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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

FREN3012 Monuments

20 creditsClass Size: 25

Module manager: Paul Rowe

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

Pre-requisite qualifications

Successful completion of Level 2 French or equivalent level of French language, in the judgement of the module leader

Module replaces

FREN3460 The Art of Romance: Love, Marriage and Gender in Medieval FranceFREN3680 The French Novel in the Nineteenth Century: From the Mill to the MineFREN3860 French Popular Culture

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

From Assia Djebar to Madame Bovary, from the hanson de Roland to MC Solaar, from Asterix to the streetscape of Paris, the "Monuments" of this module's title are defined and connected by the considerable cultural value which they have accrued, and hence by their significance to our understanding of French and Francophone civilisations. This module, taught and assessed in French, invites students to engage in depth with a selection (typically 4) of such monuments. The topics studied will vary from year to year, and in any given year will be varied in nature. They may include works, artists or intellectuals from different periods and traditions. We may consider novels or poems, bande dessinee or drama, art or achitecture, film or understanding of the place of these monuments in the cultural landscape, of the cultural and ideological assumptions underpinning their status, and of the monuments themselves.


1. To undertake rigorous, research-based study of achievements that have marked the cultural landscape of France and the Francophone world across historical eras;
2. To provide students with the opportunity to explore singular cultural monuments in greater depth than is usual at undergraduate level;
3. To encourage a holistic approach to the analysis of the monuments that will involve blending different theoretical and critical approaches;
4. To show how a combination of focussed disciplinary study with cross-disciplinary thinking can illuminate the richness and diversity of French and Francophone cultural heritage.

Learning outcomes
1. Students will acquire knowledge and profound understanding of pivotal moments in French and Francophone cultural history;
2. They will be introduced to, and subsequently apply, a wide range of critical and theoretical sources, progressively refining their aptitude for selecting those best suited in each specific case to generating insight;
3. They will be able to situate each monument in its historical context, which will involve detailed consideration of its reception and legacy;
4. They will demonstrate their ability to articulate congently their knowledge and insights in speech and in writing;
5. Through intenstive academic study they will arrive at a mature, nuanced understanding of the nature and importance of cultural value;
6. They will develop the ability to reflect critically upon the cultural and ideological assumptions underpinning the "monumental" status accorded to certain texts.

Skills outcomes
Intercultural Skills
Research Skills
Analytical Skills
Employability Skills


The "Monuments" of French and Francophone culture under consideration in any particular year will be selected according to the academic expertise of the contributors to the module. There will always be a carefully-managed balance between older and more recent Monuments, between the Monumnets of Metropolitan France and other French-speaking traditions. In each year, a theme will indicate potential links between the texts studied. For example: Love & Death; Quest & Journeys; Crimes & Punishments; Mythologies; Telling Tales; History and Story; Cities & their Others; Us & Them; Utopias & Realities.

A key feature of this module is that students will be given time to investigate each Monument thoroughly. We will typically study four Monuments in the course of the module, seeking to understand their intrinsic interest, why they have achieved monumental status, and why their status might be under threat or controversial. While questions of an aesthetic nature will be a significant focus, the broader, cultural, social and political resonances of the Monuments will also be taken into account. Do they represent the pinnacle of achievement in a particular tradition? Did they challenge cultural hegemonies? How were they produced, and how are they consumed? Do they incarnate enduring or universal value, speaking directly to eveyone across cultural time and space, or are they essentially exclusive, products of a particular time or tradition, destined to leave only vestigal traces of an alien past? What assumptions and/or institutions underpin their status? Do Monuments stand in splendid isolation, or are they better understood in relation to one another?

The module will be taught and assessed in French.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours172.00
Total Contact hours28.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Reading lists, which will be divided into 'primary' and 'secondary', will be issued to students prior to the start of the module. Students will be expected to read the primary material designated for each 'monument' before that monument is covered in class and to read around the subjects more generally (ca. 90 hours). They will also be expcted to read some starred secondary material, which will be provided in electronic form, in preparation for lectures and seminars (typically 3 hours per contact hour = ca.84 hours). Further independent study will be required in preparation for their Pecha-Kucha style presentation (ca. 4 hours), for their short formative essay (ca. 20 hours) and for the summative take-home exam (ca. 10 hours).

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Each student will perform a Pecha-Kucha presentation, either individually or in pairs, at some point during the course of the module. Students will also be required to submit a formative essay (1000-1500 words) - the titles will be issued at the mid-point of the course - on which they will receive detailed written feedback. They will also be offered one-to-one academic consultations towards the end of the module.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Assignment7 day take-away piece of coursework100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

This time-limited assignment will be in French, with strict guidance on word count for each answer and maximum number of references.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/04/2019


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