BA Spanish and Chinese

Year of entry: 2021

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Course unit details:
Themes in Spanish and Latin American Studies

Unit code SPLA10420
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


This course unit is organised thematically around four major topics in Spanish and Latin American Studies: Race and Identity; Protest and Revolution; Modernity and Modernisation; and Power and Culture. Through the course students explore how these themes manifest themselves in different contexts across the Spanish-speaking world. At the same time, students are introduced to basic social and cultural theory and how it can be applied to the analysis of different cultural artefacts from the Spanish-speaking world. The course will introduce students to basic concepts, topics and theories that may inform the content of several future modules in their programmes.


  • To introduce students to basic social and cultural research theory and how it applies to specific Spanish and Spanish American cultural objects
  • To further students’ knowledge and understanding of Spanish and Latin American culture and society
  • 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

Knowledge and understanding

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

  • Demonstrate basic understanding of key themes in Spanish and Latin American Studies

Demonstrate basic understanding of cultural theory for the analysis of Spanish and Spanish American cultural objects

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:

  • 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 back up 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
  • Draw on theory when analysing concrete objects and situations

Assessment methods

Essay - 45%

Group presentation - 25%

Essay - 30%


Feedback methods

Feedback method  Formative or Summative
  • oral feedback on seminar participation

Formative and summative

  • written feedback on essays, group presentation 

Formative and summative

  • additional one-to-one feedback (during the consultation hour or by making an appointment)


the short essay, due in the first semester, will serve simultaneously as formative and summative assessment. Feedback received on it will help students in preparing their group presentation and their final essay

Recommended reading

Selections from:

  • Mary Louise Pratt’s ‘Arts of the Contact Zone’
  • Hannah Arendt’s On Revolution
  • Jane Tormey’s Cities and Photography
  • Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities

Excerpts, clips or selected images from:

  • Horacio Cópola photographs
  • The work of Federico García Lorca
  • Spanish TV events
  • The work of Sor Juan Inés de la Cruz
  • Diego Rivera murals
  • Latin American comics and graphic novels

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 22
Seminars 11
Independent study hours
Independent study 167

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Jose Valentino Gianuzzi Unit coordinator

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