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2018/19 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

FREN3632 Representing Empire

20 creditsClass Size: 24

Module manager: Dr Nina Warldeworth

Taught: Semester 1 View Timetable

Year running 2018/19

Pre-requisite qualifications

Successful completion of Level 2 French or equivalent

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module will examine how the concept of empire was marketed to the French public, through various forms of popular culture (novels, films, art and universal exhibitions), from the end of the nineteenth century to the Second World War. Students will identify and analyse how issues of propaganda and racial and gender stereotyping as well as commercial concerns informed all of the primary sources on the course. At the end of the module, the question of how numerous post-colonial populations living in France have chosen to represent their own version of colonial history and memory in audio-visual culture will be studied.


To provide an overview of French colonial history and its impact on life in Metropolitan France from the end of the nineteenth century to the end of the Second World War
To understand how different post-colonial populations in France have chosen to remember this colonial past through films and music.
To develop an interrogative approach to a variety of source material (paintings, films, newspaper articles, songs).
To discover other relevant material through independent research.

Learning outcomes
At the end of the course, students should be able to
offer critical evaluations of a variety of literary and audio-visual source material.
access and use printed and electronic learning resources identified as useful by the course tutor and by the student themselves.
make a detailed argument and support this with evidence from primary and/or secondary sources


The module will cover the following topics:
Overview of French colonial history;
Human Zoos, 1931 Colonial Exhibition and colonial theories of race
Visual representations of the colonies: Postcards, Advertisements (Y'a bon Banania), Films (L'Atlantide), Architecture (Palais de la Porte Dorée, Paris), Paintings (Femmes d'Alger dans leur appartement, Delacroix) and Posters
Musical representations of the colonies
Post-colonial representations of colonial history and colonisation; Films (Indochine, Harkis and Le Coup de Sirocco) and Songs (by La Rumeur, Zebda, IAM)

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours179.80
Total Contact hours20.20
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Students will be expected to prepare for each lecture and seminar by undertaking private study of set texts and appropriate secondary material. More in-depth reading and viewing will be necessary to prepare for the group presentation, the exam and the essay.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students will undertake one non-assessed group presentation in a seminar. The students will be given written feedback on this presentation. They will also be encouraged to discuss their essay plan and arguments with the course tutor in a one to one meeting, shortly after the essay titles have been distributed.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay3000 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
Unseen exam 2 hr 15 mins50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)50.00

15 minutes reading time. One commentary question and one essay question.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 13/11/2018 09:25:47


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