Cultural Studies with Plymouth - French Culture & Society

This set of papers, under the title 'patrimoine', is a series within Communiqué. The lectures, presented as citable papers, examine French heritage or patrimoine from a professional and academic viewpoint. The aim of the papers is to prepare you for a professional role within French tourism or heritage management and to provide a good grounding for higher academic studies and research in the field of tourism and destination management. Studying a second culture, particularly the heritage of France, extends your career opportunities to a second country whilst providing you with case studies and approaches to management that help you innovate.

I acted as a visiting specialist to the CNRS, the French National Research Laboratories, on a digital heritage management project in Paris and this has helped better understand the relationship the French have with their culture and its artefacts. It is from this that I hope the patrimoine papers will lead you to a better understanding of French culture and how you can interpret this heritage in a way that is sensitive to the needs of the visitor both French and from other countries.

What is French Cultural Heritage? A List of Links

Web links are notorious for going missing but these were so useful when I found them that I have taken the risk of them staying live. If they are broken links then please use their titles to search for something similar.

French Culture - General

Back in June 2012 I was lucky enough to be invited by the OECD's Tourism Unit, to represent Plymouth University and to spend a day at their headquarters in Paris. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD, maintain very useful, citable facts and figures on France, its culture and social progress on this page:

OECD (2014) Better Life Index - France, [online] Available at: [Accessed 27.7.14].

OECD on France

Equitation in the French tradition

Inscribed in 2011 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity


French Cuisine and Terroir

France on a Plate, [television programme, online], 16/3/2010, BBC FOUR, 64mins., [Accessed 23.6.2014]

Food podcast from In Our Time

To Cite:

Bragg, M. (2001) The Cultural History of Food [podcast] Series: In Our Time, London, BBC Radio 4. Play

French music from Opera to Rap français

Erik Satie (1866-1925)

Kenza Farah (1986-present)

Architecture, Museums and the Visual Arts in France

La Réunion des musées nationaux - Grand Palais (Rmn-GP) formed in 2011 under the Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication. Rmn

Literature, Theatre and Poetry

I have been following the poetry of Yves Bonnefoy since the 1990s. This article sets the scene, showing that poets do still live and work in Paris:

Guppy, S. (2014) 'Yves Bonnefoy, The Art of Poetry No. 69', The Paris Review, New York, [online] Available at: [Accessed 27.7.14].

Read the interview by Shusha Guppy

Mansfield, C. (1993) 'On Bonnefoy' in Foreword Literature Newsletter December 1993, p.4, Leicester, East Midlands Arts [online] Available at: [Accessed 27.7.14].

Read my review of Bonnefoy's work in English translation

French Thought, Theory, Teaching and Ideas

At the heart of French thinking since its founding by Francis I in 1530 is le Collège de France. Over 50 professors continue their research and run courses with free entry to the public every year in Paris. It makes celebrities of its professors, who have included Roland Barthes, Pierre Bourdieu, Yves Bonnefoy, Michel Foucault, and since 2008 Anne Cheng. Now, thanks to the way France embraces emerging technologies the lectures can be played as videos from their web-site.

French intellectual tradition. Dr Sudhir Hazareesingh, political scientist and writer, explores the prominence of thinkers in the life and history of France. From Voltaire to Foucault, how have intellectuals contributed to the distinctiveness of the nation?


The French Embassy through its cultural arm, l'Institut français maintains a web-site with the lastest French film releases.

ciné lumière


As well as individual artists in photography Paris is home to the biennial international art fair for photography in November.

An important contemporary photographer-artist is Sophie Calle. A recent academic article exploring her work is: Edwards, Natalie (2014) 'Accumulation and Archives: Sophie Calle's Prenez soin de vous' Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature, Vol. 38: Iss. 2, Article 3. and her work is on show at the Plymouth

Leisure, Sport and Tourism in France

Le Tour de France

French Language as Culture and World Broadcasting (TV & Radio)

The French language is actively promoted overseas rather like a combination of the UK's British Council, the BBC World Service and the Commonwealth. The main organisation which holds annual events now has 77 member countries:


The French world television service, TV5, is available Virgin Media on channel 825. TV5 MONDE

arte television channel in French or German

The treasure of the French language online - The TLFi

Radio France Culture - also has an iPhone App for Internet listening, best with wifi connection.

Fashion, Fragrance and Cosmetics

« Parce que je le vaux bien » 'Because I'm worth it' L'Oréal's advertising slogan since the early 1970s.

L'Oréal on G+

« Le bleu est à la mode cette année » Article in French by Roland Barthes 1960.

French Contemporary Dance

See the work of Angelin Preljocaj (b.1957) & Sylvain Groud on YouTube playlist

YouTube Playlist on French Culture and Society

Updated when new discoveries are found

Includes: Food, terroir, rap français, May '68,

YouTube Playlist

Harvard Referencing Guide

Anglia Ruskin (2012) Harvard System [online] Available at: [Accessed 27/6/2014]. Click to view

Return to Communiqué

Finding or sharing patrimoine:

Short url

To Cite in your References:

Mansfield, C. (2014) Patrimoine - The French Heritage Papers [online] Available at [Accessed ].

Quick response scan code

Follow and share with Plymouth University French G+ Community at

Subscribe to Charlie's French YouTube Channel