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    Topics in French language and culture, taught and examined in French.

    Zola and the Paris of the Second Empire

    Based on two novels by Émile Zola - Nana (1880) and The Ladies’ Paradise (1883) - this paper explores the transformation of Paris during the Second Empire (1852-1870). Topics covered include the political landscape, the changing urban landscape (Hausmannisation) of Paris, the role of women, the rise of the department store, musical theatre, fashion and interiors.

    About this paper

    Paper title Advanced Topics in French
    Subject French
    EFTS 0.1667
    Points 20 points
    Teaching period Not offered in 2024 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $1,240.75
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

    Although aimed at students with an intermediate level of French this paper is also open to those who do not speak French at all.


    Teaching staff

    Dr Barbara Stone

    Teaching Arrangements

    Three lectures per week plus one Nana tutorial (possibly via Zoom) at a time to be arranged.


    Nana translated by Helen Constantine (Oxford World’s Classics)

    The Ladies’ Paradise translated by Brian Nelson (Oxford World’s Classics)

    NOTE: FREN students will also require any edition in French of Nana – ideally the one edited by Henri Mitterand (Gallimard, Folio Classique)

    The texts are readily available for purchase online as either paper copies or e-books. Copies will be placed on Reserve in the Central Library.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    Students who successfully complete the paper will:

    • have become familiar with two of Émile Zola’s masterpieces.
    • have discovered Émile Zola’s contribution to French literary and cultural history.
    • have explored the transformation of Paris during the Second Empire.
    • have developed close-reading skills and techniques for literary analysis.
    • have engaged with secondary critical material.


    Not offered in 2024

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system
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