Monday, October 28, 2019


If you are at home and you have OCS, fabulous film about Gandhi right now.

M1 MEEF - the rest of the semester

In the next class I will be talking about some British scientists, since science is on the programme. If I have time, I will look at how to tackle the other two dossiers in the booklet I gave you. Otherwise I will do this in the following class. So 1) Please bring the booklet to class and 2) prepare these subjects with the help of the internet, so that you can compare the suggestions I give with what you found by yourself.  The class will be much less useful if you have not prepared.

Fairly soon, I will give you (here on this blog) your assignments, which count for 50% of the semester's mark (for M1). You will have one month to complete them, and you will send the resulting work to me by email (no handwritten work, please).


Do you use contractions when you translate literary English?  No.
What do you do with contractions when you have translated into literary English? You do not use them.
Is there anything you do not use, when translating into literary English? Yes, there is : contractions.

(This is inspired from my dear departed French teacher, Joe Carrington,  who used to say the same thing, mutatis mutandis, to dissuade us from pronouncing consonants at the ends of words in French).

Cook and the birds

When Cook and his men got to Australia, they were impressed with the https://www.theguardian.com/environment/ng-interactive/2019/oct/27/australian-bird-of-the-year-2019-vote-for-your-favourite

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Friday, October 25, 2019

Ten British scientists - MEEF

Scientific innovation is on the programme - here is a very short video about ten British scientists who changed the world!


Thursday, October 24, 2019

Brexit : saison deux. Séminaire Eriac 22 octobre 2019

Vous trouverez ici l'enregistrement MP3 de mon intervention lors du séminaire Eriac du 22 octobre.

Et vous pouvez cliquer sur ce lien pour télécharger le PowerPoint qui illustrait mes propos.

Mots clé: Brexit, séminaire, Johnson, Corbyn, podcast universitaire, partis politiques, identités, 2019, politique britannique

Monday, October 21, 2019

Understanding Brexit and the long-term trends involved

If you are on Academia (and it is free to join),  you can find a few previous talks I gave about Brexit.


You will also find here a class I gave last October on the question.


The talk I am giving tomorrow will end up on this blog in a week or two.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Agrégation: conférence sur Howard's End

Changement de salle
La conférence de Catherine Bernard sur Howards End aura lieu ce jeudi 24 octobre, de 10 h à 12h, en L206.

Friday, October 18, 2019

L3 popular culture : British cinema

We will be looking at the history of British cinema in a few weeks' time, but this article about Ken Loach's films just came out today. The style is rather annoying and supercilious, but still.


Contractions? No!
Si ce que vous traduisez n'est pas entre guillemets, faisant partie d'un dialogue, et le texte ne contient pas le mot "wesh" en français, ne mettez pas des contractions en anglais.

L3 Popular culture - scheduling

Next Tuesday, 22nd October,  everything is back to normal for the first group (11-12.30).

For the second group (3.30pm -5pm) everything is not quite back to normal. Tuesday's class will last only one hour (because then I have to go do my seminar on Brexit). We will finish at 4.30pm then. After that, back to normal.  Remember both groups have a class on 17 December, at the normal time.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Brexit spoilers

If you are among those trying to understand what might happen next concerning the UK and Brexit, check out this handy chart.

Ecrits agrégation externe

Les écrits de l'agrégation externe ont lieu début mars.

Les cours d'agrégation externe (option) de cette semaine-là  seront déplacés. Pour ce qui est des cours d'agrégation interne, les enseignants décideront ce qu'il convient de faire (mais il n'est pas sûr qu'il y ait d'autres plages disponibles).

Brexit- Saison deux (attention - spoilers)

Si vous êtes disponibles ( et pas trop fatigués après une longue journée) venez à notre séminaire. L'enregistrement MP3 sera disponible sur ce blog par la suite.

M1 MEEF - the rest of October

I have put on the blog some elements to help you revise aspects of British history, and I will continue to do this.

There is no class on October 16.

On October 23, I will be going through some practice exam subjects. You will find these here. Have a look at them first and take notes on how you would deal with them in the CAPES. I will give you some suggested approaches in class.

You will find here (to give you some ideas on the method) the devoir maison I gave last year, along with my suggestions for approaches and also pitfalls to avoid. If I were you, I would read it all twice. this subject wa sbased on the theme of "mémoire,héritage, ruptures" which was on the curriculum last year, but we are really not very far from "le passé dans le présent".

keywords: capes anglais 2020, le passé dans le présent, exercices d'entraînement.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

M1 MEEF migration (or indeed anyone else)

Short news video: what's it like to be a muslim in Britain?


Understanding Brexit: "Disunited Kingdom" podcast

This set of podcasts from the BBC is probably generally pro-remain, but does give a taste of the complexity of the question, and is very well made.


Captain Cook classes in January

In the classes for the civilisation option on the agrégation, which start in January, I will not have the time to tell you the story of Captain Cook's life and voyages - I will be concentrating on the debates, interpretations, contexts etc. Although I know you are busy people, this means you have to have a fair knowledge of the events and the journal he wrote before the classes begin.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

L3 Popular Culture : photography

Martin Parr is one of the best known British photographers.
Here is a documentary about his work:


What are its links with high culture and with popular culture ? 

