Thursday, November 28, 2019

L3 popular culture - resources on popular music

Here is an article on British popular music in the 1970s. It is entitled

"What Has Popular Music Ever Done for Us? Pleasure, Identity and Role Play in UK Pop Music in the 1970s" and tries to examine some questions which are not easy.  If we look at the history, we know that punk arrived in the 1970s, rap arrived in Britain 15 years or so later. But is it possible to say why?


And this very important documentary traces the history of the genre "progressive rock" in Britain. This is an important genre because it tended to challenge the distinction between popular culture and high culture. (About 15% of the documentary is not visible on Youtube, but you can see enough to follow the main points).


Finally, a note about the links I put on this blog. Over the semester I have put about fifteen links to articles and videos. these will be useful for you to find examples to illustrate your answers in the exam. To repeat what I said about tests and exams - both the classroom test in December, and the January exam (if it turns out to be about British civilisation) will ask very general questions,  so that you have quite a bit of freedom as to how to illustrate and justify your answer. Of course, if you have more and better examples than everyone else, you will get a good mark.

L3 Popular culture - first class on 20th century British popular music

You will find here the MP3 recording of the first class on 20th century popular music genres.

The slides will be available on this blog later, when I have got through more of them in class.

There will be more popular music reading and links later today on this blog.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

The past in the present

Every single day there seems to be an example in the https://www.theguardian.com/education/2019/nov/27/bronze-cockerel-to-be-returned-to-nigeria-by-cambridge-college

réunion d'information

Pour les étudiants de L3,  Master, agrégation:

Partir à l'étranger pour travailler en tant que lecteur:

Réunion d'information

Mercredi 4 décembre 2019 à 12h30 en salle A316

Contact: cecile.fouache@univ-rouen.fr

Monday, November 25, 2019


1) Attention. A l’approche de l’hiver il y a de très méchantes gastros qui se promènent.
2) A cause de 1) je serai absent demain et mercredi.
3) Pour qu’on continue à avancer, Je mettrai sur ce blog de la lecture etc concernant chacun des cours.
4) Faites passer l’information.

Friday, November 22, 2019

A little more contemporary UK art

In this article from a few years back


Le passé dans le présent... et la campagne éléctorale actuelle

"The past in the present" is not an abstract concern: it is entering into the present electoral campaign. How will Indians living in Britain vote? Might they be influenced by the attitude of party leaders to past massacres ? This article is from an Indian newspaper:


And this is the 1919 event they are referring to 


Thursday, November 21, 2019

Devoir maison deadline MEEF M1

I know you are busy people, but I will have to be inflexible with the 15th December deadline for the homework assignment.

This is because I want to go over the dossier and discuss suggestions about it in the class on the 18th  December. Obviously I can't accept homework assignements after that!

L3 Popular Culture: Reggae Britannia

In class I have concentrated on genre values and constraints. Here is a very good documentary staking out the history of one particular musical  genre : Reggae in the UK


Document préparation m e e f

Some of you have not got the document (DM). It is here.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019


I thought I would start this afternoon's  class with some information about the upcoming election. So do prepare questions.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Captain Cook agrégation anglais 2020 option civilisation post 31 Timewatch: Cook the Man

Quite a number of the videos  and articles I have been recommending deal with quite specific aspects of Cook, his history and the commemorations. This is a much more general one, a summary of Cook's voyage from a fairly traditional point if view, but very well put together:


The video opens up a whole series of historical and historiographical questions, but also is a clear summary of part of Cook' s life.

Thème agrégation: This week's translation

We'll just end at the word "palais".

Sunday, November 17, 2019

More news about Banksy

This week, news about one of Banksy's works is again provoking reflectiion about what art does, and what the art market is for. See here:


Saturday, November 16, 2019

La Revue française de civilisation britannique

The main journal for British Studies in France (although there are others which are almost as good) can be found here 


L3 popular culture- visual art

You will find here the MP3 recording of the second class on visual art in Britain since 1945.

All the visual art slides  are here.

M1 seminar week 2 of writing the history of the First World War

You will find here a recording in MP3 of the second class.

The slides  will come later, when I have got to the end of the PowerPoint.

Here you will find an article about the role and activities of the Church of England during the First World War.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

M1 MEEF scheduling

Remember there will be a class on Wednesday 18th December. This will be at the same time as you rusual weekly class, but not in the same room. It will be in A400.

L3 popular culture - scheduling

Remember there will be a class on Tuesday  17th December. This will be at the same time as your class is every week, but in a different room : it will be in A400.

MEEF Utopies etc

Voici des videos. Documentaires, conférences etc.



Chartism again

MEEF migrations

Thank you to the person who reminded me that I had forgotten to put on line resources connected with the history of migration to Britain, after the classes I gave on this in October.

The PowerPoint is here.

You can find here recordings of a generally similar class I gave last year (history of immigration)

And here recordings of a class on the history of racism and antiracism.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

The Industrial revolution

An excellent BBC documentary on the Industrial revolution. Indispensable, and very interesting.


Captain Cook agrégation anglais 2020 option civilisation post 29: online journal

The journal of Cook's first expedition is available online.
You can find it here: http://southseas.nla.gov.au/journals/cook/contents.html 

Although you need the Penguin edition, which is shorter, and which is the version which will be used for the agrégation exam, the online version is very useful because you can seach for any key word you wish, and this makes a thematic exploration of the journal far easier.

