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The University of Southampton
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HUMA2023 Issues in Latin American Popular Music and Culture

Module Overview

The module aims to develop your critical awareness of Latin American music and dance cultures of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and the ways that scholars have approached them. Rather than a survey of Latin American music, the course will be thematically focussed on issues which may include indigeneity; social inequalities and marginality; gender and sexuality; migration; ‘race’ and racism; nation-building and cosmopolitanism; politics, dictatorship and social movements; exoticism, folklore and transnationalism; scenes and countercultures; religion; violence. Although the focus will be on Latin American and Latinx popular musics, students may opt to explore Latin American art musics and/or other cultural practices in assessments. Genres and music cultures that may be explored include bolero, bossa nova, corrido, cumbia, danzón, mambo, Nueva canción, punk, rap, reggaeton, rock and roll, salsa, samba, son cubano and tango. The module will be based on the study of books and articles, and close listening and viewing of audio-visual materials.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • aesthetic, social and ethical questions associated with Latin American music and musicians
  • a range of Latin American music genres within distinct social contexts
  • relevant theoretical approaches to the study of Latin American music cultures
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • transfer ideas about musical practice from one genre to another through the lens of issues pertaining to Latin American music cultures
  • transfer methodologies from the social sciences and humanities more broadly to the study of music
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • assemble case studies under a thematic umbrella and apply a unified theoretical approach
  • gather information independently from a cross-section of disciplinary resources

Syllabus

A series of topics will be presented over the semester with each topic examining music and dance forms within distinct Latin American/Latinx social contexts. Examples of issues that may be explored include: indigeneity; social inequalities and marginality; gender and sexuality; migration; ‘race’ and racism; nation-building and cosmopolitanism; politics, dictatorship and social movements; exoticism, folklore and transnationalism; scenes and countercultures; religion; violence. Although the focus will be on Latin American and Latinx popular musics, students may opt to explore Latin American art musics and/or other cultural practices in assessments. Genres and music cultures that may be explored include bolero, bossa nova, corrido, cumbia, danzón, mambo, Nueva canción, punk, rap, reggaeton, rock and roll, salsa, samba, son cubano and tango.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include; - Lectures - Discussion - Sharing of ideas and materials via Blackboard and other electronic resources Learning activities include: - A wide range of reading (certain books and articles will be required reading) and listening/viewing of selected audio and video recordings - Individual research

TypeHours
Independent Study126
Lecture24
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Vargas, Deborah R. (2012). Dissonant Divas in Chicana Music: The Limits of La Onda. 

León, Javier F, and Helena Simonett, eds. (2016). A Latin American Music Reader: Views from the South. 

Mendívil, Julio, and Christian Spencer Espinosa, eds. (2015). Made in Latin America: Studies in Popular Music. 

Assessment

Assessment Strategy

Differentiation between Level 5 and Level 6 work: The assessment of skills will be the same as for Level 6 students. For Level 6 students taking this unit, expectations will be higher than those for Level 5 students, and the assessment criteria will be accordingly stricter. In particular: - Topics chosen should allow a greater degree of focus and detail, whether of analysis, examination of and commentary on facts, critical insight, independent argument, or other factors. - Conversely, assignments should demonstrate a broader knowledge and understanding of context, a more confident use of analytical and critical tools, and a more mature handling of argument, etc. - Optimal standards of presentation are required, in terms of spelling, punctuation, and grammar; sophistication of vocabulary; provision of footnotes; inclusion of full bibliographic and related details; physical appearance of work, etc.

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2000 words) 60%
Essay  (2000 words) 40%

Repeat

MethodPercentage contribution
Essay 100%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Essay 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Costs

Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Printing and Photocopying Costs

Students are responsible for covering the costs incurred for printing and photocopying materials. The current cost for student printing can be found by following this link https://www.southampton...nting-for-students.page

Stationery

You will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc.

Textbooks

You are not required to purchase textbooks for this module, which should be available from the library.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.

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