Sunday, December 31, 2023

L3 - the Tuesday group . Lots of good marks

Thank you for your cooperation in this class. I love the history of the BBC and I enjoyed teaching it (it was my last time for the BBC).

Friday, December 29, 2023



A lot of good marks. And I enjoyed working with you. If I understand correctly, there are four possible scenarios. 1. You recently won the lottery and are now very rich and can buy a diploma somewhere else 2. You got a pass mark, ten or over: well done!. 3. You didn’t get a pass mark, but some other mark you got was good enough to compensate. 4. You need to take the second exam, towards the end of January, learn some dates, grammar and methodology, and get a pass mark that way.
Have a good New Year in any case. 

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Within the next four days or so

 L2 and L3 marks will appear here, identified by first name.

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

M1 MEEF methodology

The comment I write most often on scripts:

"You must structure your work around the documents".

You will find here a previous year's work with a very detailed commentary on mistakes and methodology:


Last classes before Christmas

 My classes today.

13h30 Listening comprehension Agrégation ( this is an interne class but externe people are welcome) A402

17h30 M1 MEEF civilisation britannique F307

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

M2 mini-dossiers on the 1970s

 You must send me your mini dossiers, after having re-read them with extreme care to eliminate all  English mistakes and typing errors to john dot mullen at univ hyphen rouen dot fr, by the 12th of January.

Saturday, December 16, 2023

Agrégation interne - les salles de la semaine


- pour la semaine 14, salles pour les cours d’Agrégation :


mardi 19/12 :

- 11h-13h : Yves Gardes (Fitzgerald) : T107

- 14h-16h : Yohann Lucas (Méthodologie) : A402

- 16h-18h : Yohann Lucas (EU et Amérique latine) : A402

mercredi 20/12 :

- 11h-13h : A. Bécue (Traductologie) : A402

- 13h30-15h : John Mullen (Compré et thème oral) : A402

- 15h-17h : Claire Gheeraert (Puritanism) : A402

- 17h-19h : Charles Mignot (Explication de faits de langue) : A507 (I think this may have been changed)

Thème agrégation

 Thank you for your scripts.

I will be looking at them in (even) more detail than I normally do for your translations. The best would be if we spent most of the first class of 2024, on the 10th January , looking at this passage. 

Friday, December 15, 2023

MEEF M1 Homework assignment

 On me dit que vous avez beaucoup cette semaine. J'accepterai donc des homework assignments jusqu'au 2 janvier.


Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Last week - seminar M2 1970s

Séminaire M2 1970s

I am sorry that Covid has stopped me from being present for our final seminar. This means I have been unable to join the move and bring my cuddly toy, Alex (see below).

In the last seminar I was going to continue examining the 1970s and what it means to study the social and cultural history of the 1970s in the UK. In the timeline I had got up to 1976. The second half of this video


and the whole of this video


show me going through the last four years of the decade. Each of these videos is half an hour long, and they were produced a couple of years back when Covid was stopping teaching from happening in physical presence.

I also wanted to show you a long extract from this excellent programme, which looks at what it was like being Black in the Uk in the 1970s.


Finally, last year’s group were very interested in this video about a group of feminists, who were not typical (the women’s movement was made up of a large number of different currents or initiatives), but who were influential.


Concerning your homework assignments, someone asked me how they should be structured. Well, you may choose how you do this, but a standard structure might be.

- What my question is and why I think it is important

- What the publication I am working on was, its main characteristics and importance.

- What other people have already said about this specific question

- What  I found in my primary sources

- How what I found compares with what I expected to find.


I am not expecting you to have any major problems.


Monday, December 11, 2023

Examens etc

 Please do not send me emails asking for your marks. Information will be available here as soon as there is any.

informations officielles étudiants en licence

Les examens « deuxième chance » commencent le 15 janvier. Le premier semestre se termine le 25 janvier.

Chères étudiants et chers étudiants,

Alors que votre semestre se termine, et que vous recevrez d'ici à 15 jours le calendrier des examens de janvier 2024 et, dans les prochaines semaines, vos dernières notes de CC, nous souhaitons vous apporter des informations sur le fonctionnement des épreuves de seconde chance et sur les règles de compensation, à l'échelle du semestre et de l'année.

