82048 - French Culture and Literature

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2020/2021

Learning outcomes

The student - knows the core features (contents, methods and instruments) necessary for the in-depth analysis of French culture and literature - is able to apply this knowledge when tackling a range of semiotically challenging texts - is able to acquire higher-level cultural and literary knowledge and competences independently, and to apply them to a wide range of novel texts

Course contents

The course aims at sharing with the students some text analysis strategies, starting from a transversal theme to the texts (literary and cinematographic) that will be examined. For the current a.a. the theme will be that of imprisonment, captured in its different metaphorical (social, cultural, linguistic) and real dimensions ("prison" literature). The corpus, which may undergo modifications or changes during the course, will be composed of autobiographical or more markedly fictional texts, and in any case belonging to different literary genres. Reading and analysing the literary texts and watching the films will also lead to reflection on the dynamics of class struggle in France and the tensions of current affairs.


- Edouard Louis, En finir avec Eddy Bellegueule, Paris, Seuil, 2014

- Thierry Jonquet, Ils sont votre épouvante et vous êtes leur crainte, Paris, Points, 2007

- François Bégaudeau, Entre les murs, Paris, Gallimard, 2006;

Tahar Ben Jelloun, Cette aveuglante absence de lumière, Paris, Seuil, 2001.

Wadji Mouawad, Incendies, Littoral,

Autres textes:

Annie Ernaux, LA Place, Paris, 1983

Rachid Djaidani, Boumkoeur,

Didier Eribon, Retour à Reims, Paris, Fayard, 2009 (+ pièce)

Patrick Vilain, Pas son genre, Paris, Grasset, 2011


Entre les murs (Laurent Cantet, 2008)

Pas son genre (Luca Belvaux, 2014)

Luttes des classes (Michel Leclerc, 2018)

Le premier de la classe (2019)


Teaching methods

Attendance and participation are highly encouraged. Some lectures will be followed by class discussion. You are required to read the assigned readings in advance.

Students are required to enroll in the course on the e-learning page.

Assessment methods

The final exam will be an oral interview of about 20 minutes.

Grading Scale

30-30L: The candidate possesses an in-depth knowledge of the topic, an outstanding ability to apply theoretical concepts, a high level of argumentative clarity, as well as excellent analytical skills, and a well-developed ability to synthesize and establish interdisciplinary connections.

27–29: The candidate possesses an in-depth knowledge of the topic, a sound ability to apply theoretical concepts, good analytical skills, clear argumentative clarity and an ability to synthesize.

24-26: The candidate possesses a fair knowledge of the topic, a reasonable ability to apply theoretical concepts correctly and present ideas clearly.

21-23: The candidate possesses an adequate, but not in-depth, knowledge of the topic, a partial ability to apply theoretical concepts, and acceptable presentation skills.

18-20: The candidate possesses a barely adequate and only superficial knowledge of topic, limited presentation skills, and only an inconsistent ability to apply theoretical concepts.

< 18 Fail: The candidate possesses an inadequate knowledge of the topic, makes significant errors in applying theoretical concepts, and shows weak presentation skills.


Office hours

See the website of Licia Reggiani