French Special Subject 1

Module code: R1130
Level 6
15 credits in spring teaching
Teaching method: Lecture, Seminar
Assessment modes: Unseen examination, Coursework

This module, delivered in French to all single-honours and joint-major students studying French as part of their degree, will address some key works by two of the most significant writers in 20th-century French literature, namely Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone deBeauvoir. The texts themselves may vary from year to year, but they will normally include at least one notable exemplar of the theatre, prose fiction, biography and/or autobiography, and the discursive or polemical essay (whether literary, political, philosophical or sociological in theme). A prime focus of analysis will be the manner in which this famous existentialist couple transposed their lived experience – and, to an extent, their own relationship – into a plethora of literary forms.

Module learning outcomes

  • The successful student will demonstrate systematic understanding of key aspects of 20th-century French existentialism.
  • S/he will demonstrate coherent and detailed knowledge of several significant texts written by the foremost exponents of modern French existentialism.
  • S/he will demonstrate sophisticated intellectual engagement with the philosophical, psychological, moral, critical or other issues arising from the works studied.
  • S/he will demonstrate a good command of written French, appropriate in its accuracy and register to the development of sustained academic argument in the context of discursive essays produced under examination conditions.