- Les règles de passage de la Seconde chance sont les mêmes que l'an dernier :
1) vous devez d'abord vous assurer que vous avez la moyenne dans chacune de vos 5 UE (3 fondamentales, 1 transversale et 1 optionnelle).
2) Si vous n'avez pas la moyenne à une UE, vous repassez uniquement la/les matière/s où vous n'avez pas la moyenne dans l'UE concernée.
3) Si vous devez repasser plusieurs matières dans une même UE, vous verrez que certaines matières font l'objet d'un tirage au sort alors que d'autres doivent toutes êtres repassées : à vous de vérifier ce qu'il en sera dans votre cas.
4) A l'inverse, si vous avez obtenu la moyenne à une UE en ayant une note inférieure à la moyenne dans une de ses matières, vous ne pouvez pas repasser cette matière puisque la note inférieure à 10 aura été compensée par l'autre matière supérieure à 10 dans l'UE. Il n'est donc pas possible d'améliorer une note inférieure à 10 dans une UE validée à 10 et plus. Il n'est d'ailleurs pas possible d'améliorer aucune note dans une UE une fois que celle-ci est validée par compensation entre les matières.
5) Du fait de la double moyenne (voir ci-dessous), vous devez avoir la moyenne, avec (ou sans) compensation (total de 10/20) aux trois UE fondamentales/disciplinaires cumulées (UE 1, 2 et 3).

- Vous ne recevrez pas de convocation pour les examens de seconde chance : vous devez donc vous fier aux notes que vous aurez obtenues ce semestre et vous présenter aux épreuves en respectant les règles énoncées ci-dessus.

- Nous vous conseillons vivement de repasser les matières des UE fondamentales où vous n'auriez pas la moyenne, même si vous pensez avoir la moyenne compensée aux 3 UE disciplinaires : cela vous permettra d'obtenir la meilleure moyenne possible à ce semestre et de compenser la moyenne de votre semestre 2 si elle était un peu moins bonne qu'escomptée. Vous ne risquez rien à repasser une matière inférieure à 10 (dans une UE non-validée) puisque le jury garde la meilleure des deux notes entre la moyenne du CC et la note de seconde chance.

- La validation de chaque semestre fonctionne avec le système de la double moyenne (à calculer après la Seconde chance pour ceux qui la passent). Pour savoir si vous avez bien obtenu la double moyenne :
1) vous devez d'abord vérifier que vous avez la moyenne aux trois UE fondamentales (UE 1, 2 et 3 : elles ont le même coefficient),
2) puis vous vérifierez que vous avez la moyenne à l'ensemble des 5 UE du semestre (les 5 UE ont le même coefficient).
Si vous avez cette double moyenne, vous avez validé votre semestre 1. Si ce n'est pas le cas, vos résultats du semestre 2 pourront également compenser la/les moyennes manquante/s du ce semestre 1.

- A l'issue du semestre 2, pour savoir si vous avez obtenu votre année, vous devrez vérifier que vous avez la moyenne compensée entre les deux semestres en appliquant de nouveau la règle de la double moyenne.
Cette règle dite de la double moyenne fonctionne à l'échelle de chaque semestre ainsi qu'à l'échelle de l'année. Il ne s'agit donc pas seulement d'avoir la moyenne compensée entre les 10 UE de l'année : si vous n'avez pas la moyenne aux 6 UE fondamentales de l'année, votre année ne pourra pas être intégralement validée.
Pour obtenir votre année, il vous faut donc avoir la moyenne (compensée) sur les 6 UE fondamentales du S1 et du S2 ainsi que la moyenne aux 10 UE qui composent votre S1 et votre S2 (d'où la notion de "double" moyenne).

- Un étudiant peut refaire plusieurs fois une même année. Il peut aussi être à cheval (AJAC) sur deux années consécutives (L1-L2 et L2-L3). Dans ce cas, quand des épreuves d'examens des deux années se chevauchent, vous devez composer en priorité dans les épreuves de l'année dite "inférieure" (la L1 quand vous êtes AJAC L1-L2, la L2 quand vous êtes AJAC L2-L3).

- Il n'y a plus de session de rattrapage pour les deux semestres au mois de juin puisque chaque session de rattrapage (dite "de seconde chance") se tient à la fin de chaque semestre. Vous rattrapez donc votre S1 (uniquement) dans la session de seconde chance de janvier 2024 et vous rattrapez votre S2 (uniquement) dans la session de juin 2024.

Florence Cabaret et Cécile Vallée
Co-directrices du Département d'études anglophones

Saturday, December 09, 2023

Classes canceled

 Mes cours du mercredi 13 décembre sont tous annulés cause Covid.

Je mettrai sur ce blog dans quelques jours des éléments utiles pour vous.

Thursday, December 07, 2023

Homework assignment MEEF M1

 A few technical points. Any typeface you wish. Please send work in doc or odt format.

The length of the work is for you to decide. It should resemble a script for a real capes exam, which you would have spent several hours on.

For the structure: there are many good structures possible.

