Sunday, March 30, 2008

L1 Grammar Can, Could, May and Might (ability and permission) Exercise at Auto-English

Can, Could, May and Might (ability and permission) Exercise at Auto-English

A simple exercise on ability and permission.

L3 Civilization Keir Hardie - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Keir Hardie - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

We just mentioned last week the first working man to become a member of parliament in Britain - Keir Hardie. This is what wikipedia says about him.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Projet professionnel - Rappel

Un rappel que vous trouverez ici les deux documents avec toutes les instructions pour la rédaction et la présentation du mémoire.

1) premier document :
Les consignes techniques

b) Deuxième document :

http://perso.orange.fr/john.mullen/PP.doc (Le contenu du mémoire)

Vous rendrez les mémoires juste après les vacances d'avril, dans mon casier à la salle des profs.

Si vous avez un problème, vous pouvez laisser un commentaire ici ou m'envoyer un mail john.mullen arobase wanadoo.fr

Option B Histoire de la musique populaire

Vous trouverez ici une introduction au Reggae.

Option A cinéma : Howards End

This evenig on the television (ARTE), you can watch "Howard's End" (Retour à Howards End), a classic British heritage film.


Etant tout à fait remis je serai présent à tous mes cours cette semaine.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Oxford DNB: Brilliant Women: the Bluestocking circle

Oxford DNB: Brilliant Women: the Bluestocking circle

A new exhibition in London about women intellectuals in Britain in the eighteenth century.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

L3 Journalists and Newspapers

Journalists and Newspapers

Here is a list of journalists and newspapers in radical nineteenth century England, which could be useful. If any of you have the soul of a researcher, most of these newspapers have never been seriousy studied, but are lying untouched in some dusty library ...

Monday, March 24, 2008

L3 Civilization Mark Steel on Karl Marx

This youtube video is the beginning of a very entertaining ... comedy biography of Karl Marx!
By the famous English comedian Mark Steel, who presents Marx from a humorous, but sympathetic point of view.

L1 Grammar Modals Can Be Able to Quiz

Modals Can Be Able to Quiz for ESL EFL English Students

Here is a short quiz on can, could and be able to.
You have to think about your answer, then click on the arrow to find the correct answer.

This is in the area of modality of action.

If you are surprised by the answers, check your grammar book.

Option B Musique populaire - Punk Rock

Les aspects visuels de l'esthetique punk sont importants, et puisque je ne compte pas me déguiser pour donner des cours, je ne peux que vous recommander ces videos sur youtube.

Crass critique la commercialisation du punk - et dans leur vidéo vous verrez beaucoup des symboles de l'esthetique punk

Political punk rock - Stiff Little Fingers

Interview télévisé des Sex Pistols avec sous-titres en français.

Et le video de « Anarchy in the UK »

Peut être étrangement, étant donné sa réputation, la mouvance punk donnait souvent un rôle plus grand aux femmes que d'autres genres de musique. Voir ici The Au Pairs en live

Ce video montre un grand nombre de femmes punk et aussi nous rappelle que la période punk était marqué par des centaines ou des milliers de groupes, pas par des dizaines.

Et après le punk - Tom Robinson Band « Power in the Darkness »

L3 Civilization

The next class will be looking at Socialism in the 19th century. You need to know who the main thinkers are : Saint Simon, Robert Owen, William Morris, Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels. The photo shows a statue of Robert Owen in Manchester. What image does it give of him?

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Cinema : Serious confusion

These two men are not the same person!

Option A Cinema some links to look at

First of all a few more points about Ken Loach :

Interview of Ken Loach in 1994 on youtube

A discussion with Ken Loach in Paris in 2006
(en français : Attention, extrait de film assez dur)

Extract from « kes »

And a little about two other very important directors who learned a lot from Loach.
Firstly Stephen Frears

Stephen Frears on wikipedia (follow links for articles on some of the major films like "The Van" and "The Snapper")

Video trailer for Stephen Frears film : The Queen

And then Mike Leigh

Mike Leigh on wikipedia

Video trailer for Mike Leigh’s film « Secrets and Lies »

Video trailer for Mike Leigh's film "Vera Drake

Friday, March 21, 2008

Option A cinema - DST suggested answers

DST Option A Cinema mars 2008. Suggested answers.

