Saturday, October 28, 2017

Dernier CM Préparation agrégation civilisation britannique Le Royaume Uni à l'épreuve de la crise

You will find here the last lectures on the subject.

Part one is here 1976 and 1977

Part two is here 1977-1979

M1 seminar: Introduction to historiography: the case of the First World War

The seminar on this subject begins in ten days' time. the objective is not to become experts on First World War battles, but to understand the many different ways historians have looked at this war, why they chose these ways, which questions and methods seemed to them best and why.

To get you into the subject: watch one or two of these videos: you can choose which ones. 


Pop music from the early seventies

here it is:


Friday, October 27, 2017

M1 LEA Homework assignement November 2017

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 English in 250 words (its neutrality or lack of neutrality, its pedagogical qualities or anything else you would like to comment on).

This will count for your semester mark, the other part of which will be from the classroom test at the beginning of December.

Here is the video:

Leprechaun economics

You will need to watch the video more than once. It is excellent practice in listening to different 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. Learning to use automatic spelling checkers in English (that is learning how to install such software on your computer) is an evident part of taking business English seriously.

Hand the work in by email (rtf format) before the 10th December. My email address is prenom.nom@univ-rouen.fr . (And my name is John Mullen).

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Tv series on Britain in the 1970s

A non-historian recently told me that TV series are easier and more enjoyable to watch than historical documentaries. I found this difficult to believe, but apparently it is true for some. So you have here an episode from a 1970s TV series about a newly-elected (fictional) Labour member of parliament. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcLqagP9ogI

It is mostly useful for absorbing the atmosphere of the time, and learning about some of the technical aspects of political life. 

Similarly, you will find here an episode of a 1978 series about life in a comprehensive school


If you like either of these, there are plenty more episodes on youtube.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Préparation agrégation: 1970s >Le Royaume Uni à l'épreuve de la crise

This week is our last lecture, but there will be a series of classes in the New Year to give specific practice, particularly in text commentary.

I hope that the main threads of the history will be clear to you now. Remember to continue reading, and to watch more of the videos, which are listed here:


You can convert the videos to Mp3 with a tool like this one, which allows you to access them more easily while doing something else. 


Sunday, October 22, 2017

Facebook et le militantisme

Voici le diaporama explicatif pour la présentation que j'ai donnée lors de la journée d'études cette semaine (Facebook et l'engagement politique).

Facebook et les militants de gauche

Is Ireland's economy recovering?

You can watch here the short video from 2014 we saw in class about the possible recovery of the Irish economy.

If it is difficult to understand, you should watch it several times

Just click here
PS: be careful, this week's class is in G02. You should be able to find it.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

LEA M1 History of ireland part two

You will find here the Mp3 of the second talk on the history of Ireland.

Podcast class five Britain in the 1970s, préparation agrégation civilisation britannique

In class five I spoke of 1973 1974 and 1975.
Aspects of the women's movement, the three day week and the two general elections of 1974, the changing balance of forces inside the Labour Party between the right wing and the left wing, rising conflict in Northern Ireland, and so on.

Here it is in Mp3

Part one of the class

Part two of the class

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

1970s British humour

Here is a classic sketch from the 1970s. It seems to me that it is still funny: which is absolutely not the case for much of 1970s comedy


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Britain in the 1970s and wider contexts

It is always best to be able to put 1970s phenomena in wider contexts. In the exam, without giving a detailed chronology of a subject such as Ireland, trade union legislation, immigration laws, racist violence or feminist activity, a clear sign that you know what went before and what came after is extremely valuable (expecially what came after, which is generally ignored by candidates). Here then is some (mostly later) context for two themes.

Legislation against trade union activity 


Popular music as an expression of immigrant identity

key words : Le Royaume-Uni à l'épreuve de la crise, Britain in the 1970s, agrégation.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Information importante:

Pour les étudiants qui préparent l'agrégation: 

J'ai décidé de faire grève mardi 10 octobre avec beaucoup d'autres fonctionnaires, avant tout contre le gel des salaires. Ce gel affecte beaucoup plus les agents de catégorie B et C que les professeurs des universités, donc c'est en partie une action de solidarité.

Comme les autres collègues, je suis toujours particulièrement soucieux des étudiants qui préparent les concours nationaux, car cela implique un engagement et un travail énorme de votre part. Ainsi pour "limiter les dégâts", je vous livre ici l'enregistrement des cours que j'ai donnés l'année dernière sur les années 1971 et 1972. Il s'agit de fichiers MP3, que vous pourrez écouter en vaquant à d'autres occupations, et d'un PDF du powerpoint.

