FR3BE-La Belle Epoque: France 1880-1914

Module Provider: Modern Languages
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded: HS3BE La Belle Epoque: France 1880-1914
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Marjorie Gehrhardt


Summary module description:
This course focuses on France at the turn of the twentieth century, the 'Belle Époque' supposedly destroyed by the Great War. The years 1880-1914 are generally portrayed as an optimistic, experimental, decadent, but also deeply divided age.

This interdisciplinary module develops students' understanding of the significant political, social and cultural change in this vibrant and important period in French history, as well as introducing them to some of the key works among the great wealth of literary and visual sources from this period.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module students will be expected to be able to:
. Demonstrate an understanding of the key cultural developments of the period 1880-1914
. Show knowledge of some of the major issues and conflicts in French society during the early Third Republic
. Demonstrate a grasp of major debates among historians in this area
. Analyse different perspectives on the period from political, social and cultural history
. Engage critically with the ideas presented in lectures, seminars, or secondary materials
. Organise and articulate a coherent written argument in coursework and under examination conditions

Additional outcomes:
This module also aims to encourage the development of oral communication skills and pair/group presentation skills, as well as enabling students to analyse and contextualise historical documents, literary texts, and visual sources.

Outline content:
Key topics include: Paris, theatre for the Belle Époque?; Impression, and Cubism; the 'New Woman' and the rise of organised feminism; the birth of mass culture and politics; the Dreyfus Affair - first media scandal in the new mass press; the nature of French anti-Semitism in the Dreyfus Affair. The course concludes on the international stage, where the great imperialist scramble for Africa destabilised European power relations, and examines the impact on French national identity in the build up to WWI.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
This module will be taught over two terms by means of lectures, seminars, student presentations; 1-2 revision classes will be offered in Term 3.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 5 5
Seminars 10 10
Guided independent study 85 85
Total hours by term 100.00 100.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Written assignment including essay 40
Oral assessment and presentation 10

Other information on summative assessment:
Students will submit a 2,500-3,000 word essay in week 1 of the Summer term.

Formative assessment methods:
Students will submit a 2,000 word essay in week 1 of Spring term, on which they will receive extensive formative feedback, in a one-t-one session with the lecturer.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    One two-hour exam paper to consist of two questions.
    Relative percentage of examination: 50%

    Requirements for a pass:

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Reassessment in August, in the event of failure in this module and of failure in the degree as a whole. Coursework for reassessment must be resubmitted by 1PM on the third Friday of August or, if the University is closed on the third Friday of August, at 1PM on the next working day thereafter.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 21 December 2016

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