*BUT* remember the instructions «  Compare and contrast these documents », and make sure the question «  What is each of these documents trying to do » takes an important place. It is not absolutely necessary to have  the words « these documents «  in the title of each section, but if they were, that would show you were following the instructions. Try to answer questions like

How do these documents illustrate……?
What are the main differences in the contexts which produced each of these documents ?
How do the objectives of each of these documents differ?

john dot mullen at univ-rouen.fr

Saturday, December 02, 2023

 http://johncmullen.blogspot.com/2023/11/theme-last-passage-of-2023.html?m=0 note

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Dictionaries in exam

 I gave wrong information in class. In the civilisation exam, noone may bring dictionaries. In translation exams, if your first language is, say, Italian, you may bring a French-Italian translation dictionary only.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Suggested commentary on speech by Tony Benn (p 16)


There are many different ways of doing a good text commentary on this passage – this is just one.

It is important to bear in mind that the purpose of the exam is to evaluate the series of the classes on the history of the BBC. If you do not show you know the history, it is impossible to succeed in the exam.


This passage is an extract from a speech by Tony Benn. Tony Benn was a Member of Parliament and here is speaking to the people of the town he represents. It is not an electoral speech – there was to be no election for some time : rather it is made up of general reflections on the role of public service broadcasting in a modern society.

Tony Benn was a leader of the left wing of the Labour Party, and so we would expect his priorities to be public service and working-class people, and, as we shall see, a criticism of elitism will be made in this speech.

By 1968, television was becoming ever more common in ordinary homes, as radio had been for some decades. Since 1964, there had been three television channels – two run by the BBC and one commercial channel making its money from advertising, while the BBC had a monopoly on radio broadcasting. At the time Benn speaks, then, the BBC controls most broadcasting in the country, a situation very different from that of today.

Benn begins by explaining what he is not doing. He is not defending the idea of direct government control of the BBC or other broadcasting, (l2) and he is not, in this speech looking at the question of whether the BBC favours one political party too much (l4). At this time, direct government control of the media was a characteristic of Eastern Bloc countries known as « communist » : it is no doubt because Benn has some communist ideas that he is keen to underline that he does not support such direct control.

Tony Benn deals, in the rest of the article, mostly with two questions about broadcasting which have always been important when looking at the BBC. He looks at the question of elitism concerning presence on air – do we always hear only elite people on the radio and the TV ?  And he also considers the treatment of news and current affairs – is it not slanted and distorted by particular priorities ? Both of these questions are connected to a major topic in discussions about the BBC : who does the corporation serve ? Is it really « for the people » as Hendy suggests it can be in his People’s History of the BBC  ? Or it the BBC part of the establishment, and essentially serving the interests of the elite ?

The first of these questions – elitism – has often been at the centre of conversations about the BBC. People have sometimes considered elitist the concentration, especially before the Second World War, on high culture, and a distaste for popular culture. But here Benn looks at a related question – why does it seem that we alway hear the same voices on the BBC ? Before 1939, there was even a committee whose job was to survey radio and make sure that regional or working class accents were not broadcast. John Reith’s opinion was that ordinary people should not be heard on air.

Throughout the history of the BBC there have been people who, like Benn, considered it essential to make a wide selection of popular voices available on air. Olive Shapley’s work on documentaries, or Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger’s radio ballads were examples of this, as were some of the best known productions for « The Wednesday Play », where working class people were at the centre of the stories.

The second question of what influences the « angle » or the viewpoint of news has also been much discussed (lines 45 to 49 and elsewhere). Benn suggests that the personal touch of a small number of presenters, and the influence of audience figures (l 42), lead to important subjects being sensationalized and simplified, and some key subjects never being the subject of programmes (l40). He is worried about the future of BBC news and current affairs and suspects it will not carry out what he sees is its mission – to inform and educate citizens as widely as possible.

Although Benn expresses these criticisms of the BBC, he does so at the same time as recognizing that the BBC has been an immense success (lines 19-23). As John Reith had planned from the beginning, it has been a major force in informing, education and entertaining countless millions of people. Finally, Benn suggests that a fourth aim be added to the three mentioned in the official aims of the BBC in its royal charter : he suggests that helping people adapt to rapid social change should be a priority, too (l13).  It is not clear if he is speaking mostly of technological change, which has been accelerating for many decades, or if he is referring to social change – attitudes to women, or to ethnic and sexual  minorities, for example. In either case, the BBC has certainly made important contributions. Its computer literacy project in the early 1980s or its production of numerous science documentaries could be taken as examples of helping adapt to technological change. The BBC was also very much involved in the Open University. As for social change, the BBC programmes for immigrants from the 1960s on, the founding of the Asian Network on radio, or the attempts to encourage equal treatment for homosexuals through their representation on Eastenders or other shows, might be mentioned


 A little behind schedule this week. Last corrections later Today.

