Understanding Contemporary France 1

Module code: FR1017
Module co-ordinator: Dr Marion Krauthaker 

This module is part of a two-module sequence that focuses on events that have contributed to the formation of contemporary France. It is structured around key theoretical frameworks of analysis. We will look at differing perspectives on the twentieth and twenty-first centuries through cultural production of various kinds, including cinema, novels, painting, and bande dessinée. Topics covered in the first module include the First World War, the triumphant period of French colonialism, and the Second World War.

The set text is Tardi, C’était la guerre des tranchées (Casterman, 1993). 

(The second module, FR1018 Understanding Contemporary France 2, continues the discussion with a consideration of post-war modernisation, decolonisation, May '68, and post-industrial France.)


  • 4 hours of lectures
  • 6 hours of seminars
  • 6 hours of screenings
  • 84 hours of guided independent study


  • Online tests (30%)
  • Essay (70%)