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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

HIST3665 France and Algeria from 1830 to the Present

40 creditsClass Size: 15

Module manager: Dr Claire Eldridge

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Described in 2001 by then-President Jacques Chirac as 'a painful and often deformed history', the relationship between France and Algeria has been many things, but never indifferent. For 132 years Algeria was the centrepiece of the French empire. Legally incorporated into the French nation in 1848, Algeria was more than just a colony. Attempts to 'make Algeria French' whether politically, economically or culturally were therefore more extensive than in any other part of the empire; fuelled in no small part by the sizeable European settler community. While resistance to these policies produced one of the most world's influential movements of anti-colonial nationalism in the form of the National Liberation Front or FLN whose armed liberation struggle between 1954 and 1962 captured international attention. Integral not only to France's world power claims but also to her sense of self, the loss of Algeria in 1962 was a huge blow to national pride and prestige with major social and political consequences that the French are still trying to come to terms with today. On the other side of the Mediterranean, the reality of independence has frequently fallen short of revolutionary rhetoric as Algeria has faced a series of challenges since 1962 ranging from economic instability to social unrest and, more recently, the rise of Islamic fundamentalism and civil war.


The objectives of this module are to examine the complex historical processes through which French Algeria was created, administrated, contested, and ultimately dissolved. It also aims to encourage reflection on the legacies of the colonial period for France and Algeria, including the ways in which these legacies inform contemporary political, social, and cultural debates in both nations.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students will be able to:
- demonstrate an informed understanding of the social, cultural and political history of the relationship between France and Algeria from 1830 to the present day
- demonstrate a sophisticated knowledge of the relevant historiography, including the most recent developments in the field
- critically reflect on the legacies of empire and their implications for contemporary France and Algeria
- critically analyse and interpret a variety of primary sources relating to this historical period, including official documents, the press, literature, photographs, film, and testimony
- construct and express historically rigorous arguments effectively, whether in written form or orally, using both primary and secondary sources


Themes to be examined:
- The conquest and 'pacification' of Algeria
- Resistance to French colonisation
- The economic and legal impact of French colonisation
- The creation of a colonial society and culture
- Relationships between the different ethnic and religious inhabitants of French Algeria
- The development of Algerian nationalism
- The Algerian War of Independence, 1954-62
- Algeria's trajectory as an independent nation
- The legacies of colonialism in France and Algeria

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours352.00
Total Contact hours48.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)400.00

Private study

Students will prepare for each seminar by reading a range of texts and primary sources specified by the Module Leader. They will also be expected to undertake further, self-directed reading for each class. Students will additionally prepare an oral presentation (10% of module assessment), research and write a 4000 word assessed essay (40%) and prepare for the final examination (50%).

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 4,000-word essay, due by 12 noon Monday of exam week 2, semester 140.00
Source Analysis2x source analysis of 500 words each, with the highest mark to go forward. Deadlines to be advised in-class by tutor10.00
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)3 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: 20/08/2019


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