French MA

Milan Kundera, a French writer? A study in intercultural literary discourse CZECH4030

  • 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 offers students an opportunity to study, from an inter-cultural point of view, the literary work of Milan Kundera, an East European writer who emigrated in 1975. It examines how his work was (mis)understood and (mis)represented in his new cultural milieu, and how it critiqued Western society.


13 x one hour lectures and 7 x one hour seminars across both semesters as scheduled on MyCampus.


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

Excluded Courses





Essay (2,000 words) - 50%

Article review (1,000 words) - 30%

Presentation (10 minutes) - 20%

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

This course aims to:

■ increase students' understanding of the interaction of different cultural and political attitudes, including examining how these attitudes shape the understanding of social and political mores of different societies in a range of literary works by a well-known immigrant author;

■ enable students to deploy theoretical frameworks and draw upon relevant cultural contexts and historical facts in the analysis of literary works;

■ enhance students' appreciation of the social and political developments in societies, from the perspective of cultural outsiders;

■ develop awareness of topics such as cultural memory, the experience of exile, the processes of adjustments to life in a different society.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ articulate how Kundera´s works of fiction, produced on the basis of the author´s East European experience, shed new and original light on life in Western European societies;

■ analyse Kundera´s approaches to the problems of human cognition and his use of mystification;

■ produce sustained arguments in written form based on close reading of literary texts and relevant contextual secondary literature.

■ produce critical analysis in oral form of Kundera's literary methodology.

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.