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Thème : last passage of 2023

 I am in the process of working through your translations of the passage by Kerangal. Note that for the last passage of 2023, by Silvain, I will not be able to comment on your translations. We will simply work through it in class on the 6th.  The following passages I should be able, once again, to comment on by mail.

Thursday, November 23, 2023

The BBC from the 1980s

 You will find here the MP3 recording of the tenth class in the series on the history of the BBC.

Just click here

And the accompanying slides are here 

There will be more important material on the BBC ont his blog in a few days's time.

M1 MEEF Ireland - first class

 You will find here the Mp3 recording of the first class on Ireland.

Just click here 

And the accompanying slides are here 

I am sure noone has forgotten that the homework assignment is due on the 18th December.

Just click here

Linking words/mots de liaison

 Students may be interested to see this article, which I wrote  32 years ago!


Monday, November 20, 2023

Room for M2 seminar Wednesday 22 November

 Cettse semaine, les salles pour mes autres cours n'ont pas changé, mais le séminaire M2 1970s aura lieu mercredi 15h30 en salle L306.

Sunday, November 19, 2023

The BBC - criticizing and reforming the BBC today

 Here is the MP3 recording of last week's class. It was mostly concerned with the BBC today and the criticism it faces concerning its news and current affairs output. We also covered in some details questions of funding, and the present policy of the Conservative government with regard to the BBC.

just click here

PS: this week we will be looking at the extract from the speech by Denis Potter

Sunday, November 12, 2023

All L3 students: speeches to study for L3 orals (civilisation)

 L3 students will know that in the second semester you will be following a series of classes about influential speeches from the last few centuries in the anglophone world. We will study context and analyze parts of the speeches in class, and then for the oral exam you will be asked to comment on a shortish extract.

These classes do not start until well into January. However, some serious students asked if they could see the documents we will be working on. Here they are

This booklet contains the first series of speeches.

This booklet contains the second series of speeches

M1 MEEF The UK Education system explained

 I am sure you remember that one of the themes on the programme for the CAPES is "école et société".

So you will have to have a working knowledge of the education system in some anglophone countries. In addition, your homework assignment this semester (see below) requires that you be familair with the UK system.

You will find here a recording of my lecture on the UK education system today (well, in 2022). It lasts just over an hour and a half.

Just click here.

And you will find the PowerPoint which illustrated it.

Just click here.

M2 seminar 2. Social and cultural change in the UK in the 1970s


You will find here the MP3 recording of the second seminar. The first part is instructions about the research paper/ « mini dossier ».

Just click here

The accompanying slides are here

The BBC in the years before the first Thatcher government


You will find here the MP3 recording of the class on the history of the BBC in the years before 1979.

Just click here.

The accompanying slides are here.

You will find here a recording of my comments about the text commentary concerning the 1968 speech by Tony Benn.

Just click here.

M1 MEEF homework assignment

Compare and contrast the following documents, showing how they shed light on change sin the UK education system.

This is your homework assignment, which you must send me by the 18th of December, and which is the marked exercise which counts for your first semester "civilisation britannique" module.

Just click here

I will post here very soon a recording about the UK education system which will help you, and we will be covering some of this in class. You will find on YouTube some useful videos about the history of UK education.

Rooms etc for this week


Rooms etc for this week


Mardi L2 10h30   F510

Mardi L3 13h30 L214


Mercredi Thème  9h F508

Mercredi L3 10h30 L207

Mercredi : séminaire M2. No class this week, the class will be replaced on December 13.

Mercredi M1 MEEF civi. No class this week. Watch this blog for further important  announcements, and your homework assignment (which you will have around a month to complete).

Montreal : the Basilica of Notre Dame


One of my favourite pastimes is visiting churches. Sometimes these are in anglophone places, so I occasionally share them here. Here is, from my other blog,  a church visit, from Montreal, which is a bilingual place. The Basilica of Notre Dame is pretty impressive.


Wednesday, November 08, 2023

Conférence (à Paris et en ligne)






Les Préraphaélites,

souffle nouveau sur l’art victorien


Gérard Hocmard

Professeur de Chaire supérieure honoraire


LUNDI 20 NOVEMBRE 2023 à 18 h 00 (accueil à partir de 17 h 45)

Lycée Henri IV, 23 rue Clovis, 75005 Paris


Inscription obligatoire pour assister à la conférence sur place.

Une preuve de votre inscription vous sera envoyée la veille, elle devra être présentée à l’entrée du lycée avec votre pièce d’identité.

Demande d’inscription à envoyer à : afgb.resa-conf@orange.fr


Lien Zoom pour une connexion en visio-conférence :