Module and Programme Catalogue

Search site

Find information on

2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

FREN2290 The Short Form in French and Francophone Literature

20 creditsClass Size: 21

Module manager: Dr Claire Lozier

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

Pre-requisite qualifications

Ability to study a module taught in French, usually evidenced by having completed level 1 of a degree programme including French.

This module is mutually exclusive with

FREN2295The Short Form in French and Francophone Literature

Module replaces

FREN2100 Short Fiction in Nineteenth-Century France

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The term 'short form' has been used to denote a range of literary forms, from the anecdote, the aphorism and the fragment through to the fable, the tale, the short story ('conte' or 'nouvelle'), and the essay. This module explores different uses of the short form in the French and Francophone literary tradition, studying, in chronological order, a variety of texts from different historical periods from the sixteenth century to the present day, with a particular focus on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This chronological survey is underpinned by ongoing reflection on problems of definition, on the narrative, rhetorical and stylistic demands of the short form, and on the value of brevity as an artistic strategy.


To enhance the students' knowledge and critical appreciation of the resources and nuances of the French language and to increase their ability to analyse and evaluate a range of textual constructs, using the material provided by writers from a variety of different periods.
On completion of this module, students should be able to:
Demonstrate an ability for close attentive reading of a variety of compact and intricate French texts; show an understanding of the workings of a variety of narrative strategies; demonstrate a general familiarity with different types of texts and an awareness of the appropriate historical and cultural backgrounds; make meaningful contrasts and comparisons between the various texts studied, using both English and French; show familiarity with relevant academic research. This team-taught module will incorporate a range of research perspectives, driven by the specific research interests of the lecturing team. Students will thus engage with general research issues concerning the key narratological aspects of the short form, as well as with the specific cultural and historical questions raised by the individual texts.

Learning outcomes
Enhanced knowledge of French and Francophone literary history.
Awareness of the specific characteristics of the short form.

Skills outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be able to:
1. analyse critically complex literary texts
2. evaluate critically secondary sources and different analytical approaches
3. select, evaluate and organise coherently and persuasively evidence gathered from a study of the prescribed texts and associated critical literature in the form of oral presentations, exam answers and essays


Although the exact contents of the module will vary from year to year depending on teaching staff, texts will be selected so as to ensure broad chronological coverage. Authors will include some of the most prestigious writers in the French and Francophone literary canon, as well as recent or less well-known figures. A typical syllabus might be:
Marguerite de Navarre, Heptaméron
Diderot, 'Ceci n'est pas un conte' & 'Madame de la Carlière'
Balzac, 'Le Réquisitionnaire'
Gautier, 'Le Pied de momie'
Maupassant, 'Mon oncle Jules' & 'Lettre d'un fou'
Daudet, 'La Partie de billard'
Allais, 'Plaisirs d'été'
Rachilde, 'Le Mortis', 'La Panthère' & 'Les Vendanges de Sodome'
Colette, 'L'autre femme', 'La Femme cachée' & 'La main'
Yourcenar, 'Comment Wang-Fô fut sauvé' & 'Notre-Dame-des-Hirondelles'
Camus, 'La femme adultère' & 'L'hôte'
Mohamed Dib, 'La fin' & 'Le talisman'

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours170.00
Total Contact hours30.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Students will be expected to read around the subjects in preparation for and following seminars; they will also be set specific research tasks for each seminar, requiring targeted reading of primary and secondary texts and the preparation of oral and/or written presentations. In addition, students will have to prepare for the essay and examination that constitute the assessment of this module.
Seminar preparation 40 hours; primary and secondary reading 88; essay and exam preparation and writing 40

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Progress will be monitored by seminar tutors, with oral feedback available immediately on performance in seminars. In addition, students will be invited to submit a practice examination answer plan, on which they will receive written feedback before the Christmas vacation. Staff will be available as usual during their consultation hours to provide individual feedback on any aspect of a student¿s progress.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2,500 words50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 00 mins50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/04/2019


Browse Other Catalogues

Errors, omissions, failed links etc should be notified to the Catalogue Team.PROD

© Copyright Leeds 2019