Sunday, April 29, 2018

When to use contractions at university

Students get confused about this. Contractions like "wasn't" "couldn't've" "aren't" and so on are not used in formal writing... but what is formal writing?

Well, almost everything you hand in to a teacher is formal writing, unless they told you to be informal, so no contractions in your essays or dissertations (except of course when quoting dialogue and so on). This is even more the case for essays at capes and so on.

Informality is sometimes allowed when you are the person who has the power in a situation. This is why you should not be surprised if a teacher writes in the margin of your essay: "Don't use contractions, please!" The teacher, commenting on your work, is allowed to be informal: in your essay, email etc, you are generally not.

More information here


Business writing is similar to university writing in this respect, see here:


Elections locales au Royaume Uni

D'autres explications, en français, ici:


Saturday, April 28, 2018

Vie politique au Royaume-Uni

Il y aura, le 3 mai, des élections locales au Royaume-Uni, et les sondages ne sont pas positifs pour la première ministre, Theresa May.

La chaîne de radio France Culture s'est penché, dans cette émission, sur un aspect de ce combat, et a invité deux universitaires, dont moi-même, à donner leur éclairage sur la situation. On peut écouter ici:


Friday, April 27, 2018

Expressions with numbers

Quite a number of students having problems saying in English things like “une équipe de douze femmes”. Si vous n’êtes pas sûr à 100% comment on dit, allez voir ici. http://www.grammar-quizzes.com/adj_numbermodifiers.html

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Revising British popular culture since 1945. Podcasts

Most of the classes have been made into podcasts you can find below. Not all the classes are here, but most are.

Historical background : Britain 1945-2015

Podcast  one

Podcast two

What is popular culture and what is cultural studies?

Podcast one

High culture, popular culture and British visual art

Podcast one

Podcast two

Television and popular culture

Podcast one

Podcast two

Popular music in Britain since 1945

Podcast one

Podcast two

Podcast three

Podcast four

Monday, April 23, 2018

History of music

The general history of music is not part of what you must learn for your L3 popular culture module. But if you are interested, the BBC have made an excellent series on the history o fmusic, which is available on Youtube. Here is the link to the first part, of six.


Class tomorrow L3 popular culture

Is in L102

Monday, April 16, 2018

Vocabulary question

Students often get confused between the two words, “safety” and “security”. Some explanation here: https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-difference-between-safety-and-security

Friday, April 13, 2018

Master LEA QES Partiel suggested translation

I have begun marking your exams. Here is my suggested translation for the first section of the exam.

Des ouvrières américaines du textile en grève,  8 mars 1909
La première « Journée nationale de la femme » est célébrée à l’initiative du Parti socialiste américain. Elle a lieu le 28 février sur tout le territoire américain. Aux États-Unis, les femmes continuent de célébrer cette journée le dernier dimanche de février, jusqu’en 1913.
Au début du siècle la participation des femmes aux luttes ouvrières est importante partout en Europe. Aux États-Unis, une série de grèves très dures ont lieu dans le textile en 1909.
Le 8 mars 1909, 15 000 travailleuses manifestent dans les rues de New York pour demander de travailler de moins longues heures et pour obtenir de meilleures conditions de travail, l’abolition du travail des enfants, un salaire égal à celui des hommes et le droit de vote. La police s’attaque violemment à la foule pour essayer de la disperser.
Les manifestantes demandaient « du pain et des roses » : le pain symbolisant la sécurité économique, et les roses, une meilleure qualité de vie.
En France, la même année a vu l’institution d’un congé maternité de 8 semaines, sans compensation, pourtant, de la perte de revenus.

American women textile workers go on strike    8th March 1909

The first “National Women’s Day” was celebrated on the initiative of the American Socialist Party. It occurred on the 28th February across the United States. In the USA women continued celebrating this day on the last Sunday in February, up until 1913.

At the beginning of the century, women were very much involved in workers’ struggles across Europe. In the USA, a series of very hard strikes took place in the textile industry in 1909.

