French MA

Narrating the City: Representation of Urban Space in Literature and Film COMPLIT4027

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Modern Languages and Cultures
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course examines the literary fascination with urban space as a meeting point of different cultures, as a mythical concept, but also as a place of displacement, suffering and exile. Themes studied may include issues of centrality/marginality, multiculturalism, destruction of cultures, memory and history.


20 x 1-hour sessions over both semesters as scheduled in MyCampus.


This is one of the honours options in SMLC and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Excluded Courses





Time-limited assignment (1500 words) completed over a 4-day period - 50%

Essay (2000 words) - 50%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

The course will provide the opportunity to:

■ study various theoretical approaches to representation of urban space;

■ analyse and compare different representations of space in literature and film;

■ develop awareness of topics such as cultural memory, internal exile, urbicide, Holocaust and the city, the city and tourism, which are of cross-cultural interest to students of Modern Languages.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ evaluate and apply spatial concepts, such as cultural centrality/cultural marginality, centre/periphery, inner exile/external exile;

■ analyse spatial practices from the perspective of genre, gender, cultural context(s) and historical period;

■ critically approach and use different theoretical frameworks in the analysis of representations of urban space in literature and film (eg. semiology of space, phenomenological approach, narratological approach);

■ produce sustained and sound arguments drawing from a variety of sources.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.