BA Spanish and Chinese

Year of entry: 2020

Course unit details:
Cultures of the Hispanic World

Unit code SPLA10410
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Full year
Offered by Spanish, Portuguese and Latin
Available as a free choice unit? Yes

Overview

   This course unit combines an introduction to the literatures, cultures and histories of the Spanish-speaking world, from the middle ages to the twenty-first century, with the development of intellectual and analytical tools necessary for the study of Spanish at university level. It furnishes students with a solid basis for further studies by providing them with both the basic background knowledge about Spain and Spanish America and the skills for analysis, academic writing and independent research necessary for making the most out of second- and final-year options. The course focuses on the analysis of texts, images and film within their cultural context through a combination of lectures, which offer an introduction to relevant developments and background, and seminars, centered on the application of the skills acquired to the close examination of cultural artefacts covering a broad spectrum of genres and language styles and registers.   

Aims

  • To introduce students to the cultures, literatures and histories of the Spanish world (including Amerindian, Chicano and Catalan)
  • To hone students’ skills of analysis, academic writing and independent research
  • To aid the study of Spanish language and culture in a range of contexts others
  • Present information, ideas and arguments orally and in writing with due regard to the target audience

Learning outcomes

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

  • Demonstrated basic knowledge and understanding of the historical periodization of the Spanish world
  • Show familiarity with selected cultural and literary works from Spain and Spanish America
  • Evince competence in understanding, analysing and discussing selected cultural objects in relation to their social, cultural and historical context

Syllabus

Indicative topics to be covered include:

  • Multicultural Spain: from Al-Andalus to the conquest of Granada
  • Spain and the New World: the Encounter and the fall of the Aztec and Inca empires
  • Early modern Spain: Empire and Golden Age theatre
  • Early modern Spanish America: Mestizaje and Casta paintings
  • The collapse of Spain’s American empire
  • State- and Nation-Building in Spanish America
  • Fin de siècle Spain and Spanish America: the Generation of ’98 and Spanish American vanguards
  • Social conflict: the Mexican Revolution and the Spanish Civil War
  • Dictatorship and memory politics in Latin America
  • Challenges and opportunities of democracy in post-Transition Spain

Please note that this list is only indicative and topics may change from year to year The course is organised chronologically and divided into 11 units. Each unit consists of two lectures and an associated seminar. The two lectures for each unit take place on odd weeks and the seminars on even weeks to give students a chance to digest the content of lectures and prepare for seminar activities.

Lectures provide basic, subject-specific knowledge about the Spanish world, and introduce analytical concepts. Seminars focus on skill development but are firmly grounded on material related to what was covered on the previous lectures.

Seminars are divided in three big blocks: library/research skills, analysing specific kinds of sources (plays, images, narrative, poetry, film), and academic writing.

Teaching and learning methods

The course is organised chronologically and divided into 11 units. Each unit consists of two lectures and an associated seminar. The two lectures for each unit take place on odd weeks and the seminars on even weeks to give students a chance to digest the content of lectures and prepare for seminar activities.

Lectures provide basic, subject-specific knowledge about the Spanish world, and introduce analytical concepts. Seminars focus on skill development but are firmly grounded on material related to what was covered on the previous lectures.

Seminars are divided in three big blocks: library/research skills, analysing specific kinds of sources (plays, images, narrative, poetry, film), and academic writing.

 

Medium of Language: English (with seminer materials in Spanish for post-A level students).

 

 

Knowledge and understanding

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

  • Demonstrated basic knowledge and understanding of the historical periodization of the Spanish world
  • Show familiarity with selected cultural and literary works from Spain and Spanish America
  • Evince competence in understanding, analysing and discussing selected cultural objects in relation to their social, cultural and historical context

Intellectual skills

By the end of this course students will have:

  • Further developed their Spanish language competence through reading and viewing a range of Spanish and Spanish American cultural objects
  • Improved their capacity to read critically
  • Increased their ability to interpret, analyse and synthesise information

Practical skills

By the end of this course students will have furthered their ability to:

  • Analyse and differentiate between various types of literary and visual media
  • Gather, organise and deploy evidence and information in writing an essay
  • Use the library to find appropriate physical and electronic resources and reference them correctly
  • Construct and backup arguments

Transferable skills and personal qualities

By the end of this course students will have furthered their ability to:

  • Express themselves confidently in English, both orally and in writing
  • Manage time and work to deadlines
  • Participate in group discussions and assess the relevance and importance of the ideas of others
  • Present information, ideas and arguments orally and in writing with due regard to the target audience

 

Assessment methods

 

 

Assessment task

Formative or Summative

Length

Weighting within unit (if summative)

·    Review essay

 

750 words

15 %

·    Analysis of an image or scene from a play

 

500 words

10 %
 

·    Commentary on narrative fiction or poem

 

1000 words

25 %
 

·    Essay

 

2000 words

50 %

 

RE-SIT ASSESSMENT

Assessment task

Length

 

 

 

Feedback methods

Feedback method

Formative or Summative

  • oral feedback on seminar participation
  • written feedback on review essay, short analysis, commentary and 2000-word essay.
  • additional one-to-one feedback (during the consultation hour or by making an appointment)
  • the review essay, image or scene analysis and commentary are simultaneously  formative and summative exercises.  Feedback received on these is meant to help in preparing the essay.

 

 

Recommended reading

  • Rodrigo legends (copy to be provided)
  • Lienzo de Tlaxcala (electronic access to be provided)
  • Miguel de Cervantes’ Entremés del Juez de los divorcios (electronic access to be provided)
  • Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala, Primer nueva corónica y buen gobierno (electronic access to be provided)
  • Documents relative to the Spanish American wars of independence (electronic copies to be provided)
  • Selections from Ricardo Palma’s Tradiciones peruanas (electronic copy to be provided)
  • Selections from Federico García Lorca’s Romancero gitano (electronic copy to be provided)
  • Clips from Carlos Saura’s ¡Ay Carmela! (to be provided electronically)

Selections from:

  • Mary Louise Pratt’s ‘Arts of the Contact Zone’
  • Aníbal Quijano’s ‘Coloniality of Power’
  • Hannah Arendt’s On Revolution
  • Paul Wilkinson and Dominic Bryan’s ‘Is terrorism still a useful analytical term?’
  • Jane Tormey’s Cities and Photography
  • Marshall Berman’s ‘All that is solid’
  • Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities
  • Raymond Williams’ ‘Culture is Ordinary’
  • David Glover and Cora Kaplan’s Genders

Excerpts, clips or selected images from:

  • José Vasconcelos’ La raza cósmica
  • Evo Morales’ speeches
  • Nicolás Guillén’s poetry
  • Iñaki Arteta’s Trece entre mil
  • Horacio Cópola photographs
  • Ortega y Gasset’s works
  • Diego Rivera murals
  • Latin American comics and graphic novels

Emilio Gómez Muriel’s La monja alférez

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 11
Seminars 11
Independent study hours
Independent study 178

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Carlos Van Tongeren Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Blackboard

Course will comply with standard Blackboard requirements

Additional e-learning content

Skills-development guides and exercises will be made available through Blackboard

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