Note : There are several answers possible, these are just suggestions. If you show both your understanding of the passage and extract shown, and your knowledge of the main challenges and successes of British cinema in the 20th Century, that should be fine.

Part one (6 points)
Watch the extract from the film “East is East”.

Write a few paragraphs about the extract, noting what image of Britain is given and how, and how this compares to images of Britain in the main types of films we have seen so far. How interesting do you find the image presented ?

Suggested answer :
In this extract we see a part of town where ordinary people live - they obviously are not part of the elite. The houses are basic and uniform, the children play in the streets, the parents and children are not sophisticated and polite. It is a part of town which is ethnically very mixed, and we see the mixing and interaction, in particular of different religious and cultural customs.

The showing of the lives of working class people is typical of the films of Ken Loach and others over the last few years. However, many of Loach’s films until recently have shown parts of the working class which are not ethnically mixed.

The image given in the extract from “East is East” is in many ways very positive, some might even say idealized. The only racist seen is a ridiculous and isolated character, obviously not enjoying the sypmathy even of his daughter and grandson, who, on the contrary are very much friends with the non-white children. It is an image of multicultural Britain where there is no tension. Even religious customs - the Christian procession at the beginning, and then the Pakistani wedding ceremony, do not cause tensions between the communities. Everybody enjoys watching the Christian procession. The whole street except for one person is excited about the pakistani wedding. The priest is a friend to everyone (and can play good football too). The Pakistani father and the extremely English mother both have faults. Although the father has tried to impose his culture on his son, the father too is shown with some sympathy.
We can see the director is trying to deal with complex questions carefully, but is it oversimplified?

Part two : read the following passage and answer the questions (14 points)

i. British director Ken Loach has launched an attack against other UK film-makers, saying they are far too preoccupied with Hollywood. Loach, famous for films like My Name is Joe, Raining Stones and Riff-Raff, is in Cannes for a special screening of his film Kes, which was made in 1969. Loach's comments could hit a raw nerve this year, as no British films have been shortlisted for the prestigious Palme d'Or.
ii. He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "The climate generally in Britain is to make films that look across the Atlantic and I think that's disastrous." "It means our own culture gets devalued and it's as though there has to be an American in everything."
iii. Loach said that British films and many directors use British films as calling-cards for the states. "I think it's time British film-makers stopped allowing themselves to be colonised so ruthlessly by US ideas and stopped looking so slavishly to the US market," he said, adding that it "demeans film-making when they do that".
iv. Ironically, his latest film, Bread and Roses, was made in Los Angeles, but Loach insisted it was a "very anti-Hollywood film". He said it was a story of the people who clean the offices in LA. "There is a nice irony in making a film in LA about that half of the people you don't see - that aren't represented - they're the ones who do the work really," he said. "Their lives are as full of drama and comedy - much more so really - than the white people who live in the hills."
v. But despite dipping his toes in US waters, he imagined it will be his last film in America. "It's a fairly hostile place to be in - probably the most difficult place in the world to make films, oddly enough because they have very fixed ways of doing things," he said.
BBC News
Read the document and answer the questions in your own words. Do not quote the article. You are expected to show your knowledge of recent British cinema.

1 What does Loach complain about ? (3 points)

Suggested answer : Ken Loach is unhappy because the films he sees being made in England are too much centred around American values and American preoccupations. Directors are only worried about whether their film will sell in America, and are careful to use an American star to help things along or, even worse, they only make a British film in the hope of being invited to work in Hollywood afterwards. He would like to see a real independence in British films.

