Sunday, December 30, 2018

Préparation de l'agrégation : cours de thème

Unless I am mistaken, we have seven classes after the Christmas break. Here is the programme:

8 january :  passage from Beckett (please do send it me, before the 5th).

15 january: we will go through BOTH the classroom test (Tout le monde parlait du livre ...)  and the concours blanc (Ceci ne doit étonner personne ...). I will put my suggested translations for these passage up here on the blog beforehand, so you can prepare questions etc.

22 january and onwards: we will work on passages from the new booklet, which will go up here on the blog in PDF format over the next few days.

Otherwise, I hope the holidays are going well for you, that Father Christmas was generous, and that 2019 brings you both the agrégation and joy and peace.


If listening to podcasts is a good way for you to revise British history, you will find a lot of them on this blog. Just click here then scroll down and choose the ones that might help you.


memory, heritage, servants

This fascinating BBC documentary looks at what life was like as a servant in the grand stately homes which are so popular with tourists and TV viewers today.


Royal Family

This is an anti-monarchy documentary, not attempting to be neutral. It explores the position of the Royal Family in the UK today.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Memory, slavery, television

Fictional représentations of slavery on TV are usually about the US, where slavery is more recent. But not this one . https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/the-long-song-tv-review-episode-one-hayley-atwell-lenny-henry-a8688416.html

Sunday, December 16, 2018

The idea of progress

There are a number of key moments in the history of scientific progress over the last few hundred years. We often hear about new factories and Fordism, or about transport and railways. Communications though are just as important, and here is one highlight from communication history : the first transatlantic cable, allowing for the very first time instantaneous communication across the world, by telegraph. Before you click on the link to the documentary, guess the date of the first transatlantic cable.


Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Thème agrégation : grammar time

You have got through about two thirds of your translation classes. You need to find a few hours ot go through them again, with your Grammaire explicative de la langue anglaise, look at the grammar mistakes you made, and study the grammar book until you are confident you would not make that particular mistake again.

The most dangerous attitude is to think that translating is a matter of feeling, and that if you practice it your feeling will solve the different problems.

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Home rule in Ireland - an important debate

On the hundredth anniversary of the 1914 Home Rule Act, an Irish television station organized this debate. Should the Home Rule Act be celebrated as a constitutional advance which could have worked out, or seen as a dead end policy which was fortunately soon replaced by a more radical strategy? Our guests do not agree; there is nothing like a consensus; and if you can measure and describe their differing reasons, that is a great start.


MEEF More on the British Empire in India

A much more establishment view of the British Empire is available in this documentary. The images are very impressive.


M1 LEA last class

In the last class, I spoke of the history of racism and antiracism. My recording device did not work, so here is last year's class on (almost) exactly the same topic

Just click here for the Mp3

And the slides for all the multiculturalism classes are here as a Powerpoint slideshow

Here are a couple more links on the subject

A documentary on Cable Street

A documentary on Rock against Racism

Finding time to study when you don't have time to study

Especially for the concours, it's hard to find enough time to read and to revise. Here is a tool which i find extremely useful. Most of us have a few hours a week when we are cooking, shopping, cleaning, driving or on the bus, when we could listen to an MP3, but when it is not possible to read seriously. The website zamzar will convert a document file (word etc, not pdf) into an Mp3 for you to listen to. All the wikipedia articles you need or articles from the Revue française de civilisation britannique, etc.

The site is here https://www.zamzar.com/

It only works in English.

Here is an example of the resulting Mp3 just click here

That is just a short example, but it works for documents which are many pages long.

Monday, December 03, 2018

mémoire, héritage, ruptures - India

Obviously for Britain, one aspect of remembering heritage is commected with the British Empire. How should it be remembered and taught, in particular in England today where an important minority are descendants of Indians? This discussion between two Indian intellectuals about the history of British India opens up some of these questions.


Introduction to research

If there are any MEEF students who, for their "mémoire" in M2 would be interested in looking at some aspect of historical reality TV shows in Britain, do get in touch.

Here is some info https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Historical_reality_television_series

Here is an example (but there are dozens, from different centuries and with differing approaches). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9B1qevOK8U

I would think it was a subject which it would be easy to use subsequently in collège.

Today in the UK