Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Hedging! Agrégation interne: Preparation for Exposé en langue étrangère

This is a text commentary on Home Rule in English, given orally. We will have three classes on how to do this. the classes will be based on a series of documents I will put up here on the blog fairly soon. Basically in the first class I will comment on documents, and in the following two classes student volunteers will do so.

If you should have agreed to comment on a document, and are unable, finally, to do so, please do contact me and not simply stay away from the class (I apologize for giving you such infantile advice, but this has happened more than once!)

One aspect of academic language which one must get practice with is "hedging". Academic analysis is made up of facts, certainties, probabilities and possibilities, and it is very important to be able to express the solidity (or not) of a statement. These sentences all speak of the same question.

Brexit will destroy the British economy.
Britain's economy will be fine outside the EU.

Some commentators are quite sure that leaving the EU will have dire economic consequences for Britain.
The reorganization of trade, separate from the European free market, may well cause unexpected difficulties which might take considerable time to be overcome.
Opponents of Brexit claim there will be disastrous effects, though evidence is hard to come by.

The first two are to be avoided at all costs.

This page will help further with hedging.

British women artists

News on visual art in Britain


Cultural history on TV

TV history programmes have been transformed in the past few decades. From the "talking heads" paradigm, many new forms have diverged. In Britain there has been a boom in programmes where people form today are made to live like one did at a particular period in the past. This episoed from "That'll teach em" takes modern teenagers back a few decades to see how they fare with old fashioned teaching and learning.


Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Home Rule

You will have seen that our day conference in Rouen on Home Rule is available in online videos here:


It is indispensable!

There was also a day conference in Toulouse. Some of its videos are now online. Here is one


The others  can be found by exploring the orange video streaming site.


Two things.
Remember it is nearly time to send me your homework assignment (on the documents concerning Ireland). But Thursday night is OK.

For revision, I do recommend this lecture on the Labour Party. The speaker has an establishment but fair-minded approach. That is, he is rather conservative himself, but is careful to explain the positions of those who do not agree with him.


And also this one, on the Conservative Party:


Sunday, February 10, 2019

Collection of news articles: MEEF mémoire, héritage, ruptures

These are recent UK news articles in connection with the theme of mémoire, héritage, ruptures. I recommend you read them.

Download them here.

Saturday, February 09, 2019

agrégation interne

Remember to look over regularly the report by the jury.


MEEF CAPES Mémoire héritage ruptures podcast

You will find here the classes I gave in January 2019 on mémoire héritage ruptures.

The first class is here
The second PowerPoint is here

The (purely illustrative) PowerPoint is here

keywords: CAPES, podcast, mémoire héritage ruptures, Powerpoint, université de Rouen 

Master LEA final podcasts on women in the USA

A few weeks back I posted recordings of the first two classes on women in the USA. You will find here the recordings of the third class.

The first part of the class is here
The second part of the class is here

And the PowerPoint, which accompanies all three classes, can be found here.
Note that, as usual, the PowerPoint is for illustration purposes. Almost all the information is only present in audio form in the recorded classes.

Keywords; podcast, women, history, United States, PowerPoint, university lecture.

L3 Classroom test

Perhaps you remember that the marking scheme for the L3 class includes a classroom test. This will be on the 19th March. It will either be a text commentary or an essay.

Thursday, February 07, 2019

Britain since 1945 general background podcast and powerpoint

You will find below the podcasts of the two classes I gave in January 2019 on Britain since 1945. These follow political and social history over the last few decades. They are the first part of the L3 class "British popular culture since 1945". If you are a MEEF student who has not recently revised this period of history, I recommend you listen too.

First class podcast

Second class podcast

Accompanying PowerPoint

Thème class next Wednesday 13th

If I understand correctly, the agrégation interne people are free from 9h to 10h30 next Wednesday. You are of course most welcome to come to the thème class in  L209. We will be working on the passage beginning "La porte de la chambre..." which is below. If you send me your translations before Sunday night, I will try to correct them on Monday.

