Monday, October 31, 2016

Cours d'agrégation

Greetings from Vienna!
Your next translation class with me is on Wednesday 2nd November. The first class on the British Civilization programme will be on Tuesday 8th November at 15h30.

Note that on Wednesday 9th November there will be no translation class with me. This class will be replaced in January. This is because I have to lecture on " Comprendre le Brexit" to Master students that morning.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Préparation agrégation anglais civilisation britannique 35

Le Royaume-Uni à l'épreuve de la crise 1970-1979

Two ministers debate whether Britain should stay in the European Economic Community.

Let us stay with the question of the EEC for the moment, because it was a very important question in the 1970s, and the recent referendum in 2016 has brought the question into debate again.

In this video you have the extraordinary sight of two ministers in the same government arguing on different sides in the referendum campaign. Left-winger Tony Benn argues that the EEC is not good for ordinary people and for democracy. Labour right-winger Roy Jenkins (who will leave th Labour party in the early 1980s to form the short-lived Social Democratic Party) argues that modernity and international trade demand tighter European integration

Here is the video


See if you can list the arguments used by each side. Note that in the 1970s debate, unlike the 2016 one, imigration did not take centre stage.

If you convert the youtube video into an MP3 file with some online tool, you can listen to it while painting your bathroom or sweeping away the Autumn leaves in the courtyard.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Préparation agrégation anglais civilisation britannique 34

Le Royaume-Uni à l'épreuve de la criss 1970-1979

One aspect of this subject is the differing views of the seventies which have been current in later years. One person's "decline" is another person's "Golden Age". This article gives an interesting viewpoint which contradicts the commonly found discourses of decline.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Préparation agrégation anglais civilisation britannique 33

A few students from Rouen went to Tours for a day conference on the subject of the civilisation programme, and found it useful.

There will be another day conference with a slightly different emphasis on the 13th January 2017 at the University of Nanterre just outside Paris. Indeed I will be speaking at this one. I will let you have the full programme when it is ready.

Thème agrégation General information

I have finished correcting your translations of the Martin du Gard piece. If you sent me one and I haven't sent it back, please contact me by email. If you are preparing the agrégation and you have not yet sent me this semester one of your translations, this is not good.

Remember to spend some time when you receive your corrected translations checking you understand *and will remember* the reason for each mistake. Your grammar book should look worn!

Civilisation britannique agrégation

The British civilization classes for preparing the agrégation will be starting up on the 8th November. They will be on Tuesday afternoons. If you are a teacher and working on Tuesday afternoons, note that I will try to post the audio file on this blog after each class (but I occasionally forget). If you can team up with someone who is in the class and borrow their notes, this would be good.

The videos I have been recommending, and the chapters in the books about the 1970s are, for very good reasons, thematically based. But chronology is important too: this is why, in the classes I will be dealing with the question chronologically.

If, when watching or listening to some of the videos, you have questions which cannot be immediately solved through Google, bring them to class. It will be helpful to everyone if you have questions for me to deal with in class.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Préparation agrégation anglais civilisation britannique 32

North sea Oil and Gas

North sea oil and gas began coming onstream in the 1970s, and has made a huge difference to Britain's economy, which is why, in the 1970s in particular there were fierce debates about how much tax North Sea oil companies should pay, and what kind and extent of public ownership should be involved. Scottish nationalism also got a boost from the fact that billions of dollars worth of fuel were not far off its shores.

Even today, this can be big news: see here:


US Elections: the final strait

This article shows a series of surprising things about presidential contests in the US in general, and about this one in particular:


Master recherche séminaire multiculturalisme

To start you off, here is a lecture in French about antiracism and popular song in the UK sinc ethe 1960s


Thursday, October 20, 2016

La cancion popular como teatro participativo

Voici l'intervention que j'ai faite - en espagnol - à Paris fin octobre sur le thème "La Chanson populaire vue comme théâtre participatif".

Cliquez ici pour le MP3

Articles on the historiography of world war one

You will find here an article from the Revue française de civilisation britannique on the question:


and someone else's view, on the same subject, here:


On commemoration, you will find pictures here


and my article here


Un gant filoselle

Résultat d’images pour un gant fioloselle

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Seminar multiculturalism and diversity in the UK

This seminar begins on the 2nd November at 2pm... in room A316

Préparation agrégation anglais civilisation britannique 31

Le Royaume-Uni à l'épreuve de la crise 1970-1979
This is an extract from a UK debate on remaining in the European Economic Community. It took place just before the referendum of 1975. Of course, it takes on a particular resonance given the result of the later referendum of 2016.

The event took place in the Oxford Union, an elite debating society which has existed for well over a century . Apart from the dress and the tone of parts of the debate, which can give an impression of the Oxford Union as a sort of ruling class playground, the debate does bring out a number of arguments in favour and against the EEC.