To hyphenate or not to hyphenate

Native speakers often make these mistakes. Breakup or break-up ?

This guide works 95% of the time:


Friday, October 11, 2019

Captain Cook agrégation anglais 2020 option civilisation post 26 : précision importante

12/9/19 : Précision apportée par Christophe Gillissen, président du jury de l’agrégation, au texte de cadrage du sujet de civilisation à l’option (Les Voyages de Cook) :
Pour la question d’option au programme de civilisation de 2020 (« Les voyages du capitaine James Cook, 1768-1779 »), les candidats se verront proposer dans le cadre de l’épreuve du commentaire uniquement un extrait de l’édition de Philip Edwards, parue chez Penguin Classics, à l’exclusion de tout autre document textuel ou iconographique.
S’agissant de l’épreuve de la leçon, les citations et notions porteront sur la question dans son ensemble, telle qu’elle est définie dans le texte de cadrage. Les citations pourront provenir d’autres textes de la période étudiée (tel celui de John Hawkesworth, An Account of the Voyages Undertaken in the Southern Hemisphere, 1773) ainsi que de textes postérieurs (ouvrages d’historiens, etc.).

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Captain Cook agrégation anglais 2020 option civilisation Post 26: Hogarth

Eighteenth century England was a place full of movement emotion and injustice. This review of a Hogarth exhibition in London right now gives you some idea of what people were discussing and thinking at the time.


Translation je devais devenir le paria

I spoke briefly about the use of the structure "to be to". (The president is to visit London next May/ The war was to last for five long years).  Quite a few people seemed unsure. Have a look at these examples (click on the image).

Immigration, anti-racism and popular culture in Britain

Students preparing the CAPES (in connection with the subject of immigration) and L3 students following my class on popular culture may be interested in these two articles, both in French, by a distinguished scholar.

Chansons antiracistes au Royaume-Uni

Festivals de musique, à Notting Hill et ailleurs.

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Calendrier agrégation externe


- Dissertation en français sur un sujet de littérature ou de civilisation dans le cadre d'un programme : mardi 3 mars 2020 de 9 heures à 16 heures.

- Commentaire de texte en anglais sur un sujet de civilisation ou de littérature dans le cadre d'un programme : mercredi 4 mars 2020 de 9 heures à 15 heures.

- Composition de linguistique : jeudi 5 mars 2020 de 9 heures à 15 heures.

- Épreuve de traduction (thème et version) : vendredi 6 mars 2020 de 9 heures à 15 heures.

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

M1 MEEF schedule for NEXT WEEK

Exceptionally I will not be able to give my MEEF M1 class on Wed 16th October at 5pm. I have to go back home after lunch.
However there *will* be a class in week thirteen, on Wed 18th December at 5pm.
See you tomorrow.

Monday, October 07, 2019

MEEF le passé dans le présent: everything I had to say

Note (septembre 2020). Thèse classes will shortly be available On a YouTube Channel run by The History Fellow.

L3 Popular culture - introduction to the theory

Here you will find the MP3 recording and the PowerPoint of the first class on the theory of popular culture. We looked at how we define popular culture, the tensions and overlaps between popular culture and high culture, and the theories of Theodor Adorno.

The recording can be found here.

And the slides can be found here.

Sunday, October 06, 2019

The centrality of pop music L3 Popular culture

How important is popular music to people ? See here:


Emploi du temps agrégation mis à jour

Voici l’emploi du temps de l’année entière, pour ceux et celles qui doivent s’organiser à l’avance. Il reste une dizaine d’heures à placer et l’EDT sera mis à jour dès que c’est fait. JM  Cliquez ici pour l’emploi du temps: 

Saturday, October 05, 2019

Thème M2/ Thème agrégation

Be careful not to make the same mistakes two weeks in a row! In a list, in English, you need to put "and" before the final item.

AND two sentences with main clauses may not normally be joined by a comma. A semi-colon is the minimum

Friday, October 04, 2019

L3 Popular culture and high culture: opera in the UK

Watch this video about an attempt to introduce opera to non-elite populations. The video is 25 minutes long.

The story is interesting, but try to get beneath it: what does it show about the dominant ideas in society? Nobody is standing outside opera houses trying to persuade people that they need to discover hiphop!

The video is here 

L3 Popular culture : social and political background

You will find below the PowerPoint of the first two classes, which dealt with social and political background.

Over the next few days there will be more posts, with things to read and do before we next see each other.

The PowerPoint is here.

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Information L3 anglais-allemand

Quelqu'un m'a posé la question sur l'examen. Les étudiants en L3 anglais-allemand auront bien un sujet séparé, différent, lors de l'examen de janvier, traitant, bien sûr, de civilisation britannique.

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

Le passé dans le présent, mais aussi Captain Cook


Inlcuded in this article is the answer to the question: when did the British authorities in Nez Zealand recruit their first advisor on Maori affairs?

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Wednesday morning

At 9am there are two classes. Traductology for the agreg interne, and thème in préfabriqué 1 for thé externe.