2 How does Loach try to avoid being too « Hollywood » - give examples from the article and also from outside the article. (5 points)

Suggested answer : He deliberately uses stories about ordinary people, who Hollywood normally doesn’t write about, and at the centre of his stories is the dignity and drama of ordinary people, a very positive image. He rejects the idea of an automatic « happy end » to a movie. In addition, to try to give an impression of real life, he frequently uses amateur actors, people who have really lived similar experiences rather than people who have learned how to act at acting school. Sometimes he does not give the actors scripts, as he wants them to be spontaneous. Even his lighting and camerawork are often rough and ready rather than smooth as Hollywood is.

3 American domination is a long-term problem for British film-makers. Explain some of the different strategies that British film-makers and governments have used throughout the last hundred years to survive despite US domination. (6 points)

Suggested answer :
US domination is a very old problem for British film makers. At some periods the government has made laws to defend British film production - for example in the 1920s, a law was passed obliging all cinemas to present a certain percentage of British-made films. (a Quota). One of the disadvantages of the law was that cinemas were tempted to make very cheap, low-quality films simply to fill the quota. The government later tried to stop this practice by establishing a minimum amount that could be spent on a film, per minute of film.

In more recent years the most important tactics to protect British film making have been attempts to find « niche markets » - to specialize in particular types of film, and not to try to compete with the American bestselling blockbusters. So « heritage films » of famous British romantic novels, (Emma, The English Patient, The Remains of the Day,and so on)sophisticated comedies about the upper middle classes, (Four Weddings and a Funeral) or working class « realist » films (Ken Loach’s films, Trainspotting, the Full Monty, and so on) have made up the greater number of films made in Britain.

Other tactics include making joint projects, using American money, and/or making sure there is an American star in the film (Notting Hill, Four Weddings and a Funeral, A Fish named Wanda, and so on).

Option A: East Is East (xhtml)

:: rogerebert.com :: Reviews :: East Is East (xhtml)

Later today I will post suggested answers for the option A classroom test.
This link takes you to a review of the film "East is East" of which we saw an extract in the test. There is another review of it in the booklet you got from the Libalu.

It was a controversial film.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

L3 civilization Suggested text commentary

Here is the document you had to comment on in the classroom test, and a suggested commentary, below it. There are many other ways to do this commentary, of course.
Spend some time checking out which questions you did not really answer, and at which points you could have demonstrated your knowledge but didn't. Check back on this blog in a few days time because there will be some more links for you to be working on while I am ill.

The document:

I was glad to attend the meeting at Newcastle, because some misunderstanding was commencing in the Radical ranks, and I availed myself of that opportunity of pointing out the necessity of Union, and of advising them upon the very first appearance of a dispute to expel the disputants from their body.

An attempt was made to get up a paper in opposition to the Northern Liberator , one of the best papers in the world, and that I hope I prevented. I was very ill on my return from the meeting, and was obliged to have a person sitting in my room all night; however, the spirit prevailed, for I awoke and got up at half-past five, started eighty miles on my way to PETER BUSSEY's dinner, at Bradford, which took place on Monday last, a report of which will be found in the Star .

On Monday, I travelled from York to Bradford, 34 miles, and had the honour to preside as Chairman, at one of the most splendid public entertainments I have ever witnessed. On Tuesday morning, I left Bradford for Leeds, to beat NEDDY BAINES and the Whigs; which, let them say what they may, I did most effectively. After the meeting, I returned to Bradford, thence to Queenshead, where a dinner was given to me by the virtuous mountaineers of that district, the whole village was a dinner party, for every house was full, and 1,000 would have dined if accomodation could have been procured. I left them at eleven o'clock, and the only drunken man which I had seen in my tour was a manufacturer, lying in the middle of the road, with his horse standing over him. He is one of the electors.

Thus, Gentlemen, ends my eight days tour, during which time I attended nine public meetings, travelled over seven hundred miles, slept, upon an average, three hours a night, and once again united the Scotch and English Radicals in a union more lasting than brass, and one which, I trust, even your malicious ingenuity will not be able to break. I have not been able, in the space allotted, to do justice to my subject; however, I trust that I have said enough to prove the impossibility of successfully attacking our ranks.

