Saturday, September 30, 2023

Conférences sur la civilisation britanniques, en français, en ligne.


Conférences disponibles en ligne

 Le Centre de recherches en civilisation britannique, en collaboration avec l’Association France-Grande-Bretagne organise des conférences régulières à Paris sur des grandes questions de la société britannique. Les conférences suivantes sont disponibles sur YouTube:

 Virginie Roiron : Le Commonwealth – relique impériale ou organisation internationale d’avenir ?

Le Commonwealth - Relique impériale ou organisation internationale d'avenir - YouTube

 Nathalie Duclos « Le Royaume désuni ? Les Quatre nations au XXIe siècle »

Le Royaume désuni? Conférence de Natalie Duclos, octobre 2022 - YouTube

 John Mullen «La BBC : cent ans de service public?»

 Cent ans de la BBC - YouTube

 Roger Brown « Inequality in the UK »

Inequalities in the UK. Pr Roger Brown - YouTube

 Vincent Latour « Multiculturalisme, diversité et immigration au Royaume-Uni, de 1945 à la nomination de Rishi Sunak ».

« Immigration, diversité et multiculturalisme au Royaume-Uni 1945-2023» - YouTube

 Philippe Chassaigne «Quelle monarchie pour le Royaume-Uni après Elizabeth II?»

"Quelle Monarchie après le décès de la reine Elisabeth?" conférence de Philippe Chassaigne - YouTube


Friday, September 29, 2023

Evènement Amérique latine

 Ce message intéressera les agrégatifs dans vos établissements.

Pour rappel, l'Institut des Amériques proposera son 2ème séminaire Perspectives TransAméricaines, mardi prochain (3 octobre) à 17h autour d'une des questions au programme de l'agrégation d'anglais:

Les relations États-Unis/Amérique latine de FD Roosevelt à Barack Obama (1933-2017)

Coordination scientifique : Françoise Le Jeune (Nantes Université)

Interventions : Isabelle Vagnoux (Aix-Marseille Université ) et Olivier Compagnon (IHEAL)

Discutante : Cléa Fortuné (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle)


L'inscription est obligatoire pour recevoir le lien zoom:

Bien cordialement.
Françoise Le Jeune
co-responsable du séminaire Perspectives TransAméricaines
Institut des Amériques

Westminster Abbey

 If you enjoyed the blog visit to St Paul's Cathedral, You will also want to see this visit to Westminster Abbey:


Thursday, September 28, 2023

MEEF M1 British history: Reformation, civil war, industrial revolution: podcast and slides

 You will find here the Mp3 recording of this week's class:

Just click here

And here are the slides that go with:

Just click here

BBC podcast and slides. The BBC and the Second World War

 You will find here the Mp3 recording of this week's class.

Just click here

And the accompanying slides

Just click here

Further reading

You will find here an article from one of my colleagues, Cécile Vallée (who you no doubt know) on the BBC and propaganda in the Second World War. The article is in French.

Just click here

The right to vote - key dates

1832 Reform Act

1867 Second Reform Act

1884 Third Reform Act 

and it was 1918 The Representation of the People Act, which finally gave the vote to all men,  and also to women over the age of thirty.


The UK finally becomes more seriously democratic in 1928, when the Equal Franchise Act gives the vote to all adults, irrespective of gender

Sunday, September 24, 2023

St. Paul's cathedral in London

 Did you know there were four cathedrals in London? I visited the most famous one a few weeks ago (Westminster Abbey is not a cathedral...) If you want to know a little more about  St Paul's, and see lots of photos, you can visit one of my other blogs, here:


Saturday, September 23, 2023

Roman Britain: debate continues

 "The past is never dead, it's not even past, said William Faulkner allegedly. Even something as far away as Roman Britain is reevaluated and re-examined regularly. Here is a recent article showing this.

Mary Beard is right, Roman Britain was multi-ethnic – so why does this upset people so much? (theconversation.com) 

BBC text commentary - what can Artificial Intelligence do?

 Here is the first section of the passage we looked at in class last week.  I asked Chat TGP to write a commentary. As you will  below, it successfully understood and summarized the passage. This is impressive. However, it did not show it knew about John Reith and his ideas and personality as reflected in the text, it did not show it knew about  what were the conflicts and events around 1928, and it did not speculate about the use of the flag metaphor.. Finally, it paraphrases too much, and did not pursue further the idea of public service and its meaning in the 1920s or later.

Introduction to the B.B.C. Handbook (1928)


(…) One trusts that the reader will be able to say of this retrospect of five years’ Broadcasting activity that it has steered a reasonable middle course between philosophic neutrality and over-emotiveness without falling into self-satisfaction. Setting aside such factors as an astonishing expansion and development, the ramifications of a vast and far-flung organisation with all its interests and complexities of administration, there remains for review the things which are less readily comprehended but certainly more material.

One is sensible, sometimes, of an inclination on the part of several critics to wonder why it is necessary or desirable to insist, to the extent that it is done, and so often as it is done, upon public service as the keynote of the work. Is there not some risk, it may be said, of the phrase becoming a formula of vain repetition, a surrender to complacency? The answer definitely is in the negative. At the beginning it was an assertion – in view of the state of things in America, a very necessary assertion – of the position that it was intended to take up, a flag to hoist over claimed territory. As time went on, it flew as a flag to which allegiance was expected of and given by a staff of men and women of widely varied outlook and abilities, and at moments it was waved with some vigour in public. And now, like any other flag, it has fixed itself so thoroughly in the spirit that parade of it on ordinary occasions may well be regarded as bad taste.


