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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : European Languages and Cultures - French

Undergraduate Course: The Modern City: Paris (ORDINARY) (ELCF09030)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 9 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course will assess the changing face of France's capital city over the last two centuries and the interconnection between the physical, the social and the cultural space of the city. It begins in the mid 19th century with Baudelaire's reaction to the immense upheaval occasioned by Haussmann's vast programme of urban planning which allowed the modern city to emerge out of what Le Corbusier refers to as a 'medieval village'. In considering the text by Ernaux, the course ends with the consequences of Delouvrier's Schéma directeur which did for the suburbs what Haussmann did for the centre thus earning Delouvrier the nickname 'l'Haussmann des faubourgs'. The aim is to analyse how the city is experienced, negotiated, and appropriated both on an everyday basis and in writing.
Course description A variety of genres are analysed including poetry, prose poetry, journalistic prose, prose fiction, the diary, experimental forms such as the 'ethnotexte', and film, as well as a range of literary and cultural movements from realism to hyperrealism, encompassing fantasy, future, and the simple everyday. The course promotes an interdisciplinary approach by incorporating architecture, painting, cultural history, and film. The texts studied will be Charles Baudelaire, 'Tableaux Parisiens' in Les Fleurs du mal and Le Spleen de Paris; Émile Zola, Le Ventre de Paris; André Breton, Nadja, Agnès Varda, Cléo de 5 à 7; Annie Ernaux, Le Journal du dehors.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: French 2 Literature and Culture (ELCF08012) AND French 2 Language (ELCF08013)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesIn order to be eligible to take 4th Year Options, Visiting Students should have the equivalent of at least two years of study at University level of the appropriate language(s) and culture(s).
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. To analyse how a definition of self is built up through a negotiation of time and place.
  2. The ability to contextualise and frame texts through a cultural historian's perspective alongside the development of skills involved in immanent readings of texts.
  3. The ability to analyse the construction of space from the perspective of architects, urban planners, and city dwellers.
  4. The ability to analyse a range of technically very diverse genres, and disciplines
Reading List
Suggested preliminary reading:
Milne, Anna Louise, ed, The Cambridge Companion to the Literature of Paris (CUP, 2013) [of particular interest chapters 6 on Baudelaire, 7 on Haussmann and Zola & 10 on Surrealism, and 12 on the banlieues; also contains up-to-date guide to further reading and chronology]
-Prendergast, Christopher, Paris and the Nineteenth Century, (Oxford: Blackwell, 1992) [the introduction is a good place to start]
-Harvey, David, Paris Capital of Modernity (New York: Routledge, 2006) [the introduction is a good place to start]

Set texts:
Charles Baudelaire, 'Tableaux Parisiens', in Les Fleurs du mal and Le Spleen de Paris
Émile Zola, Le Ventre de Paris
André Breton, Nadja,
Agnès Varda, Cléo de 5 à 7
Annie Ernaux, Le Journal du dehors
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills By the end of the course, students will have further developed their skills in the areas of research and enquiry, personal and intellectual autonomy, communication, and personal effectiveness. For further specification of these skills see the university's graduate and employability skills framework at
Additional Class Delivery Information Seminar and Discussion board format, with individual and group activities. There will be oral presentations and autonomous learning group work.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Sarah Tribout-Joseph
Tel: (0131 6)50 3205
Course secretaryMrs Lina Gordyshevskaya
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