An area studies approach in European and global contexts: French studies in Portsmouth

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In the 1970s, staff in the School of Languages and Area Studies (SLAS) at Portsmouth Polytechnic (as it was then) decided to develop a new type of language degree. At that time, the traditional model was the ‘lang and lit’ degree programme. Students who wanted to study languages were more or less obliged to combine the study of their chosen language(s) with the study of (mostly) the literary classics of that country. There were a few exceptions: York University, for example, offered programmes in language and linguistics, Salford and Bath specialised in translation, while Aston offered students the opportunity to combine language study with business administration. But the vast majority of language students took a ‘lang and lit’ degree. It was against this background that Portsmouth, along with a small number of other UK higher education institutions, sought to break away from the traditional model and develop a new type of language degree – the ‘language and area studies’ degree programme – that would combine language study with the study of the history, politics, economy, society and culture of the country, or countries, in question. The new approach was to be resolutely multi-disciplinary and was essentially, but not exclusively, rooted in the social sciences.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFrench Studies in and for the 21st Century
EditorsP. Lane, M. Worton
Place of PublicationLiverpool
PublisherLiverpool University Press
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781846316562
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011


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