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Unit information: Francophone Identities in the Visual Arts 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 Francophone Identities in the Visual Arts
Unit code FREN30099
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Shilton
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of French
Faculty Faculty of Arts


This unit will examine the legacies of colonialism and immigration in contemporary photography, performance, installation and video art. Whilst considering the specificity of works produced by artists of different diasporas in France, attention will be given to the interconnectedness of their strategies to challenge stereotypes of the other and to renegotiate their identities between cultures.

Teaching: a combination of tutor- and student-led seminars (2 hours per week) Assessment: 25% seminar presentation (in French), 75% dissertation (4000 words)

This unit will be taught part in French (seminars in French)

The works will be interpreted in the light of theoretical, historical and (where appropriate) literary texts. A full bibliography will be provided at the beginning of the course.


  • To introduce students to a significant body of knowledge of a complexity appropriate to final year level. The content matter will normally include one or more of the following: literature; social, cultural or political history; linguistics; cultural studies; film, television or other media.
  • To facilitate students' engagement with a body of literature, including secondary literature, texts, including in non-print media, primary sources and ideas as a basis for their own analysis and development. Normally many or most of these sources will be in a language other than English and will enhance the development of their linguistic skills.
  • To develop further skills of synthesis, analysis and independent research, building on the skills acquired in units at level I.
  • To equip students with the skills to undertake postgraduate study in a relevant field.

Intended learning outcomes

Successful students will:

  • be knowledgable about a significant cultural, historical or linguistic subject related to the language they are studying;
  • will have advanced skills in the selection and synthesis of relevant material;
  • be able to evaluate and analyse relevant material from a significant body of source materials, usually in a foreign language, at an advanced level;
  • be able to respond to questions or problems by presenting their independent judgements in an appropriate style and at an advanced level of complexity;
  • be able to transfer these skills to other working environments, including postgraduate study.

Teaching details

Two seminar hours per week across one teaching block (22 contact hours).

Assessment Details

Oral presentation (25%) plus 4000-word essay (75%)

Reading and References

  • Braziel, Jana Evans, and Anita Mannur, eds. (2003). Theorizing Diaspora. Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Clifford, James (1997). Routes: Travel and Translation in the Late Twentieth Century. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  • Jones, Amelia (2006). A Companion to Contemporary Art since 1945. Oxford: Blackwell.
  • King, Catherine, ed. (1999). Views of Difference: Different Views of Art. New Haven and London: Yale University Press.
  • Kocur, Zoya and Simon Leung, eds. (2005). Theory in Contemporary Art since 1985. Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Said, Edward (1993). Culture and Imperialism. New York: Knopf.