19-20 FR3112: Image, Identity and Consumer Culture in Post-war Fiction and Film

Since 1945, radical changes precipitated by the development of consumer culture in France have created new images of the self that intersect with questions of gender, race, sexuality and exclusion. This course investigates the exciting ways in which post-war French literature and cinema both reflect and influence the impact of the mass media and global market forces on ways of constructing and expressing identity. Lecturer and student-led seminars will examine how some of the most original writers and filmmakers of the last six decades have explored new ways of understanding identity by representing, appropriating or exploiting the techniques of advertising, animation, Hollywood, crime fiction, television and journalism. Situating these innovations in their historical, cultural and critical context, the aim is to assess how contrasting novels and films engage with identity politics by drawing on the images and discourses of consumer culture.