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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

FREN3865 Paris in Revolt. The May 1968 events, past and present

20 creditsClass Size: 24

Module manager: Dr Sarah Waters

Taught: Semester 1 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

Module replaces

FREN 3375 Social and Ideological Change in France since May 1968

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module explores May 1968 in France as both a past event - the largest general strike and student movement in France's post-war history - and a present moment, one that continues to shape France's political, social and cultural life in profound ways. We will study primary texts from the period including student tracts, newspaper articles, manifestos and speeches, as well as looking at current debates about the 'meaning' of May 1968 in the present day.


- To examine the May 1968 events in France as a key historical moment, (a 'tournant') in the evolution of contemporary French politics, culture and society.
- To provide students with an in-depth historical knowledge of the events of this period.
- To examine primary texts in French produced during May 1968 including student tracts, manifestos, pamphlets and newspaper articles.
- To introduce students to sociological theories of May 1968 and in particular to the work of Alain Touraine.
- To allow students to discuss key themes related to May 1968 in the target language.

Learning outcomes
- A detailed historical understanding of May 1968 through the study of primary texts produced during this period and a range of secondary sources.
- A critical awareness of the work of leading French sociologists and sociological theories of May 1968.
- A capacity to analyse critically and discuss in French, primary texts produced during this period.

Skills outcomes
- A capacity to analyse critically primary texts in French and to situate them in the context of their time.
- A capacity to analyse and understand sociological theory in French
- An ability to communicate in French at a high intellectual level


Week 1: La France de mai '68. Contexte national et international
Week 2: Jean-Luc Godard : 'La Chinoise'
Week 3 : Les événements
Week 4: Les communistes en mai ‘68
Week 5 : Les groupuscules : Robert Linhart : L'Etabli
Week 6 : Alain Touraine et la nouvelle lutte des classes
Week 8 : Le mouvement des femmes
Week 9: Le mouvement étudiant de 1986
Week 10: Mémoires de '68 en France aujourd'hui
Week 11: Revision

Teaching methods

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

Private study

Students will be given set research tasks and a reading list in advance of each teaching session. They will be required to prepare primary texts in French for discussion in class each week.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students will have the opportunity to submit (i) a practice commentary; (ii) an essay plan and section which will be marked and returned with individual feedback. Students may arrange individual meetings with me to discuss their essay plans. I will give students feedback on their assessed essays before the closed exam.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Group ProjectOral presentation in French in groups of 2-3 students in French with Powerpoint presentations10.00
Essay2,000 words in French40.00
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


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