On the 8th of March 1909, 15 000 women workers demonstrated in the streets of New York, demanding a shorter working week and better working conditions, the end of child labour, equal pay with men, and the right to vote. The police launched a violent attack on the crowd in an attempt to disperse them.

The demonstrators were demanding “Bread and Roses”, the bread symbolizing economic security and the roses an improved quality of life.

In France, in the same year, a right to eight weeks’ maternity leave was established, although there was no compensation for lost wages

Thursday, April 12, 2018

L3 popular culture last class

April 24 16h30 salle L 102

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Cours agreg civi


Women in British popular music

I was speaking yesterday about the fact that UK popular music was dominated by men, and indeed still is. This does not mean, of course, that some women did not make important contributions. Here are a few examples, genre by genre

Sandy Denny

Maddy Prior

Susi Quatro


Polly Styrene

The Raincoats

RAP/ hip hop
Lady Sovereign

Ms Dynamite

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Monday, April 09, 2018

Grime music today

I spend a lot of time in class on music from 1960-1990. This is partly because I know this music better, but also because this period set into motion modes of consuming and producing popular music which have shaped the rest of the period up until today.

Still, to compensate, here is a video about grime in Blackpool : rude and young rappers in a small town in the North of London. (warning: lots of insults and bad language)


[Of course not all British music today is so transgressive! here is Ed Sheeran https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZUrQIZbkfk ]

L3 popular culture

This week we are in room T009.
I will be giving you back the scripts from the classroom test. the class average is 10.17.

Recent history of housing in the UK

In the Guardian today


Sunday, April 08, 2018

Using "one" in English

One should always check one's bags oneself.

I want green ones, not red ones.

I would go to the Monday film not the Tuesday one.

Students of all levels have difficulty with the structures around "one".

Here is a good place to start


Friday, April 06, 2018

The winners! UK popular music

FOLK   The album voted in the music press best UK folk album was Liege and Lief, and this song, Matty Groves, is one of the best known of its tracks


SKIFFLE   Folk rocker Billy Bragg chose "Rock Island Line" as his favourite skiffle track of all time


PUNK The newspaper "The Independent" considered that "Anarchy in the UK was the best ever UK punk song.


GLAM ROCK The newspaper "The Guardian" considered that the best UK Glam rock track was "Hot Love"


HEAVY METAL US magazine Rolling Stone considered that the best heavy metal album of all time was UK band Black Sabbath's "Paranoid" Here is the title track


PROGRESSIVE ROCK Website "Pop matters" considered "In the court of the crimson king" the best ever progressive rock album


More soon

L'histoire culturelle, où en sommes-nous?

Quelle est l'histoire de l'histoire culturelle?

D'où vient-elle? Quels sont ses points forts et faibles?

Peut-on la distinguer de l'histoire sociale et politique?

Quelles approches historiques sont dominantes aujourd'hui à l'université, dans les librairies, dans les manuels scolaires, à la télévision?

Ecoutez ici mon intervention au séminaire ERIAC le 5 avril 2018 (MP3)

L'histoire culturelle - où en sommes-nous? (50 minutes)

Vous trouverez ici le powerpoint accompagnant l'intervention (pps).

Powerpoint ici 

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Capes interne

Je n’ai pas pu me rendre à Rouen, il n y aura donc pas cours aujourd’hui.

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Monday, April 02, 2018

L3 Culture populaire

Les trains étant annulés pour demain mardi, il n'y aura pas cours. Je mettrai ici bientôt des liens vers un article à lire et un vidéo à regarder. Ces éléments constituent une partie indispensable du cours et doivent être assimilés par tous les étudiants.


So far, I have received work from 32 students.

Sunday, April 01, 2018

Master LEA

Your homeworks are now flooding in: thank you. Writing professional emails (even to teachers) is not so easy. If you used "tu" in an email to a business client in French, you know this could be taken very badly. If you are too informal in English, it's the same thing.

Some guidelines here: