Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Images of France: The French Family
Academic Year
Semester 1
Eligibility for entry to Level 1 French
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 10 x 1 Hour Lectures
Seminar 10 x 1 Hour Seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 2 Hours   written examination (2 essay questions, equally weighted).  50%
Semester Assessment Continuous assessment 1 x 1,500-2,000-word essay.  50%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   written examination  100%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to:
1. Read and interpret literary texts, with an awareness of its generic and historical particularities.
2. Conduct basic level research, understanding short texts of secondary literature.
3. Show a good awareness of the historical and intellectual context of the period (the family in 20th-c France).
4. Develop their expression both in speaking and in writing.
5. Understand the relationship between form and content of literary text.


The aim of this module is to study the representation of family in four short novels from 20th century French literature. The objective of the module is to provide students both with a general knowledge about family as a question (often bitterly debated) within French culture, and with a range of critical reading and analyzing skills. Introductory classes on the question of family and society and on specific authors will be followed by seminars with hands-on analysis, directing students towards individual analysis.

Brief description

This module, taught partly in English and partly in French (with an increasing use of French in the classroom as the semester progresses), will approach a selection of 20th century French texts from the point of view of the representation of this elementary unit of society that is family.
The module will offer first of all an initiation to questions and methods of reading literary texts for first year students; this will be combined with a discussion on the regional differences and historical developments of the notion of family in France. Our aim will be to observe how literary expression and style, traditional and modern, usual and unusual, meet the question of family, which itself can also be traditional or modern.


1. Introduction (Lecture): The question of family in France: ideology, science, literature
2. Lecture: Colette : La Maison de Claudine (Introduction)
3. Lecture: Colette (cont) Seminar: analysis of an excerpt: identifying points of interest
4. Lecture: Françoise Sagan : Bonjour Tristesse (Introduction)
5. Lecture: Sagan (cont) Seminar: analysis of an excerpt : creating a literary essay
6. Lecture: Annie Ernaux : La Place
7. Lecture: Ernaux (cont) Seminar: Analysis of an excerpt : interaction of content and form
8. Lecture: Azouz Bégag: Le Gone de Chaâba
9. Lecture: Azouz Bégag (cont.) Seminar: analysis of an excerpt. Literature and identity
10. Lecture: Conclusion of the semester: What is the relevance of family as a topic? Preparation for the exam

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication Oral communication developed in seminars (not assessed); written communication developed in assessments and exam.
Improving own Learning and Performance The quality of independent thinking will be assessed in the essay assignment.
Information Technology Ability to search for secondary literature in online databases.
Personal Development and Career planning Ability to work independently, identifying research questions. Awareness of the societal changes in France during 20th century.
Problem solving Students find excerpts to comment on and a limited amount of secondary literature for the essay assignments.
Research skills Development of clear and accurate expression, in writing and in speaking.
Subject Specific Skills Familiarity with French family models and questions of 20th century French society.
Team work Discussions in seminars.


This module is at CQFW Level 4