Module Identifier FR39020  
Academic Year 2006/2007  
Co-ordinator Dr Bruno M L Sibona  
Semester Semester 2  
Pre-Requisite Eligibility for entry to Level 3 French.  
Course delivery Lecture   10 x 1-hour lectures  
  Seminars / Tutorials   10 x 1-hour seminars  
  Workload Breakdown   Lecture and seminar attendance - 20 hours; lecture and seminar preparation (research and reading) - 135 hours; essay research and preparation - 45 hours.  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours 2-hour examination (2 essay questions, equally weighted).60%
Semester Assessment Continuous assessment: 2 x 1,500-2,000-word essays.40%
Supplementary Exam2/3 Hours 1 x 2-hour examination if continuous assessment submitted. 1 x 3-hour examination if no continuous assessment submitted.100%

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
1. Read in depth and critically, with a particular sensitivity to textuality.
2. Contextualise critical debates on the issues of 19th and 20th c. literary representations of the beast, animal and human.
3. Grasp elaborate contemporary philosophical concepts through 19th and 20th c. literary readings and beyond the literary.


The aim of this module is to cross-examine today's philosophical perception of animality versus the representation of the beast in literature. The objectives of this module are to provide students with critical reading skills, and to prepare them to deconstruct the historical distinction between animal and humanity/humanism, as well as to articulate their understanding of the contemporary blurring of these categories.

Brief description

This module, divided into two sections and taught in French, will respectively revisit the 18th c. classical and 19th c. Romantic and naturalist conceptions of the animal with the help of contemporary critical theory based on key texts by Lacan, Derrida and Deleuze. With this methodological apparatus, students will explore how nineteenth-century and contemporary avant-garde literature resorts to the establishment and subsequent confusion of genders and species in its dynamic re-questioning of the classical concepts of the beast, animal and human.
Through the combined study of novels, poetry and films, the module will expand on the notion of the inner animal and the subversion/transgression of the concepts of beauty and the ugly in contemporary philosophy.


Texts and films to be studied are: Victor HUGO, Les Orientales (Gallimard/NRF Poesies, 1981); LECONTE DE LISLE, Poemes barbares (Gallimard/NRF Poesies, 1985); ZOLA, La Bete humaine (Gallimard/Folio, 2001) and the film by Jean RENOIR (1938); Comte de LAUTREAMONT, Les Chants de Maldoror (Gallimard/NRF Poesies 1997); Jean COCTEAU, La Belle et la bete (text and film - 1945); Marie DARRIEUSSECQ, Truisme (Gallimard/Folio, 1998); Eugene SAVITSKAYA, Sang de chien (Editions de Minuit, 1989).

Module Skills

Problem_solving Selection of reading material; answering questions posed by written assessment; seminar work.  
Research skills Preparation of written assessment; preparation for seminars.  
Communication Oral communication developed in seminars; written communication developed in assessments and exam.  
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will be able to assess their own progress week by week through their increased understanding of the issues raised and the skills developed.  
Team work Debates and group presentation in seminars.  
Information Technology Use of on-line journals and source collections; delivery of course materials and information via email and e-learning system.  
Application of Number Possibly, evaluation of statistical data in the secondary reading.  
Personal Development and Career planning Acquisition of transferable skills; in-depth acquaintance with literary/cultural studies as an academic subject.  
Subject Specific Skills Acquisition of French linguistic skills.  

Reading Lists

** Should Be Purchased
DARRIEUSSECQ, Marie (1998) Truisme Gallimard/Folio 2070403076
ZOLA, Emile (2001) La Bête humaine Gallimard/Folio 2070418014
** Essential Reading
LAUTREAMONT (1997) Les Chants de Maldoror Gallimard/NRF Poésie 2070400158
** Recommended Text
HUGO, Victor (1981) Les Orientales Gallimard/NRF Poésies 2070322068
LECONTE DE LISLE (1985) Poèmes barbares Gallimard/NRF Poésies 2070323269
SAVITZKAYA, Eugène (1989) Sang de chien Editions de Minuit


This module is at CQFW Level 6