MEEF M1 Devoir maison

I will be giving you at this afternoon's class (remember it begins at 5.30 pm) your "devoir maison". You have until 15th December to send it to me by mail to john.mullen [:/at:/]  univ-rouen.fr . No handwritten work, please.

Saturday, November 09, 2019

Captain Cook agrégation 2020 option civilisation post 28 .

This website https://www.bl.uk/the-voyages-of-captain-james-cook/articles

Is on the British Library website, and gives you plenty of reading matter, from a number of points of view.

L3 Visual Art in Britain since 1945

You will find here the recording of the first class on visual art.

Keywords: lecture, podcast, visual art, United Kingdom,  Lowry, Emin, Moore, Hepworth, Bacon, Freud

M1 Writing the history of the First World War: introduction to historiography

You will find here (in PDF) an example of a historical article on the cultural history of the First World War. Not the sources, the corpus, the questions, the assumptions, the objectives, the methods etc.

Just click here

You will find here the recording of the first seminar on writing the history of the First World War - useful for revision purposes.

Just click here

The accompanying slides are here.

M1 MEEF Some British scientists

Isaac Newton Charles Darwin Caroline Herschel Mary Anning Francis Crick Rosalind Franklin Stephen Hawking.

The slides are here

And the MP3 podcast of the class is here

Friday, November 08, 2019

MEEF Revising British history

One of my colleagues has put online  a list of podcasts which might be useful to revise your British history and civilization (although you can also scroll back months and years on this blog to listen to past classes on different centuries which I have given).

Dr Brailowsky's list is here


Agrégation : cours restitution mardi matin

Le cours de M Morel sera en A409.

Thursday, November 07, 2019

The Shock of the New

For L3, or indeed anyone who is interested. I don't know how much you all learned in school or at home about modern art and the history of modern art, but this TV series from 20 years or so ago is a very accessible introduction to the subject. Here is episode one

Captain Cook agrégation anglais 2020 option civilisation post 27: Controversy in New Zealand

Captain Cook is in the news, as a replica of his original ship tours New Zealand exactly 250 years after his first visit there.

This short news video shows people who are pleased with the commemoration, and others who are protesting against it, partly because of the people who were killed when Cook first arrived. This video also allows you to hear splendid New Zealand accents.


Notes for MEEF M1 students

First of all an administrative question. I have been informed that next week on the 13th , some of you have to go to a lecture at the ESPE. Because of this, the British civilisation class will last only one hour - from 5.30pm to 6.30pm. If you are also in my First World War seminar, I am afraid that this will go ahead without you, and you will have to find out, from my MP3 recording on the blog for example, what was said.

Secondly, I will be preparing your homework assignement and you will have all the information about it over the next week or so.

Thirdly, I was rather concerned that many of you do not know key dates in British history (in particular in connection with immigration). The 12 or so dates in the PowerPoint I showed you a few weeks are the absolute minimum, on this issue, which you need to know. Make some lists of dates and learn them!

Monday, November 04, 2019

Agrégation externe rapport

Le rapport du jury de l'agrégation externe d'anglais vient de paraître. Vous pouvez le trouver sur le site de la SAES


Most of the comments, and in particular the essay on the text commentary, will be also very useful indeed for those who are only taking the agrégation interne.

Thème class Wednesday morning

Since I understand you have an even more dense timetable this week than usual, we will finish my class on Wednesday 15 minutes earlier, just to allow you to breathe.

Captain Cook agrégation anglais 2020 option civilisation post 27

If you are on Facebook why not follow or join the Captain Cook society page?


L3 popular culture - theory part two

You will find here the recording of the second class on the theory of popular culture, including a discussion of some of the ideas of Bourdieu, Williams and Hebdige.

And you will find the slides here.

These  are complex ideas, and listening to the class again is probably a good idea. If there is anyone out there thinking of doing a master's dissertation (research or MEEF) on some aspect of popular culture, they would particularly need to understand this stuff.


L'UTLC (Université de toutes les cultures) accueillera le mardi 12 novembre à 18h Sylvie Octobre pour une conférence intitulée "Les transformations des rapports à la culture des jeunes".
Sylvie Octobre est sociologue, chargée d’études au Département des études, de la prospective et des statistiques du ministère de la Culture.

La conférence se déroulera à la Maison de l'Université. Entrée libre et gratuite.

L3 Popular Culture the rest of the semester

As we begin  this week looking at visual art in Britain since 1945, watch this short video which I will refer to in class.

(Just click here)

Here is what will probably be the programme for the rest of the semester:

5 nov visual art 1
12 nov visual art 2
19 nov music 1
26 nov music 2
6 décembre music 3
10 décembre: Devoir sur table.

17 décembre: summing up and indispensable information for the January exam.

Note on the classroom test 10 décembre. The subject will be either a short text commentary or an essay (une mini-dissertation en fait). You have only 90 minutes.
Because of the large number of people in the two L3 groups I am teaching, there are always one or two people who are absent at the classroom test, for good reasons. The only solution if you are absent for whatever reason, is to take the second session exam in June.

Sunday, November 03, 2019

Thème agrégation

It is a good time to revise those structures where one person is involved in another person's action. Make sure you have grasped the difference between these random sentences.

Her boss made her have her hair cut.
Her boss had her have her hair cut.
Her boss got her to have her hair cut.

Some of the following are more likely than others:
I'll have my secretary phone them.
I'll make my secretary phone them.
I'll get my secretary to phone them.

He had his team have the flat repapered...