Speaking in favour of the EEC are Jeremy Thorpe, leader of the Liberal Party and Edward Heath, leader of the (Conservative) opposition. Speaking against the EEC are two "rebel" Labour ministers, Peter Shore and Barbara Castle, who oppose Britain's membership of the Common Market despite the fact that their Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, is in favour. 

A number of arguments for and against membership are explored in this video. Absent are Left arguments about neoliberalism: many trade unionists and Labour party supporters were opposed to the EEC because they felt it would always favour liberalism, and make public ownership more difficult to implement.

The video of the debate is here 

It can of course be converted to an MP3 file by some online software tool, so as to allow you to listen to it while trainspotting.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Historiography of world war one: part three

You will find here a recording of the third class on the historiography of the first world war.

Just click on this link.

keywords: podcast, first world war, history, historiography, social history

World war one centenary: commemoration or celebration?

This video shows a historian talking about this important question


Grammaire agrégation/M2

We touched briefly on "BE TO, BE SUPPOSED TO, BE BOUND TO" in the last class. These are important, and  sections 10.5 to 10.11 of your Grammaire explicative de l'Anglais cover them in some detail.

Delay Thème agreg/M2

The conferences in Paris on Thursday and Friday and in Strasbourg on Saturday were very fruitful... but the result is I haven't had time to look at your translations. I intend to correct them next week during the holidays.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Préparation agrégation anglais civilisation britannique 30

Le Royaume-Uni à l'épreuve de la crise 1970-79

Today two much shorter videos. These are party political broadcasts from 1974. To today's eyes they seem very unsophisticated, as at the time political communication on the television had not developed so much. But they give a good idea of what the party leaderships thought was key. Note that they are incommensurably simpler in message than are the party manifestos. 

Labour party political broadcast https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mghq22wRV0&app=desktop
Conservative party political broadcast https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Aa6nQ5LBYU 

Monday, October 10, 2016

M2 thème marking system

If you were wondering how this module is marked for the M2 students, it is marked by a final examination in January. If you are not successful in this exam, there is, of course, as always, the retake in June.

M1 LEA Powerpoint on Ireland

You will find here the powerpoint we looked at in class about the Irish republic, its history and its economy.

Just click on the link

Vos travaux thème agreg/M2

J'ai fini de corriger et le nombre de points faute se situe sur une gamme entre 51 et 126, pour le  texte Fernandez.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Préparation agrégation anglais civilisation britannique 29

Le Royaume-Uni à l'épreuve de la crise 1970-79

On a more entertaining note, although popular music is important in British culture as elsewhere, here is the pop music programme "Top of the Pops" from Christmas 1975. The clothes, the songs, the camerawork, everything will help you get a feel for the seventies. In addition, perhaps you will notice, that "crisis" does not seem to be particularly present in the atmosphere of pop culture in 1975.


NB This video may make you glad you were born later.

History, historiography and museums


Préparation agrégation anglais civilisation britannique 28

Le Royaume-Uni à l'épreuve de la crise 1970-79

The 1970s and 1980s were times of fierce debate inside the two main parties, as the crisis hit, unemployment and industrial conflict were on the rise, and party activists assessed and reassessed what was possible, necessary and desirable. In the Labour Party, the Left was represented by figures such as Tony Benn (who later moved on to concentrate more on extra parliamentary movements) and Michael Foot, who was very Left wing on a number of issues, yet in many ways moved solidly in establishment circles with establishment friends.

This documentary on Michael Foot will help you understand the kinds of issues, values and debates which made up the life of the Labour party forty years ago.

If you're a very busy person convert the files into MP3 with some online tool or other, so you can listen to them while collecting chestnuts.


Your first marked assignment of the year is to watch this video and write 

a) a summary in English in 500 words

b) your opinion of the video in 250 words (its neutrality or lack of neutrality, its pedagogical qualities etc).

This will count for your semester mark, the other part of which will be from the classroom test at the very end of November.

Here is the video:

People & Power - Collapse of the Celtic Tiger - YouTube

You may well need to watch the video more than once. It is excellent practice in listening to Irish accents.

You must use only your own words and not quote the exact words which are said in the video. It goes without saying that any sentence used from another source, unless it is quoted and referenced, is plagiarism and strictly forbidden.

It must be written to professional standards: that is to say you must re-read very carefully and eliminate all spelling mistakes, grammar mistakes etc. 

Unless it is impossible for you , write it with a word processing programme.

Hand the work in by email (rtf format) before the 5th November. My email address is prenom.nom@univ-rouen.fr .

Master LEA listening

Master LEA: if you found the listening exercises difficult

Then you might find daily practic here of help


Here is another site to help get your listening up to master level


Learning about Ireland

Master LEA... and other students

You can practise your English and learn about the fascinating country of Ireland by reading online the most prestigious of the Irish newspapers, the Irish Times.

Their  website is here:


Thursday, October 06, 2016

Immigration in Britain

Both before and after the referendum decision on Brexit, immigration has been a subject of wide public debate in the UK. This article summarizes some of the key facts about immigration to the UK.


