introductory module. Examining primary texts from major periods and events in French history, the module will equip you with an understanding of the nature of modern France. We will be guided on our journey through French history using a range of sources and approaches, from the graffiti of the events of May 1968 to the prints of the French Revolution in 1789, and from tales of the ancient Gauls to films and texts which reflect France's ongoing obsession with its (often controversial) recent past. The module will provide you with the foundation to study further aspects of French and francophone culture in the later stages of your degree.


For 2019-2020:

2 summative essays of 1200 - 1500 words
1 exam: 2 hours

For 2020-2021:

1500 word essay (20%)
Forum posts (20%)
Creative task and presentation (30%)
1.5 hour examination (30%)

Syllabus and reading list

The material for study this year, presented in the order in which it will be covered, can be found here.  

If you would like to sample some taster material on the texts and topics set, please find some web links here.  


Dr Cathy Hampton

Susannah Wilson

Dr Susannah Wilson