And now, Gentlemen, although you have put me to considerable trouble and expense, I thank you. From the 18th of December to the 15th of January, I have attended in London, Bristol, Manchester, Queenshead, Bradford, Leeds, Newcastle, Carlisle, Glasgow, Paisley, and Edinburgh, 22 large public meetings, and have travelled over 1,500 miles; and I can say that your moral philosophy has been the greatest enemy to our cause. You are advocates of Moral Force.

I have set you an example of what Moral Force can affect, and to you many of whom are more wealthy than myself, but who, nevertheless, travel for the people as post horse for their masters, at so much a mile, to you, Gentlemen, I say, "Go and do likewise;" and then all thought of physical force will vanish.'
Feargus O'Connor, Northern Star , Vol.2, No.62 (19th of January, 1839),

Suggested text commentary on the above article.

The document is a newspaper article written by one of the main leaders of the Chartist movement, Feargus O Connor. O Connor was a very popular orator and played a key role.

In the debates which animated Chartist circles, he was generally identified with the arguments of “physical force” - the idea that persuasion would not be sufficient to win the six demands of the charter (universal male suffrage, the secret ballot, payment for MPs, annual parliaments, fair division of constituencies, and the end to property qualifications for MPs). But this identification is not simple - O Connor himself often insisted that “Moral Force” was his priority, though he may not have had the same interpretation of the term as others.

O Connor was very dedicated to the movement’s aims, and would spend many months in prison because of articles he has written. In the present document we see he works energetically despite his illness and severe lack of sleep. After 1842, he was to launch the Chartist Land Plan, a mass movement based on the idea of re-establishing a class of small farmers in order to escape from the difficult situation of industrial workers.

Early in the movement O Connor founded, in Yorkshire, the weekly newspaper “The Northern Star”, from which this article is taken. Although not the official organ of the Chartists, The Northern star was one of its most successful and influential newspapers. It would be read by supporters of the Charter, and sold to their contacts, and its letters page featured all the many debates on strategy and tactics which were characteristic of the movement.

The article was published at the beginning of 1839, thus in the early stages of the movement. That is to say, it is written before the presentation to parliament, later in the year, of the first chartist petition, and of course before key moments in the movement such as the Newport uprising, which will to some extent test the tactic of armed uprising, or the 1842 strike, the most powerful action of the movement. At this moment, in early 1839, debates continue about appropriate methods. In some towns military preparations are being made by a minority of chartists; other chartists are insisting that Moral Force can persuade the elite to give the charter, and that more forceful methods are unnecessary. Finally, large sections of the chartists are talking of the need for a “Grand National Holiday” or “sacred month” - a general strike.

O Connor’s article represents a sort of activist’s journal. It presents his week’s activity, a rapid succession of public meetings and journeys from town to town. He expresses his satisfaction at the week’s activities, and particularly at the fact that he has been able to reunite diverging forces within the movement, into “ a union more lasting than brass”. Finally he mocks certain “gentlemen” who, he believes, have been involved in attempts to split the movement.

The first paragraph, his account of the meeting in Newcastle, shows he tried to stop the appearance of a new rival to the “Northern Liberator”, a radical Newcastle newspaper. We see that O Connor both defends “the necessity of union”, and the need for discipline against “disputants” whom he wants to see expelled. This event highlights the permanence of internal debate within nineteenth century social movements - debate which can turn to conflict and/or turn personal (as later conflicts involving O Connor were to do). It shows the difficulty of both encouraging debate (as the Northern Star certainly tried to do), and preventing acute internal conflict which could divide the movement.

In the second paragraph there are two points of note. Firstly the rather triumphal tone (“to beat Neddy Baines and the Whigs... which I did most effectively” l. 13). This tone will continue to the end of the article. This tone shows us the need for enthusiasm and inspiration to build a mass movement in very difficult circumstances. It might also be seen as somewhat self-centred - O Connor was later to be accused of being excessively authoritarian.