Première partie du cours ici 
Deuxième partie du cours ici
Diaporama qui accompagnait, ici

Je vous retrouve mercredi matin pour le cours de thème.

Pour les étudiants du M1 LEA: 

J'ai décidé de faire grève mardi 10 octobre avec beaucoup d'autres fonctionnaires, avant tout contre le gel des salaires. Ce gel affecte beaucoup plus des agents de catégorie B et C que les professeurs des universités, donc c'est en partie une action de solidarité.
Il n'y aura donc pas de cours mardi. Afin d'avancer néanmoins vos connaissances des thèmes que nous étudions, je vous demande de regarder cette video au sujet de la crise économique. Pour tout comprendre, vous aurez peut-être besoin de regarder deux fois (mais vous aurez appris à écouter des accents irlandais). Par la suite nous examinerons en cours la situation aujourd'hui

M1 LEA The Celtic Tiger

I spoke in class this week about the economy of the Irish Republic, and the political history of the country. If some of this was hard to follow, or if you need to revise, you can find the class in MP3 here.

Mp3 class : Britain at the beginning of the 1970s. Préparation agrégation civilisation britannique : Le Royaume-Uni à l'épreuve de la crise

You should by now be getting a clearer idea of the main currents of regularity and disturbance which are the 1970s. This week's class dealt with the first two years. We will be able to move more quickly later, since  the themes need more introduction when they are first mentioned. You need to be combining this chronological view with thematic reading and videos.

The class is available in MP3, for those who couldn't get there, or for revision purposes.

Britain in the seventies and today

Do the tensions, conflicts and disagreements between the two main parties (and within each) in the 1970s resemble the situation in the UK today? This is generally worth a valuable paragraph or two at exam time. Here is The Independent on today's situation:


Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Britain at the beginning of the 1970s: a short lecture. préparation agrégation anglais civilisation britannique le Royaume-Uni à l'épreuve de la crise

Here is a popular historian, a little conservative but gives a useful overview here of the early 1970s

Thème M2/ agrégation lecture indispensable

I spoke, in class, of a short book by Anne Trévise which is extremely good at explaining those difficult points of BE + ING and HAVE+EN.

I have been told it is now available free online ( and on a legal site). You will find it here.
Thanks to Mickaël for the information.

Margaret Thatcher

We looked at a 1975 speech by Margaret Thatcher yesterday. The following were just a few of the points which came up.

- Thatcher's election as leader was far from inevitable. Heath was not far behind in the first round. Of the right wing of the party, Keith Joseph had been considered the natural candidate. His speech the previous October meant he could never be leader. The speech is here: https://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/101830

- It was essential to understand what kind of speech a new leader would be expected to give to the party conference, when a general election was a long way off. In addition the first woman leader had more to prove. Contrasting the content with the content of the election manifesto would be extremely useful. Here is the Conservative manifesto for October 1974.

- "State control" and "nationalisation" are at the centre of Thatcher's speech. It would be important to be able to summarize the different positions debated in the 1970s. Conservatives in Thatcher's current are not yet talking about massive privatization, but are describing nationalization as purely negative. Much of the middle ground is thinking of no more nationalizations, but no privatization either. The Left of the Labour Party ( around Tony Benn) see nationalization as positive, as a way of limiting what they think of as the damage caused by the dictatorship of profit, and, for some, as a way of gradually abolishing capitalism. One or two of the videos in my video list are about Tony Benn and produce a useful summary.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017


nous sommes dans la salle G01

Monday, October 02, 2017

Deuxième cours civilisation britannique agrégation Le Royaume Uni à l'épreuve de la crise

The second class took us from 1956 to the first months of 1970, following various threads such as

- the Northern ireland conflict
- continuing improvement in livign standards
- a loosening of social mores
- a rise in popular culture
- the conflict between Labour and Conservative

The first part in Mp3 is here


and the second part is here


Stative verbs

I know you have learned something like this, but revision is often necessary. This is a somewhat simplified account but may be useful:


Britain and colonialism

Almost all of British colonies won their independence between 1947 and 1970. But the issues coming from centuries of  colonialism are still present in British political life today. Here is a story from this week, about the present British Foreign secretary:


Thème Zola

This is the piece we will be working on Wednesday morning. I am working right now on correcting the translations which have been sent in.