Thursday, April 30, 2020

agrégation anglais 2020 option civilisation James Cook. Post 49: the Australian Prime Minister

Exactly 250 years ago this week, James Cook and his ship arrived in Australia. Understandably, the commemoration is politically controversial. This is what the Australian Prime Minister said this week.

Agrégation 2021 civilisation britannique la BBC et l’audiovisuel public 122-1995 Post three : Popular Music (1)

Agrégation 2021 civilisation britannique la BBC et l’audiovisuel public 122-1995 Post three : Popular Music (1)

Much university work on television has been about news and documentary, political bias, agenda setting and so on, which are indeed important subjects. Yet television transformed public views of many other aspects of culture, and the BBC’s very gradual move away from rigid elitism can be seen in many of the changes brought about in broadcasting. Let us take the case of popular music. This television programme from October 1960 – Juke Box Jury – shows a series of prejudices against popular music, and indeed against working class people in general,  I think.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Captain Cook agrégation anglais 2020 option civilisation britannique post 47 publication of journal on the voyages of James Cook

I am delighted to announce the publication (free online) of the journal Astrolabe. Its latest issue is about the travels of James Cook, and how he is viewed 250 years afterwards. My own article, on "Shared history" and "the performance of privilege" around the 250th anniversary, is one of the items. Just click here 


Monday, April 27, 2020

Agrégation anglais 2021 tronc commun civilisation britannique la BBC 1922-1995 post two

I am beginning to prepare the question of the BBC. As people who have followed me on other agrégation questions will know, I tend to post a large number of posts as I slowly discover different aspects of the question. Frequently I give links to videos or articles which you will find useful. So subscribe to the blog if you wish, or come back often.

You will find here a TV programme from some time ago, made for the BBC, about racism on UK television. Many of the programmes mentioned are BBC programmes. This documentary was broadcast rather late at night.


Long live the BBC!

Lockdown can be a chance to discover new things online. The BBC podcasts collection has thousands of extremely varied programmes to listen to when you wish. Here is a tiny selection – if you like one, try the rest of the series from that same programme ! Cinéma https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000hgj1

Celebrities, their lives and their favourite music https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000gc48

The mathematics of everyday life https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p08bf1kd

Woman’s hour https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000hmzg

Some of the best topical comedy in the world https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0896ybq

Inside science https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b036f7w2/episodes/downloads

History through objects https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00v73z9

Biography https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000hfyp

Direct from british hospitals today https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000hfy2

Issues of faith and religion https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000ckvz

Discussing history https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000d8rv

Discussing poetry https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000cc0r

Popular history https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000dy5z

Discussing popular music https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000dgxx

More discussing popular music https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03jznqt

Friday, April 24, 2020

Agrégation anglais 2021 tronc commun civilisation, la BBC 1922-1995, post one

Those who are planning on taking the agrégation in 2021 will perhaps have noticed that the new question on "civilisation britannique" is out, and concerns the history of the BBC. The framework document (texte de cadrage) is here:


I will be posting here regularly links and information concerning this question - most frequently links to videos, but also to other useful elements as publications and academic conferences and seminars take up the challenge of exploring the history of this very impressive institution, a history which is multiform and includes the institutional, the political, the economic, the social and the cultural. Here are some initial ideas for reading, and a few videos. this list was put together by myself and a colleague from Toulon.

La BBC et le service public de l’audiovisuel, 1922-1995
Premiers repères bibliographiques
Nous avons surtout privilégié ce qui est facilement disponible en ligne, confinement oblige.
John Mullen, Frédéric Armao

Appia Henri et Cassen, Bernard, Presse, Radio et Télévision en Grande-Bretagne, Paris, Armand Collin, 1969.
Bignell, J., « The spaces of the Wednesday Play (BBC TV 1964–1970): production, technology and style », Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, 34 (3), 2014, pp. 369-389.  Disponible en ligne.
Briggs Asa, The Birth of Broadcasting, 1961. (Vol 1)  Disponible en ligne  https://www.americanradiohistory.com/UK/BBC-Books/Birth-of-Broadcasting-Briggs-Vol-1-1961.pdf
Briggs, Asa, « The Culture of the BBC: A Personal Appreciation », Revue LISA/LISA e-journal, http://journals.openedition.org/lisa/662
Briggs, Asa, – The BBC – the First Fifty Years – (Condensed version of the five-volume history by the same author), Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1985. 
Cottle, Simon, « Making ethnic minority programmes inside the BBC: professional pragmatics and cultural containment », Media, Culture and Society, April 1, 1998.
*Crisell, Andrew, An Introductory History of British Broadcasting, London, Routledge 1997 ou 2002 (ou éditions ultérieures)
Elstein, David, The political structure of UK broadcasting 1949-1999, Lüneburg: Meson press 2015. Livre disponible en ligne : https://mediarep.org/bitstream/handle/doc/1129/Elstein_2015_The_Political_Structure_of_UK_Broadcasting_1949-1999.pdf?sequence=1
Hendy, David, Life on air: a History of Radio Four, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2007.

