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The University of Southampton

FREN2008 Post-War French Thought

Module Overview

This unit provides an introduction to the study of French post-war French thought and society.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • post-war French thought and society
  • the key concepts deployed by Beauvoir, Barthes and Fanon
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • demonstrate your critical and analytical skills by responding to questions about the validity and relevance of the ideas set out in the texts they have studied
  • develop effective reading strategies for dealing with challenging material
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • employ correct referencing methods and construct bibliographies
  • plan and carry out independent research and learning


This module will focus on three important texts in French post-war thought, linking these texts to three key themes in post-war history: women and society, the rise of consumer society, and decolonisation. The texts to be studied are Simone de Beauvoir, Le deuxième sexe (Vol.II), Roland Barthes, Mythologies and Frantz Fanon, Peau noire, masques blancs. While you will be invited to approach the texts with an awareness of their historical context, they will also be asked to think about ways in which these texts transcend their context and offer tools of analysis useful to any student of modern culture and society.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include • weekly lecture • weekly seminar • individual consultations over essays and feedback from assignments Learning activities include • seminar presentations • independent learning in preparation for weekly classes

Follow-up work4
Preparation for scheduled sessions2
Wider reading or practice40
Completion of assessment task40
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Frantz Fanon. Peau noire, masques blancs. 

Simone de Beauvoir. Le deuxième sexe (Vol.II). 

Roland Barthes. Mythologies. 


Assessment Strategy

Assessments designed to provide informal, on-module feedback • seminar presentations • individual consultations on essay plans Assessment by two equally weighted essays


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2000 words) 50%
Essay  (2000 words) 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Resubmit assessments 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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