Secondly, an important reference is made to alcohol. (l.17) O’Connor claims that despite the huge party given for him in Queenshead, the only drunken man he saw was factory owner ( a “manufacturer”) who already had the right to vote and therefore was not part of the chartist movement. O’Connor no doubt mentions this drunken man because many of those who opposed chartism claimed the “lower classes” were too ignorant and obsessed with alcohol to deserve the right to vote. This argument carried so much weight at the time that a few years later a section of the chartists - “temperance chartists” - inisted that the first step to the charter was to persuade large numbers of people to promise never to drink alcohol again. Such an act was supposed both to strengthen the determination of the chartists themselves and to impress sections of the elite.

In the last paragraph, O Connor adresses himself to certain “gentlemen” who he accuses of wishing to divide the chartists deliberately (l. 22). He identifies these men as saying they believe in “moral force” (l. 29), but he accuses them of in fact being paid representatives (“at so much a mile”, l 32) of the elite (“masters” l 32). He says that their attempts to divide the chartists will not be successful (l. 22, l 24). In the last sentences he contests their definition of “moral force” : he claims that the real “moral force” is the energy to go round the country organizing people as he does, and he (ironically) invites the “gentlemen” to do the same. If they were to do this, he claims, “physical force” would no longer be necessary.

The argument about the “real” meaning of “moral force” and “physical force” in the last paragraph is characteristic of the chartist movement. These two concepts are considered to be in competition, but in fact there is not agreement on their exact meaning - there is continual negotiation about their meanings. Many chartists will of course be involved both with “moral force” methods and with “physical force” methods. It is perhaps interesting that the concepts chosen are not clearer. A debate about “armed insurrection” and “peaceful persuasion” might have been simpler, although the dangers of repression, among other elements, often oblige leading chartists not to speak too clearly about the tactics they are recommending.

The work of Feargus O Connor, speaking and writing, will contribute to the success of the first Chartist petition, which will contain a very large number of signatures. The rejection of the petition and the arrest of many chartist leaders will give rise to the use of other tactics, such as armed uprising. O’Connor will remain a chartist leaders for some years, notably involved in the setting up of the Land Plan.

The chartist movement will not achieve its aims, but the nature of O’Connor’s work as a fulltime activist will be similar to future movements - trade unionism or women’s suffrage for example. O’Connor will be an inspiration for some, even if the first historians of chartism emphasize some negative points of his legacy.

1. There are a hundred ways of writing a good commentary on this document. This is only one of them. However, all of them remain centred on the document, as well as demonstrating your knowledge of the historical processes at work..
2. I am hoping you can find within my commentary answers to the following questions : Who is writing, when, why, how, in what context..
3. Notice how it is important to find the link between the document and what you want to prove you know about the movement in general.
4. I would not really expect in L3 you to find the notion of “negotiated meanings”, though later this is essential to political history. Words such as “violence”, “terrorism”, “suffragette”, “Christian”, “extremist”, “radical”, and many others, will all be subject to permanent negotiation and re-negotiation of meaning.]

L1 Projet professionnel

Annonce importante. Nous avons confirmation d’une nouvelle conférence de professionnel.

lundi 31 mars à 18h en salle 226

Un PNC (personnel naviguant commercial - un steward) viendra répondre à vos questions concernant son métier.


L3 Civilisation The travels of Feargus O'Connor | Full text plus mapping

Vision of Britain | The travels of Feargus O'Connor | Full text plus mapping

You can find at this link the full text of Feargus O Connor's article which was the basis for your classroom test. Naturally you were not supposed to be able to guess the rest. I am preparing a "suggested commentary" which I will put on line later today.

Thank you to those of you who enquired about my health. I am well enough to sit at my computer, but not to walk more than ten yards. But it is nothing serious, and in two or three days I shall be right as rain.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Ce que m'a dit mon médecin

Pour cause de maladie, mon médecin m'a dit de ne pas travailler le reste de la semaine. Alors je serai absent pour tous les cours du jeudi 20 et vendredi 21 mars.
Si vous avez cours avec moi ces jours là, tentez d'informer le maximum de mes étudiants qu'il n'y aura pas cours. Dites-leur aussi de venir voir sur le blog en début de semaine prochaine, car j"y mettrai des élements pour vous aider à travailler.
Logiquement la semaine suivante je serai rétabli, mais venez vérifier, sur le blog, aussi.

