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FRE2009 : Paris: Aspects of History and Culture

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Kathryn Robson
  • Lecturer: Dr Gillian Jein
  • Owning School: Modern Languages
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


-To provide students with a broad knowledge of the history of Paris and its role in French national identity through the study of a variety of cultural texts representing the city.
- To introduce students to the detailed study of a variety of cultural texts representing Paris.
- To introduce students to theoretical ideas associated with notions of social geography, cultural memory and urban topography

Outline Of Syllabus

This module covers four topics which may include, for example: Modernisation, Marginality, Revolution, Visions of the City, Politics of the Town Hall and Language. Two topics will be covered in Semester 1 and two in Semester 2; there are also two essay-writing seminars and a feedback session, as well as a concluding overview session.

The lectures for this course will be taught mostly in French and the seminars in English.

The module will be thematically organised into an introductory overview followed by four
sections. In lectures, students will be given historical background and introduced to theoretical work which they will be encouraged to apply to the study of texts from a variety of different media. The module will be assessed by two essays, one to be written in English and one in French.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture131:0013:00Lectures present in person on campus.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion301:0030:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials160:308:00Recorded lecture videos each teaching week for students to listen to and respond to before each PIP
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching181:0018:0018 hours of PIP seminars
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities201:3030:00Key reading tasks with questions to prepare each week.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery21:002:004 hours of drop in surgery offered both PIP and on Zoom
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study851:0085:00Free reading on topic with peers. Student-led discussion. Other independent research and study
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study221:0022:00Guided independent study themed to the week’s lecture and seminar topic.
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
FRE2109Paris: Aspects of History and Culture - Part 1
FRE2209Paris: Aspects of History and Culture - Part 2
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures (in the form of video recordings and also present in person on campus) will provide the essential historical context and introduce students to theoretical ideas around urban experience, marginality, modernisation, and Paris-based social and cultural movements amongst others. Lecture materials will also model the application of this historical and
theoretical knowledge to the study of specific periods, events and texts. Students will be expected to work through the lecture materials and accompanying directed reading/viewing which will be clearly signposted on Canvas.

In seminars, students will analyse a range of materials (including, potentially, art, photography, film, poetry, essays, maps/plans) in detail, working through the issues raised by the lectures with support and added
clarifications or examples where needed. Students will be expected to carry out guided independent reading and to prepare questions – of a simple but also more extensive nature – in advance of seminars.

The module talk will provide an introduction to and benchmark of the module and its teaching methods (that students can refer back to) and the Q&A will facilitate debate around the key topics and issues in the module.

The drop in sessions will be mainly to go through assessment queries in person.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M502000 word essay in English
Essay2M502000 word essay in French
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Essay1MAn essay plan in English of 1000 words (optional)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The summative essay assesses students’ ability to apply knowledge about a period of Parisian history, as well as
theories of urban experience and cultural histories, in order to carry out detailed analysis of a selection of materials representing Paris (these vary depending on the topic chosen). The first summative essay is written in English and the second in French, but the formative essay plan in semester 1 is written in English, so that students can practise essay-writing skill and receive feedback before going on to write the first essay in English in semester 1, and then get feedback on that ready to progress to writing in French in semester 2. They will also be given guidance on writing in French in semester 2 and essay writing classes in semester 1, too.

Reading Lists