Artistic and Literary Movements


This class provides a history of the main artistic and literary movements of the 20th century and, more generally, consolidates students’ knowledge in cultural history. The notion of movement is understood as the coming together of creators, writers, artists (painters, sculptors, architects, playwrights, dancers, musicians, etc.) who, at a given time, share a common approach or vision, and who have been defining markers of an era. This concept makes it possible to approach the history of the avant-gardes (fauvism, futurism, dadaim, cubism, surrealism, poetic realism, pop art, neorealism, etc.) but not exclusively so;  indeed institutionalized movements are also considered and the avant-gardes can themselves become institutionalized. The history of intellectuals and their relationship with things political,  in key moments of the twentieth century, are of course studied in this class, which covers the subject chronologically, from the two world wars, the Cold War, and the wars of decolonization. Examination by sector is bypassed by a more global perspective and chronological approach.

Recommended Prerequisite(s)

Prior knowledge in the political history of the 20th century is required.

Form of assessment

The number of ECTS credits and the assessment methods are likely to be different for students in credit exchange programmes.


  • Bertrand-Dorléac L., L’art de la défaite, Seuil, 1998.
  • Cantier J., Histoire culturelle de la France au XXe siècle, Ellipses, 2011.
  • Delporte C., Sirinelli J.F., Dictionnaire d’histoire culturelle de la France contemporaine, PUF, 2010.
  • Goetschel P., Loyer E., Histoire culturelle de la France de la Belle-époque à nos jours, A. Colin, 2011.
  • Rioux J.P. (dir.), La vie culturelle sous Vichy, Éditions Complexe, 1990.

Educational formula

Readings, listening of audio works, videos, and commentary on specific works.

In brief

Year Fourth year

Teaching languageFrench

Teaching term Six-monthly

ECTS credits 3.0

Number of hours 18.0

Teaching activityLecture course

ValidationFinal written examination

Mandatory teaching

Open to exchange students



Educational manager :
Taliano Françoise [+]