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French culture has always had a huge impact on the world; from politics to cinema, literature to fashion, and France remains a major influence in European and global culture. The MA in Modern French Studies offers you the opportunity to study a range of major writers and key themes in French literature, media and culture from the 18th century to the present day.

The programme is designed for students with a variety of interests, including literature, the visual arts, philosophy and aesthetics. It also reflects the research specialisms and publications of the members of Department of Modern Languages, with wider input from the School of European Culture and Languages (SECL).

A cross-cultural, interdisciplinary programme, you spend your first term at our Canterbury campus with full access to its excellent academic and recreational facilities. In the spring term, you relocate to the Paris School of Arts and Culture where you study at the Columbia Global Center (located in Reid Hall) in a historic corner of Montparnasse. We offer advice and support to help you relocate to Paris, and students will visit Paris in the autumn term, where you meet our Paris staff and are taken on a tour of the city.

After you have taken four modules across the autumn and spring terms, you undertake a 12,000 word dissertation over the summer with supervision from an expert within the department. The programme is also available to study at Canterbury only.

The MA in Modern French Studies is an ideal programme for those with an active interest in French society, history and literature, with the desire to live in Paris in an active and extended engagement with the culture.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • provide the opportunity to obtain a postgraduate qualification (MA) in one year, and to allow, if required, a smooth transition to doctoral studies
  • allow you to spend the first term in Canterbury, studying modules in modern French studies, and the second term in Paris, studying modules in French, European, English and American literatures
  • attract and meet the needs of candidates who wish to gain in-depth an understanding of the textual and visual interconnections pertaining to modern French studies
  • provide a cultural approach to the study of relations between the visual and the textual
  • consider the manner in which literature and the visual arts intersect in French culture from the eighteenth century to the present
  • provoke critical reflection on areas of modern French literary studies and theories of visual studies
  • provide training in multidisciplinary research methods
  • develop knowledge and understanding of relevant aspects of contemporary Paris and the cultural history of the city as reflected in modern French, European, English and American literatures and other artistic media
  • introduce various methodological approaches
  • provide teaching which is informed by current research and scholarship and which requires you to engage with aspects of work at the frontiers of knowledge
  • provide a means of access to intellectual awareness and understanding
  • provide opportunities for the development of personal, communication and research skills and other key skills appropriate for graduate employment both in industry and in the public sector
  • develop critical, analytical, problem-solving and other transferable skills
  • build on proficiencies in spoken and written French and spoken and written English.

Research areas

Staff interests broadly fit within the parameters of French literature and thought from the 18th century to the present, with research clusters organised around the following areas: the European Enlightenment and Counter-Enlightenment; Ekphrasis; Franco-Sino relations; Life Writing; Medical Humanities; Philosophy and Critical Theory; French Surrealism; Cubism; the Avant-Garde; the interface between visual arts and text.

Recent publications have focused on authors, artists and thinkers including the following: Apollinaire; Artaud; Badiou; Barthes; Blanchot; Cocteau; Crébillon fils; Deleuze; Diderot; Djebar; Flaubert; Foucault; Houellebecq; Lacan; Maupassant; Mérimée; Nimier; Proust; Sade; Yourcenar; Zola.

Centre for Language and Linguistic Studies

Founded in 2007, the Centre for Language and Linguistic Studies (CLLS) promotes interdisciplinary collaboration in linguistic research and teaching. Membership embraces not just the members of English Language and Linguistics but also other SECL members with an interest in the study of language, as well as researchers in philosophy, computing, psychology and anthropology, reflecting the many and varied routes by which individuals come to a love of language and an interest in the various disciplines and subdisciplines of linguistics.

Centre for Modern European Literature

Many of the most significant European writers and literary movements of the modern period have traversed national, linguistic, and disciplinary borders. Co-directed by members of Comparative Literature, French, and German, the Centre for Modern European Literature aims to promote collaborative interdisciplinary research that can do justice to these kinds of border crossing.

Ranging across English, French, German, Italian and Spanish literature, the Centre focuses in particular on the European avant-garde, European modernism and postmodernism, literary theory, the international reception of European writers, and the relations between modern European literature and the other arts, including painting, photography, film, music and architecture. The Centre’s activities include a lecture and seminar series and the regular organisation of conferences. It also works with the editors of the postgraduate journal Skepsi, and runs the MA in Modern European Literature.

Careers

A postgraduate degree in French studies is an extremely versatile qualification that can open the door to exciting career opportunities in many professions. Our graduates have gone on to work in the IT industry, academic administration, cultural management and to further postgraduate training and academic careers at UK and overseas universities.

Find out how to apply at https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/


Visit the Modern French Studies - MA (Canterbury and Paris) page on the University of Kent website for more details!

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