Murphy, Kate, « From Women’s Hour to Other Women’s Lives: BBC talks for women and the women who made them, 1923-1939 » in Andrews, Maggie and McNamara, Sallie, Women and the Media: Feminism and Femininity in Britain, 1900 to the Present, Londres : Routledge, 2014. Disponible en ligne. http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/33052/3/Femininity%20and%20Feminism%20-%20final%20edit%203.pdf

Murphy, Kate, « A Marriage Bar of Convenience?  The BBC and Married Women’s Work 1923-1939 », Twentieth Century British History, 25, 2014. Disponible en ligne. http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/33051/3/BBC%20Marriage%20Bar%20-%20second%20revision%20-%20final.pdf
O’Malley, Tom, Closedown? The BBC and Government Broadcasting Policy, 1979-1992, Londres, Pluto Press, 1992.
Ruff, Daniel « Margaret Thatcher et la BBC : régulation ou manipulation ? », Revue LISA/LISA e-journal [En ligne], Vol. IV - n°3, 2006. https://journals.openedition.org/lisa/2047
Schaffer, Gavin « Till Death Us Do Part" and the BBC: Racial Politics and the British Working Classes 1965-75 », Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 45, No. 2, April 2010).
Schwyter Jürg R., Dictating to the Mob, the History of the BBC Advisory Committee on Spoken English, Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2016.
Skoog, Kristin, « Neither worker nor housewife but citizen: BBC's Woman's Hour 1946–1955 », Women's History Review, 2017. Disponible en ligne. http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/27408/1/Skoog-WHR-Neither%20worker%20nor%20housewife-Dec-2016-v1.pdf
Street, Sean, Crossing the Ether: Pre-War Public Service Radio and Commercial Competition in the UK, London, John Libbey, 2006. (La thèse doctorale sur laquelle cet ouvrage est basée est disponible gratuitement en ligne ici http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/393/1/Street,_Sean_Ph.D._2003.pdf)
Vallée, Cécile, « La propagande cachée sur les ondes de la BBC pendant la Seconde Guerre Mondiale : vers une héroïsation nationale », Revue LISA/LISA e-journal vol. IV - n°3, 2006. https://journals.openedition.org/lisa/2025
Viera, J.D. « Terrorism At The BBC: The IRA On British Television », Journal of Film and Video, Fall 1988.
Waymark, Peter Astley Grosvenor, Television and the Cultural Revolution: the BBC under Hugh Carleton Greene, 1960-1969, PhD thesis, The Open University, 2006. Disponible en ligne ici : https://oro.open.ac.uk/59754/1/424650.pdf

Documentaires en ligne
Manchester: the Early Days of Radio https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wxMGlQZ8No
Racism on TV in Great Britain (BBC2, 1979) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gy57O9ZMENA
Forty years of BBC Local Radio (BBC 4, 2017) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLQPIslTfAc
BBC TV News – the First Thirty Years (BBC2 1984) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13Og6bNzGnQ
The Story of Pop Radio (BBC Radio 1, 1983)

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Saint George's Day

It is Saint George's Day. The patron saint of England. The English do not generally make much of a fuss about the day (except occasionally the far right), but it did give rise to a fine folk song from Richard Thompson, one of the best folk singers in England.


The time has come for action
Leave your satisfaction
Can't you hear St. George's tune
When George's tune is calling you on?
Freedom was your mother
Fight for one another
Leave the factory, leave the forge
And dance to the new St. George
Don't believe pretenders
Who say they would defend us
While they flash their teeth and wave
The other hand is being paid
They choke the air and bleed us
These noble men who lead us
Leave the factory, leave the forge
And dance to the new St. George
The fish and fowl are ailing
The farmer's life is failing
Where are all the back room boys?
The back room boys can save us now
We're poisoned by the greedy
Who plunder on the needy
Leave the factory, leave the forge
And dance to the new St. George

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Industrial revolution

One of my colleagues pointed ou that you can watch free online now part one of "le temps des ouvriers", which speaks a lot about 18th and 19th century Britain. Click here


Biggest news in UK today

British comedy

In general this is rather an anxious and depressing time. But comedy is important, and some of the best in British comedy can be found in this podcast, The Now Show, from the BBC:


Monday, April 20, 2020

20 April: what the papers say

You can learn a lot about Britain from today's front pages. You will need a dictionary.

Sunday, April 19, 2020


I am sure you have followed more closely than I have, but this is what I understood.

Agrégation externe: the orals will take place before the summer holidays.

(So my remaining classes on James Cook will go ahead, beginning on 29th April as planned).

Agrégation interne: the orals will take place after the summer holidays.

(So concerning Home Rule, I am doing a few mock exams with individuals in April and May, but I will also try to schedule a class or two at the beginning of September.
Similarly I will try to schedule two or three more classes of compréhension orale then).