John Mullen, mardi.

Option B music - Glam rock

ON voit que le côté visuel du Glam Rock peut dater plus vite que le sonore. Pour s'en convaincre, visitez les liens suivants :

David Bowie 1973

Gary Glitter

Slade - Cum on feel the noize

Monday, March 10, 2008

Option A Category:British films - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Category:British films - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

There is probably too much information for your needs at this link, but it is interesting to browse these pages.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

L3 civilization - more revision

The test is next week. Here are some extracts from classes to help you

For revision

Extracts from classes

21 minutes on Captain Swing swing.mp3
28 minutes on chartist leaders leaders.mp3
15 minutes on the roots of chartism roots.mp3

All in MP3

keywords: British history, podcast, university lecture, nineteenth century, chartism, Captain Swing, social movements,

Option B 150 ans de musique populaire

Un peu débordé cette semaine, alors pas de liens video.
N'oubliez pas que l'examen aura lieu le 10 avril, pendant l'heure de cours. Il n'y aura pas d'autre session, sauf la deuxième session mi-juin.

L3 Civilization

John Boughton

At this link you have one historian's opinion on chartism.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

L1 Grammar test revision

L1 Grammar
As announced, there will be a classroom test this Friday. It will involve questions and translation sentences concerning the following points of grammar :
Possessive adjectives and pronouns,
translations of « on » and « en »,
reciprocal pronouns,
collective nouns,
countable and uncountable nouns,
indefinite and definite articles,

L3 Revision "Great" Reform Act

19 minutes on the Great Reform Act here.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Option A cinema :James Bond 007

James Bond 007

This site tells you a lot of things about James Bond. But what do the James Bond films mean in terms of images of Britain and of Britishness (or is it England and Englishness?)

If you like James Bond films, try to think about why you like them.
If you don't like them, try to think about why they are so popular.

L3 Civilization : Revision

As you know you have a test soon.
I am putting online a few extracts from classes. You can download them as MP3, and listen to them to help you revise, as you travel by metro or bus...

The first extract is 50 minutes on Ned Ludd. Click here.

The second extract is 40 minutes on the first campaigns for parliamentary reform. Click here.

keywords: British history, podcast, university lecture, luddism, social movements, nineteenth century, parliamentary reform

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Option B - popular music 1914-1939

Voici quelques videos de Youtube.

Tout d'abord des videos des chansons de la première guerre mondiale, enregistrées plus tard.

Florrie Forde chante Pack up your troubles

et une autre de Florrie Forde

Des années 1920 - la reine de blues américains

Bessie Smith - nobody knows you when you’re down and out

De l'époque du Swing, les 1930s : Joe Loss

George Formby Music hall tardif, intégré désormais dans les comédies musicales.

Et la chanson la plus connue de la seconde guerre

Vera Lynn - we’ll meet again

L3 Historic trade union banners of transport workers in Britain

National Union of Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers (RMT): Historic trade union banners of transport workers in Britain

This page (follow the link) is full of pictures of nineteenth century trade uniion banners from railway worker unions and other transport unions.



This page will give you definitions of key terms like "craft union", "industrial union" etc.

L3 Civilisation Wikipedia Trade unions in the United Kingdom - Wikipedia

Trade unions in the United Kingdom - Wikipedia

This article in wikipedia English is too short. Can you add to it. Don't worry about making mistakes in your English, somebody will rapidly correct them.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Option B Late music hall

Vous trouverez ici la chanson de Max Bygraves "You're a pink toothbrush". C'ets un exemple de Music-hall tarif, des années 1960 je crois.

Je mettrai d'autres liens sur le blog demain ou après demain.