The excerpt you provided is from the "Introduction to the B.B.C. Handbook" published in 1928. This document reflects on the first five years of broadcasting activity and addresses the critics' perception of the emphasis on public service as the guiding principle of the work. The author acknowledges the expansion and complexities of the organization but highlights the importance of reviewing less readily comprehended aspects that hold greater significance.

The author responds to the criticism of overemphasizing public service by stating that it was initially necessary to assert this position, particularly in contrast to the state of broadcasting in America. Over time, the idea of public service became ingrained in the spirit of the organization, and it was upheld by a diverse staff. The author suggests that the constant display of the public service flag could now be seen as inappropriate, as it has become an integral part of their work.

This document indicates the author's intention to strike a balance between neutrality and emotionalism while avoiding self-satisfaction. It emphasizes the significance of public service and addresses concerns regarding its repetition. To provide a comprehensive university-level text commentary, further analysis and exploration of the context, historical significance, and potential impact of this document would be needed.

Friday, September 22, 2023

History of the BBC: the 1930s: Podcast and PowerPoint

 You will find here the recording of a class on the BBC in the 1930s, and how it navigated an era of crisis, poverty and fascism.

Just click here

And here are the corresponding slides:

Just click here

M1 MEEF : The Middle Ages in Britain, and the Reformation as far as Elizabeth. Podcast and PowerPoint

 You will find here a recording (MP3) of Wednesday's class, which took us from 1066 to the reign of Elisabeth I.

Just click here.

And here is the corresponding PowerPoint:

Just click here.

PS If you were wondering how this UE is going to be marked, you will find the answer in the good old memento : one homework assignment (in the form of a capes exam - composition, commentaire composé).

Sunday, September 17, 2023

A Hundred years of the BBC : Passages to comment on.

 This is the collection of passages  we will be looking at in class (you will remember that the exam is in the form of a text commentary). I intend to get you this booklet on paper, but there has been a slight delay.

Just click here

English language questions and AI Q1.

 I am trying to test (in English language, and in history) what kind of questions you can ask chat TGP and get a useful answer, and when it just talks nonsense. I thought its answer to this question was good. I asked what was the difference in meaning, in English, between the word "activist" and the word "militant".

Saturday, September 16, 2023

M1 MEEF : Britain since the Romans, class 1

You will find here the PowerPoint we used in class.

Just click here 

You will find here lectures from a previous year on exactly the same subject - Roman Britain and the different invasions before the ekeventh century. The lectures follow the PowerPoint approximately but not exactly.

Just click here

Roman Britain podcast

Anglo saxon and Viking invasions podcast

If the classes went rather fast, if you have a friend who was absent that day, or if you need to revise later in the year, these  recordings will be useful (or indeed if you just stumbled across them by Google).

Friday, September 15, 2023

The BBC in the 1920s podcast, slides and further reading

 You will find here the recording of a lecture on the BBC in the 1920s. If you found the class went too fast, or if you have a friend who was absent, or if later in the year you need to revise, this will be useful to you. (Also useful to people who just found this on Google).

The BBC in the 1920s (MP3)

You will find here the fifty slides which accompanied the lecture

BBc 1920s PowerPoint

Further reading:

This article on John Reith, the founder of the BBC, is excellent (though it may not be very easy for you).

John Reith

Conférence gratuite , à Paris et sur Zoom, sur Le Commonwealth. Highly recommended

L’Association France-Grande Bretagne et le Centre de recherches et d’études en civilisation britannique reprennent les conférences organisées en commun au Lycée Henri IV


Lundi 25 septembre à 18h en Salle de Conférences



par Virginie ROIRON, professeur à l’Institut d’Études politiques de Strasbourg

Dans la salle des conférences du lycée Henri IV, 23 Rue Clovis, Paris, et également sur zoom.

Conférence en français, ouverte au public, inscription obligatoire. S’inscrire gratuitement en envoyant un mail à afgb.resa-conf@orange.fr . N’oubliez pas de préciser si vous voulez assister sur place ou recevoir le lien zoom.


Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Saturday, September 09, 2023

Agrégation - translation classes.

You will find here the complete booklet of passages to translate for your Wednesday morning thème class.

Just click here

Whenever possible you should translate the passage before the class. In class we will go through the various translation options, subtleties of grammar, common misconceptions and so on. A few days after the class I will provide you, on this blog, with an annotated suggested translation.

If you would like personal written feedback on your translation, you must send me your work by email (john dot mullen at univ-rouen dot fr ) one week before we look at a passage in class. Work by email and in word processed format, please - do not give me handwritten work or work on paper.

Classes and rooms september 2023

The rooms have just come in for the first classes. This semester I will be teaching

L2 civilisation - history of the BBC  Tuesday 10h30 F510

L3 civilisation - history of the BBC Tuesday 13h30 L214

Agrégation/M2 translation into English - Wednesday 9h A402

L3 civilisation - history of the BBC - Wednesday 10h30 L207

M1 Seminar - Introduction to historiography - the First World War - Wed. 15h30 A408

M1 MEEF civilisation britannique - Wednesday 17h30 F307

Yes, that's right, I am teaching history of the BBC both to the second years and to the third years. There is an excellent reason for this.