Thursday, April 16, 2020

M2 seminar 1970s mini-dossier

Tout le monde a des difficultés actuellement d'une sorte ou d'une autre.

La date limite pour le travail est repoussé au 20 mai 2020.

John Mullen

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Banque alimentaire

A destination des étudiants, notamment étrangers, confinés en Cité Universitaire et qui ne bénéficient plus du Restaurant Universitaire :

La Banque alimentaire assure chaque semaine 2 dépôts de nourriture à destination des étudiants :
- au Madrillet (Technopôle) devant la faculté des Sciences le mardi de 17h30 à 18h30.
- à Mont Saint Aignan, dans le local CCU (Spiritus) le mardi à partir de 17h30 et peut-être le jeudi en plus  (la semaine prochaine).

Actuellement sur le site de Mont-Saint Aignan 100 panier-repas (3-5 kg) sont distribués chaque semaine aux étudiants inscrits en début d'année ou en cours d'année.
La responsable de l'épicerie itinérante de la Banque alimentaire
ne sait pas encore si l'équipe va prendre de nouvelles inscriptions. Une centaine de repas distribués leur paraît un maximum pour le cubage de leur camionnette.

N'hésitez pas à faire suivre ce message aux étudiants concernés qui sont confinés en Cité Universitaire sans Restaurant Universitaire et qui ont perdu leur job étudiant.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

What the papers say on Saturday 10th April

Hope you are keeping well after more than three weeks confined. Today's British papers

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Etudiants de Rouen

Je souhaite à nouveau souhaiter bon courage à tous et à toutes. 

L'université a procédé à une enquête. On a trouvé que 850 sur les 6630 étudiant e s qui ont répondu sont confiné e s seul e s (et généralement dans un tout petit logement). 

Si vous trouvez un moment pour contacter des camarades  que vous pensez vivre seul e s, ce serait un super geste, même si vous ne les connaissez pas bien.

Il existe également des étudiants dans des situations dramatiques, sans revenu aucun. L'adresse mail 


permet de contacter le service social de l'université, qui peut vous aider. Ils ont déjà aidé beaucoup d'étudiants (bons supermarchés, prêts informatiques etc).

N'hésitez pas à faire circuler cette information.

Listening exercise

A very fine singer, John Prine, has just died. One of my colleagues, Dr Sowells, sent this message

"I have just discovered John Prine, who's now in heaven smoking his "9 mile cigarette". I hope you like it:


I've tried to make a listening exercise out of it for students, which you can find here:

https://cours.univ-paris1.fr/course/view.php?id=16037#section-2   "

National Health Service

The NHS is extremely popular in Britain. But what do you know about it? Here is a piece from Libération, in French 

Friday, April 03, 2020


In many places in France (in my building, for example), people clap every evening in support of the health workers. Here is something similar, but also different, in the UK


Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Agrégation, CAPES

Un message de la SAES

Chères et chers collègues,
Le président du jury de l'agrégation externe nous adresse ce message, ce dont nous le remercions vivement :

Le ministère a annoncé que « les concours nationaux initialement programmés pendant les mois d’avril et de mai de cette année 2020 sont reportés et seront réorganisés à partir de la fin du mois de mai. Les concours de recrutement de l'Éducation nationale devraient avoir lieu, sous réserve de l’évolution de la situation sanitaire, entre juin et juillet ».

Il est à noter que les épreuves d’admissibilité de l’agrégation externe se sont déroulées au mois de mars, avant la mise en place des mesures de confinement, et que les travaux de correction ont débuté.

L’objectif est de respecter dans la mesure du possible le calendrier prévu, même si de toute évidence aucune garantie ne peut être apportée à ce stade. La prudence voudrait que les candidats continuent à suivre les préparations aux épreuves d’admission, afin d’être prêts au cas où les oraux commenceraient bien le 8 juin 2020.

Bien à vous,
Emily Eells, pour le bureau de la SAES

April the first - what the papers say

I hope you and your families are safe and well.

Traditionally in Britain, the media print false stories as a joke on April the first. These can be quite sophisticated. Famously, in 1977, The Guardian printed a seven page supplement to celebrate the anniversary of the independence of San Seriffe. But in fact they had invented the existence of the country. Read the details here.

Previously, no doubt the most well-known example was the BBC news report on the Spaghetti harvest. You can watch it here


Today, with the crisis in progress, extravagant jokes might seem to be in bad taste. Nevertheless it may be that some stories in the news are untrue. Sadly, the ones we wish were not true are not jokes. Today's newspapers see the conservative Daily Mail (normally not a critic of Johnson) criticizing the government, and The Sun praising the role of the army in dealing with the crisis. We also see the light-hearted tradition of British tabloids, with a front page about seagulls.

Ressources pour étudiants en anglais

Un grand merci à mon collègue Nicholas Sowels qui a rassemblé ces ressources.