Module and Programme Catalogue

Search site

Find information on

2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

FREN3641 The Algerian War of Independence: From the Colonial to the Post-Colonial

20 creditsClass Size: 24

Module manager: Dr Jim House

Taught: Semester 2 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

Pre-requisite qualifications

Successful completion of Level 2 degree programme

Module replaces

FREN3562 Histories of the Algerian War of Independence

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module allows you to study in depth the Algerian War of Independence (1954-1962). This major war of decolonization had profound effects on many groups in metropolitan France in addition to its huge impact on Algerian society. Combining chronological and thematic approaches that include both Algerian and French perspectives, this interdisciplinary course uses history, political science and sociology to examine the nature and evolution of colonial Algerian society and the causes of the war, before moving on to assess the impact of the war on French and Algerian societies across the lines of social group, political affiliation, gender, generation and ethnicity. In particular, we look at the impact of military tactics by the French state and the Algerian nationalists (e.g. illegal violence and the politics of terror), and the opposition from the French left to the use of such tactics by the French state. A key focus is the way in which the Algerian nationalists (FLN) used Algerian migration in France in their struggle for independence. The course also looks at the continuing debates surrounding the war (e.g. war crimes, harkis) in France and Algeria and how French and Algerian states, but also civil society in both countries, have mobilised the memories of the war for political ends. This module is taught by a mixture of lectures and seminars. It is assessed by one essay of 6,000 words. For further information please contact the module convenor Dr. Jim House (


On completion of this module, students should be able to:
- Analyse and understand the nature of colonial Algerian society, 1919-1954 and the causes of the Algerian War of Independence (1954-1962)
- Analyse and understand the military, political and diplomatic history of the war
- Evaluate how this war impacted differently on metropolitan French and Algerian societies, and across the lines of social group, political affiliation, gender, generation, and ethnicity.
- Understand the political role of Algerian emigration in the war, and French policies to repress this activism.
- Analyse and understand the significance of the memories of the Algerian War for French and Algerian societies from 1962 to the present day.
- Demonstrate critical knowledge of the various historiographical approaches that have been used to study the war.
- Analyse and interpret critically, primary and secondary historical material in the target language and be able to discuss this material to a high level in the target language.

Skills outcomes
Enhanced skills in written and oral French in an academic register


- Colony and metropolis: the Franco-Algerian relationship
- Colonial Algerian society and the impact of colonial rule
- The rise of Algerian nationalism
- War in Algeria: violence and displacement
- The international dimensions of the war: between Cairo and New York
- From colony to metropolis: Algerian migration and political activism
- The politics of terror in Paris
- The upheavals of 'peace' and independence: harkis, pieds-noirs and civil war in Algeria
- Re-writing the history and memory of the war in Algeria
- The rhythms of war memories in France

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours180.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

50 hours: seminar preparation
15 hours: preparation for seminar presentation
115 hours: essay preparation (reading and writing)

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students are required to submit an essay plan for written comment.
Oral feedback on non-assessed presentation in class.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay6,000 words in English100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

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: 16/05/2019


Browse Other Catalogues

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

© Copyright Leeds 2019