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Unit information: Reading Literary and Visual Cultures in French in 2018/19

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing and student choice.

Unit name Reading Literary and Visual Cultures in French
Unit code FREN10010
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Marianne Ailes
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of French
Faculty Faculty of Arts


The unit provides students with a representative selection of literary and visual texts from the Middle Ages to the present and introduces them to methods of analysing them. It involves a weekly lecture, and a weekly seminar. In this unit students will encounter a range of major French literary texts, films and other cultural artefacts, and will be encouraged to think about what is involved in the study of art, culture and literature. They will be expected to develop an awareness of different ways of approaching the analysis of culture and literature, and to explore how background reading around these topics will expand their horizons and contribute to a holistic approach to the study of the Humanities.

Intended learning outcomes

After successful completion of the unit, students will a) have acquired knowledge of the periods and genres represented by the set texts, b) have developed their skills of reading both textually and visually and c) have gained experience in researching literary and cultural scholarship (via library and IT resources), and d) in organising the results of this research in essays, oral presentations and by close textual analysis.

Teaching details

One weekly lecture plus one weekly seminar over 11 weeks/one teaching block.

Assessment Details

i) assessed commentary (1500 words), (33%) testing ILOs b-d

ii) 2-hour exam (67%), testing ILOs a-d Formative assessment will take the form of an oral presentation, testing ILOs a, b and d in particular.

Reading and References

  • Racine, Phèdre (Bordas or Classiques Larousse)
  • Rimbaud, a selection to be identified or made, to include verse and prose poetry
  • La Châtelaine de Vergy (Folio classique edition by Jean Dufournet and Liliane Dulac)
  • Agnès Varda, Les Glaneurs et la glaneuse
  • Maryse Condé, La Belle Créole (Folio)