La porte de la chambre s’ouvrit alors qu’il trempait ses tartines dans le café tiède. Elvire s’étira en bâillant les pans de sa chemise de nuit rose, ferma ses poings de poupée, poussa un grognement de plaisir avant de lancer la phrase qui inaugurait chacune de leurs journées communes depuis près de quinze ans.

-         Oh, cette nuit j’ai bien dormi…

Valère Notermans leva les yeux et il anticipa le moindre geste de sa femme. Il se promettait souvent de changer un objet de place pour voir si cela compromettait le déroulement du rituel ou s’il existait encore assez de ressources en elle pour s’adapter à l’inattendu… Il se contentait d’imaginer des scénarios qui tous, sans exception, s’achevaient dans le plus grand tragique.

Ses nuits étaient peuplées d’apocalypses.

Il lui arrivait quelquefois de la regarder, dans la pénombre, quand une émotion trop forte l’obligeait à s’asseoir brusquement dans le lit, pour calmer les battements de son cœur et dissiper la peur. Les cauchemars s’effilochaient comme des brumes touchées par le soleil sur la lande. Elvire gisait, immobile, les yeux recouverts d’une feutrine noire, et il s’était souvent penché pour saisir le filet d’un souffle, le frémissement de sa poitrine, la croyant morte. Savait-elle seulement que les rêves existaient ? Peut-être pensait-elle qu’il s’agissait là d’intermèdes publicitaires dans le néant de ses nuits.
 Oh, cette nuit j’ai bien dormi…

Au premiers temps de leur vie commune, cette manière de souligner par la parole le moindre de ses faits et gestes l’enchantait. Il semblait à Valère qu’elle mettait ainsi en valeur des événements dont l’importance était masquée par leur apparence anodine. Elvire attirait son attention amoureuse sur son corps, sur sa capacité à déplacer l’air, à capter le soleil. (…)

Peu à peu, il s’était lassé du spectacle et les phrases sans importance s’étaient mises à résonner dans sa tête. Il n’y eut bientôt plus qu’elles, en bas de l’écran.
Une vie entière en version ordinaire sous-titré !

Didier Daeninckx ; Les figurants (1995)

Georgian Britain

If you are revising British history, and you like to watch videos, you could have a look at this series on the 18th century. No doubt mostly history from above, but full of useful information.


Whereas, in the mid nineteenth century, one of the huge changes was the abrogation of the Corn Laws, laws which protected landowners incomes, but were opposed both by workers and by the flourishing industrial capitalists :

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Home Rule : la meilleure journée d'études de l'année

Chers étudiants,
Géraldine Vaughan et moi-même sommes très contents de vous annoncer que les interventions de notre journée d'études du 25 janvier sur la question du Home Rule sont désormais disponibles en ligne au 

Vous y trouverez l'ensemble des interventions:
Professor Alvin  Jackson (University of Edinburgh) "Understanding Home Rule and its Opponents: Ireland and Britain 1870-1914".
Dr Catriona McDonald (University of Glasgow) "Spirits Congenitally Factious? Scottish Nationalism 1870-1914
Dr Colin Reid (University of Sheffield) "Isaac Butt's Conception of Home Rule during the 1870s"
Dr Conor Mulvagh (University College Dublin)  "The Irish Parliamentary Party and Partition"
Dr Pauline Collombier-Lakeman "Butt and Redmond: a Comparison"

PS Nous allons rajouter à la page très bientôt l'introduction à la journée, d'Anne-Catherine Bouvier de l'Université de Caen.

Sunday, February 03, 2019

5 February

My union has called for strike action on Tuesday 5 Feb, in parallel with calls from ongoing social movements. I will be absent at all classes on Tuesday 5 Feb. Please circulate this information to students. I will be back Wednesday of course.

Please check back here on the blog later this week: I will be recommending videos for each class, to keep learning momentum going.


If you were not in my seminar on World War One, you need to read this article. It was the biggest commemorative festival ever, so could come up on the exam, you never know. https://journals.openedition.org/rfcb/307