1016 Master's seminar historiography

Here is a short review of a key book


Here are a few questions on Chapters Five and Six of Offenstadt's book

Questions on Offenstadt chaps five and six

1 Explain * in your own words* what Durkheim meant by a "social fact". Think of two examples of your own.

2 Explain * in your own words* some of the contributions made by the Annales group in France.

3 What is Alltaggeschichte?

4 What are the main characteristics of
A) Gender history and
B) the new " global history"?

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Préparation agrégation anglais civilisation 27

Le Royaume Uni à l'épreuve de la crise 1970 - 1979

Election manifestos

Before each general election, the major parties issue a manifesto. You need to be familiar with the most important points in the Conservative and Labour manifestos for the elections of 1970, of 1974 and of 1979. All of the manifestos can be found online here :


It is better to read them after you have a general understanding of the period. Manifestos can be a little difficult for students to follow. This is because they are aimed at a very precise audience. At election time the priority of the manifesto is to win over people who might not vote for your party. Take the Labour manifesto for example: the priority audience is not people who have always voted Labour (they will probably vote Labour anyway); the priority is not, either, people who have always voted Conservative (they will probably never be convinced to vote Labour). The priority is the people who are in the middle. This is why manifestos almost always sound very measured.

If you would like a robot to read the manifestos for you, copy the text into a word file, and then use an online converter like zamzar to convert it into an MP3 file that you can listen to while doing the gardening.


Monday, October 03, 2016

Entrée libre: journée d'études

Si vous voulez en savoir plus sur la chanson et la Première Guerre, et/ou sur les méthodes et les contenus des recherches en cours à ce sujet, venez voir

Journée d’étude internationale (Programme provisoire)

Popular Song across the World during the First World War

La Chanson populaire à travers le monde durant la Première Guerre.

Université de Rouen, laboratoire ERIAC (Equipe de recherches interdisciplinaires sur les aires culturelles)

Vendredi 25 novembre 2016, salle du conseil, bâtiment A, 3eme étage

9h Accueil

9h 30 John Mullen (paper in English. Intervention en anglais)

Ways of looking at First World War songs in the UK

L’étude des chansons populaires britanniques de la Première Guerre : approches diverses.

10h Andre Rottgeri (paper in English/ intervention en anglais)

German soldier songs during the First World War

Les chansons des soldats allemands durant la Première Guerre

10h 30 Eric Sauda (intervention en français)

La Chanson sur le front intérieur durant la Grande Guerre

Song on the French Home Front during the Great War

11h break

11h15 Anne Simon (Intervention en français/ Paper in French)

Les couples au défi de l'absence dans le répertoire des chansons populaires françaises  1914-1918

Couples Faced with Separation in the French Popular Song Repertoire 1914-1918

11h45 Amy Wells (Paper in English/ intervention en anglais)

The Representation of Women in US Popular Songs during the First World War

La Représentation des femmes dans les chansons populaires aux Etats Unis durant la Première Guerre

12h15 end of morning session

14h Introductory remarks/ introduction

14h15 Guy Marival  (Intervention en français/ Paper in French)

Que peut-on savoir du répertoire chanté par les poilus ?

What can we know about the songs the French soldiers sang in the First World War ?

14h45 Pedro Felix (Paper in English/ intervention en anglais)

A business without an industry. The Portuguese music business in turbulent times, 1914-1918

Des affaires mais pas d’industrie : musique populaire au Portugal dans une période turbulente 1914-1918.

15h15 break

15h30 Clive Barrett (Paper in English/ intervention en anglais)

The Music of War-Resistance in Britain, 1914-1918

La musique de la résistance contre la guerre en Grande-Bretagne 1914-1918

16h Lidia Lopez (Paper in English/ intervention en anglais

Comedy, Eroticism and Politics. The Spanish Cuplé before and during the First World War

Le comique, l’érotique et la politique: la Cuplé espagnol avant et pendant la Première Guerre

16h30 Summing up and discussion/ reprise et discussion

17h Fin de la journée

Nous remercions particulièrement les intervenants qui ont bien voulu intervenir dans une langue qui n’est pas leur langue maternelle. Nous tenterons de rendre disponible lors de la journée des résumés écrits en français pour les interventions en anglais, et des résumés écrits en anglais pour les interventions en français.

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Préparation agrégation anglais civilisation britannique 26

Le Royaume-Uni à l'épreuve de la crise 1970-79

To understand the political history of a country it is absolutely not sufficient to know what the Prime Ministers' ideas, policies and intentions were. It is essential to know some of the other players. Any prime minister has to continually measure what is possible with respect to the general public and electorate, what is possible without creating untenable tension is his or her own political party, as well as the economic and other pressures limiting their choices. This is why you need to know something about the different wings of the major parties, because parties in democratic countries are far from being places of consensus.

This documentary presents the career of Roy Jenkins, one of the key players for many years on the Right wing of the Labour party.

You can find it here.

If you're a very busy person convert the files into MP3 with some online tool or other, so you can listen to them while making pasta.