Skip to main content

Unit information: Paris 1857-1897 in 2021/22

Unit name Paris 1857-1897
Unit code FREN20041
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Harrow
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of French
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

The unit explores how writers (Baudelaire, Zola, Maupassant) and visual artists (Manet, Caillebotte, Monet, Pissarro) constructed distinctive visions of modern life following Haussmann's controversial redesign of Paris in the 1850s and 1860s. Focusing on the interrelated topics of individuality, work, leisure, gender, class, politics and urban space, we ask how modernity in its material, cultural and psychic effects translates as a style itself singularly modern - fluid, fractured, and multi-perspectival. This unit aims to provide students with the historical, political and theoretical background and critical vocabulary necessary to make an informed reading of selected later-nineteenth-century texts in French, and assess critically related visual material. Students will develop practices for 'reading' both textual and visual material, and gain an understanding of the problems associated with the act of reading across genres (narrative, poetry) and across media (painting, photography).


  • To introduce students to a significant body of knowledge of a complexity appropriate to second 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 C.
  • Some options may prepare students for the experience of the Year Abroad.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to demonstrate:

  1. knowledge about a significant cultural, historical or linguistic subject related to the language they are studying;
  2. skills in the selection and synthesis of relevant material;
  3. ability to evaluate and analyse relevant material from a significant body of source materials, usually in a foreign language, at a high level;
  4. ability to respond to questions or problems by presenting their independent judgements in an appropriate style and at an high level of complexity;
  5. ability to transfer these skills to other working environments, including study at a foreign university and on work placements during the year abroad.

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous sessions and asynchronous activities, including seminars, lectures, and collaborative as well as self-directed learning opportunities supported by tutor consultation.

Assessment Information

1 x narrated digital exhibition with transcript (40%, group mark), small-group collaborative activity, testing ILOs 1.5.

1 x open-book assessment (60%), testing ILOs 1.5.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. FREN20041).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.