Summary module description:

This interdisciplinary module introduces students to the great wealth of literary and visual sources from this period in their artistic context, and also aims to develop students' understanding of the context of significant political and social change.

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oral communication skills and pair/group presentation skills, as well as enabling students to analyse and contextualise historical documents, literary texts, and visual sources.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 Epoque?; art, anarchy and the avant-garde; Symbolism, 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 17 17 3
Guided independent study 80 80 3
Total hours by term 97.00 97.00 6.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 60
Written assignment including essay 30
Oral assessment and presentation 10

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

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener 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 three-hour exam paper to consist of two questions. Relative percentage of examination: 60%

    Requirements for a pass:

    Reassessment arrangements:
    If overall failure at finals: Re-examination in August/September. Coursework may be resubmitted by the last Friday of August; otherwise the mark from the first attempt will be carried forward.

    Last updated: 8 October 2014

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