FR30350 Narratives of Place

Academic Year 2023/2024

This final-year module will explore how contemporary prose writing engages with ideas of place and belonging in France. Our focus will be on physical, social, and textual dimensions of ideas of place and space in the fictional and non-fictional works studied.

Show/hide contentOpenClose All

Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On full engagement with and successful completion of this module, including regular attendance at lectures and seminars, students will have:
-- become acquainted with some major figures of contemporary French fiction and non-fiction;
-- developed your capacity to read French prose both widely and in depth ('close reading');
-- practised identifying connections and continuities across a range of works and voices;
-- developed your ability to articulate ideas and questions that are explicit and implicit in extracts discussed in seminars;
-- synthesised these skills of sophisticated reading into a structured critical analysis and essay.

Indicative Module Content:

A selection of short texts by contemporary French writers (male/female; fiction/non-fiction) on ideas of place including some of the following:
- Representations of the urban, the suburban, the rural
- Depictions of ways of living in and navigating between contemporary spaces
- Anthropological ideas of place and space
- Fictional versus non-fictional treatments of contemporary life in such spaces
- Writing as a space

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Seminar (or Webinar)




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
One weekly seminar where the texts and the ideas and questions they raise are explored in detail.
One weekly lecture with broad background information to support the weekly seminar. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Requirements:

Pass in FR20020 French Language 2a
Pass in FR20040 French Language 2b

Learning Recommendations:

Level 2 French literature / culture modules

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
FR20020 - French Language II a, FR20040 - French Language II b

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Class Test: Short critical commentary in lecture hour Week 6 n/a Graded No


Examination: End-of-term examination 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Graded No



Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Individual written feedback accompanying returned assignments. Global feedback on assignments in final lecture.

Name Role
Assoc Professor Douglas Smith Lecturer / Co-Lecturer