Study Abroad and Exchanges



FRE4008 : Reigning Men? Nineteenth-Century Masculinities (Inactive)

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0


Recent events in France – from the PACS to ‘parité’, from ‘mariage pour tous’ to the ‘manif pour tous’ – have brought ‘le gender’ and ‘les gender studies’ to the forefront of the political agenda, as contemporary French society has grappled with fundamental redefinitions of marriage and the family, and renegotiations of equality, subjectivity and citizenship. These debates find important and revealing parallels in the revolutions of gender that took place in the aftermath of the French Revolution. This module aims to explore those revolutions and ‘crises’ of gender in nineteenth-century France with a particular focus on masculinity. By taking this module, students will:

•       Acquire a good knowledge of major shifts in French society in the nineteenth century as they affected institutions such as marriage and the family, and the reconfigurations of gender which resulted from these shifts
•       Gain understanding of key concepts for the study of gender and become familiar with the work of major theorists in the field
•       Analyse a range of cultural representations of gender, and explore the relationship between masculinity and power
•       Reflect on the role of cultural texts (specifically the novel and satirical works) in constructing, reinforcing, or challenging gender norms

Outline Of Syllabus

The module begins with an overview of nineteenth-century French society from the perspective of gender, including an introduction to key contemporary theories for the study of gender. The texts selected for study on the module – primarily major French novels from the period and a range of cultural and historical material – will enable us to analyse how male characters negotiate the norms of masculine behaviour and paradigms of successful masculinity which continue to shape the way in which we think about masculinity and gender more generally in the twenty-first century. The module is structured around 4 key topics: masculinity and power; marriage and the family; virility and homosociality; and gender as performance.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture111:0011:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching221:0022:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery31:003:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1164:00164:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures allow definition of the scope of the syllabus, an introduction to a body of knowledge, and modelling of the level of analysis required (note-taking). .

Seminars give students the opportunity of working in groups, researching topics individually and in groups, trying out their knowledge and understanding in group presentations, and asking questions (interpersonal communication and oral presentations).

Answering of assessed essay questions will entail initiative in individual research (note-taking), practice in written communication, analysis and in standard formats of presentation of work.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1A40Essay of 2000 words in English
Essay2A60Essay of 2500 words covering material from across the module (at least 3 texts/topics); in English
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Essay1MPractice essay
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The first assessed essay of 2000 words (to be submitted in English and according to the guidelines in the SML undergraduate handbook at the end of the semester) allows students to demonstrate a reasoned and coherent argument in writing, based on evidence from the literary and cultural texts studied in semester 1. The essay will focus on either one novel or one topic. The second essay (2500 words) will have a synthetic/comparative focus and will cover material studied across the whole module; students will refer to 3 texts/topics and may not substantially repeat material used in the first assessed essay.

Both essays are based on individual study and analysis and encourage students to work independently and to study in depth the issues presented in the module. In addition, the essays enable students to show evidence of the following skills: bibliographical work, word-processing, footnoting and referencing.

Practice essay - Students write a practice essay answer to receive individual feedback that can help them to prepare for their assessed work.

Resit 4,000 word Essay written in English covering material from across the whole module.

Reading Lists