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BA History and French / Course details
Year of entry: 2022
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Course unit details:
History and Memory in Francophone Cinema
|Unit level||Level 3|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 1|
|Offered by||French Studies|
|Available as a free choice unit?||Yes|
Cinema has provided a privileged medium through which representations of history and memory have been constructed, articulated, and contested throughout the French-speaking world. Through its exploration of the intersections between these areas, this course helps students acquire detailed knowledge and understanding of how filmmakers across the French-speaking world have represented the past, while also equipping them with analytical means to interrogate the critical stakes of history and memory on screen, particularly regarding the uses of cinematic genre. By interrogating such works and notions of how history and memory have been represented by filmmakers across time, this course will appeal to students pursuing studies across French, film, history, politics, sociology, and the visual arts.
to familiarise students with aspects of the broad history of Francophone cinema in relation to history and memory
to introduce students to concepts of history and memory in relation to cinema in order to enable the analysis of Francophone film;
to provide students with key concepts related to genre in film;
to encourage and enable students to verbalise and intellectualise their emotional response to representations of history and memory in cultural production;
to equip students with intellectual and analytical tools to consider the stakes of representation with regard to history and memory in Francophone film.
Knowledge and understanding
Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of some of the major aspects of history and memory as represented in Francophone cinema.
Contextualise, analyse and discuss audio-visual material in a structured fashion; apply critically terminology and conceptual frameworks derived from film theory and relevant cultural theories on the cinematic representation of history and memory.
Demonstrate the ability to carry out individual research for coursework essays, and express ideas and arguments coherently and convincingly in time-limited constraints, using an appropriate level of academic writing and exemplification.
Transferable skills and personal qualities
Demonstrate powers of analysis; manage word-count effectively when writing coursework; manage time effectively when planning coursework; participate in seminars; work as part of a group; assess the relevance of existing literature through independent research; seek advice and feedback and develop confidence.
- Time management Responding to instructions Independent research; initiative Intercultural awareness Coherent expression (orally and in writing)
Formative or Summative
Weighting within unit (if summative)
Sequence analysis draft plan
Coursework draft plan
Individual assessed coursework essay
Formative or Summative
Individual written and oral feedback on a sequence analysis
Individual written and oral feedback on a coursework essay plan
Individual written feedback on coursework essay performance
Austin, Guy, Contemporary French Cinema: An Introduction, 2nd edn (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2008)
Banaji, Ferzina, France, Film and the Holocaust: from Le Génocide to La Shoah (New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012)
Cooper, Sarah, Selfless Cinema?: Ethics and French Documentary (London: Legenda, 2006)
Greene, Naomi, Landscapes of Loss: The National Past in Postwar French Cinema (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1999)
McNeill, Isabelle, Memory and the Moving Image: French Film in the Digital Era (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2010)
Pollock, Griselda, and Maxim Silverman, Concentrationary Cinema: Aesthetics as Political Resistance in Alain Resnais’s Night and Fog (1955) (New York, NY: Berghahn, 2014)
Rothberg, Michael, Traumatic Realism: The Demands of Holocaust Representation (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2000)
Saxton, Libby, Haunted Images: Film, Ethics, Testimony and the Holocaust (London: Wallflower, 2008)
Spaas, Lieve, The Francophone Film: A Struggle for Identity (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000)
Suleiman, Susan Rubin, Crises of Memory and the Second World War (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2006)
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Independent study hours|
|Joseph Mcgonagle||Unit coordinator|