Love and Death in French Culture (MLF1014)

StaffDr Thomas Hinton - Convenor
Credit Value15
ECTS Value7.5
NQF Level4
Pre-requisitesA-level French
Co-requisitesMLF1001
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks;

Module aims

Love and Death are two of the most important and obsessively recurring themes in French cultural production. From the earliest periods of French culture to the most recent, text and image portray the pleasurable, compulsive, irrational, perverse, morbid, and even fatal aspects of the love relationship in all its guises. This module looks at manifestations of Love and Death as they are represented in a range of French texts from the seventeenth to the twentieth century, tracing the development of these universal themes, and examining the extent to which they are interdependent. We discuss a wide range of human love relationships: familial; platonic; marital; chaste; adulterous; requited; unrequited. In particular, we examine the themes of innocence, desire, powerlessness and tragedy, as well as the conflicts between loving relationships and uncompromising social and political pressures. The set texts/film on this module chart how Death is revealed as the inevitable subtext, and potential outcome, of all these relationships. Specific aims include:

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Demonstrate an understanding of selected texts, images and films drawn from diverse periods of French culture
  • 2. Demonstrate familiarity with French cultural expressions of Love and Death and key aspects of their historical, literary and/or cultural contexts

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 3. Describe and evaluate, under guidance from the module tutor(s), key critical responses to the topic and apply standard critical approaches to the material
  • 4. Make constructive comparisons between aspects of the target culture and her/his own
  • 5. Read and analyse passages from texts/images/films in the TL, relating them to specified aspects of their socio-cultural, historical and generic context
  • 6. Use a reading list to identify material relevant to a given aspect of the subject, and report findings both orally and in writing

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 7. Assimilate, select and organise material in order to produce, to a deadline, a written or oral argument
  • 8. Explain and discuss personal conclusions with other members of the group
  • 9. Demonstrate basic word-processing skills

Syllabus plan

Love and Death are two of the most important and obsessively recurring themes in French cultural production. From the earliest periods of French culture to the most recent, text and image portray the pleasurable, compulsive, irrational, perverse, morbid, and even fatal aspects of the love relationship in all its guises. This module looks at manifestations of Love and Death as they are represented in a range of French texts, images and films from the medieval period to the present day, tracing the development of these universal themes, and examining the extent to which they are interdependent. We discuss the frequent conflicts between lovers and society, examining how society is seen to isolate lovers, and condemn love relationships which are deemed to fall outside the ‘norm’. The set texts/films on this module chart a wide range of human love relationships: hetero- and homosexual or homosocial; familial; marital; chaste; adulterous; requited; unrequited. Death is revealed as the inevitable subtext, and potential outcome, of all these relationships.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad
161340

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching10Lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching5Seminars
Scheduled Learning and Teaching1End of term conclusion hour
Guided Independent Study134Private study

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Critical commentary500 words1-7, 9Written/Oral group feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams
10000

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
2 x essay or 1 x essay, 1 x commentary1001000 words each (2000 words total, plus or minus 10%)1-7, 9Coversheet

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
2 x essay or 1 x essay, 1 x commentary2 x essay or 1 x essay, 1 x commentary1-7, 9Referral/Deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • La Chastelaine de Vergy, in?Nouvelles courtoises, ed. Suzanne Méjean-Thiolier and Marie-Françoise Notz-Grob (Paris: Livre de Poche, 1997). 

  • Pierre Choderlos de Laclos, Les Liaisons dangereuses (various editions). 

  • Gustave Flaubert,?Madame Bovary?(Paris: Folio, 2001). 

  • Alain Resnais and Marguerite Duras,?Hiroshima mon Amour?(1959), film and screenplay. 

Module has an active ELE page?

Yes

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Available as distance learning?

No

Origin date

2010

Last revision date

15/07/2020

Key words search

Love, death, literature, cinema, French Culture