France in the 20th Century


a) Acquire a comprehensive understanding of the relationships between the historical, cultural, social and political dimensions of twentieth-century France;
b) Develop knowledge about the twentieth-century France and seize the main complexities of the century;
c) Learn to analyze and compare various types of documents and modalities of representation (political and jornalistic discourse, propaganda and advertisings, painting, music, literature);
d) Reflect on theoretical texts and essays related to the most relevant topics;
e) Produce reflections and critical thinking about issues related to the themes addressed during the semester.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Carlos Fonseca Clamote Carreto


Weekly - 4

Total - 168

Teaching language



Available soon


AA.VV. (2009). Nouvelle Histoire de la France Contemporaine (Tomes 10-20), Paris, Éditions du Seuil.
BARRIERE, Jean-Paul (2016). La France du XXe siècle : 1914-2002. Paris : Hachette.
CHARLES, Ch.; Laurent JEANPIERRE (dir.) (2016). La Vie intellectuelle en France de 1914 à nos jours. Paris : Seuil.
CHAUBET, F. (2010). La Culture française dans le monde 1980-2000. Les défis de la mondialisation. Paris: L'Harmattan.
GARCIN, J. (2007). Nouvelles mythologies. Paris : Seuil.
KALIFA, D. (2017). La Véritable histoire de la Belle Epoque, Fayard.
RIOUX, J.-P., SIRINELLI, J.-F., Histoire culturelle de la France (Tome 4), Paris, Éditions du Seuil, 2005.
SCHOR, R. (2016). Le Dernier siècle français 1914-2014. Destin ou déclin ? Paris : Perrin.
WIEVIORKA. O. ; PROCHASSON ; Ch. (2011). La France du XXe siècle. Documents d’histoire. Paris : Seuil.
ZANCARINI-FOURNEL, M. ; DELACROIX, Ch. (2014). La France du temps présent. 1945-2005. Paris : Belin.

Teaching method

Teaching method: Theoretical lectures (60%) combined with practical classes (40%).

Evaluation method

Evaluation Methodologies - Attendance and participation in practical classes(20%), Two written tests, one in the middle and one at the end of the class period. The second test may alternatively be replaced by a personal research paper to be presented in class. (80%)

Subject matter

I - The «Belle Époque» (1900-1914): utopia and dystopia

1.1. Decadence and verticality: the turn of the century and its paradoxes
1.2. The «Belle Époque»: a heroic age?
1.3. Mythologies of the 20th century

II - The time of the combats (1914-1962): ruptures and continuities

2.1. The Great War: 1914-1918
2.2. The «années folles» (1920-1930) and the false prosperity
2.3. The «Front Populaire» (1936-1938): a social utopy?
2.4. From the «Black Years» (1939-1945) to the 4th Republic (1946-1958): healing the wounds of the ocupation.
2.5. From the 5th Republic to decolonization (1958-1962): the Algerian crisis

III - From decolonization to globalization (1962-2017): the multicultural France

3.1. The end of the 4th Republic and the return of General de Gaulle to power
3.2. The 5th Republic against the war in Algeria: contradictions and impasses
3.3. The 1950s and 1960s and the emergence of new paradigms
3.3. May 1968: inheritance, faces and implications
3.4. The challenges of globalization