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The University of Southampton

SPAN1001 The History and Politics of the Hispanic World

Module Overview

This course will introduce students to the major themes in Spanish and Spanish American history and politics over the past five hundred years.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• introduce you to the major themes in Spanish and Spanish American history through weekly lectures and student presentations and group discussions in weekly seminar. • To complement language learning through the reading and analysis of key texts in the target language.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • some of the main issues and trends in the study of history and politics, including class, race and gender relations, using Spain and Spanish America as case studies
  • the historical relationship between Europe and the Americas, by tracing the 500-year connection between Spain and Spanish America.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • demonstrate improved study skills
  • read, discuss and write about new ideas in English
  • work effectively in a group, as well as independently
  • read and analyse relevant texts in the target language
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • identify and summarise key events in the Spanish Speaking world
  • outline the main issues and debates emanating from those events
Cognitive Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • discuss and construct basic arguments about some of the major issues in the history and politics of Spain and Latin America
  • demonstrate skills of analysis and constructing an argument in both writing and discussion


This module will introduce you to the major themes in Spanish and Spanish American history and politics over the past five hundred years. Using particular events and dates as lenses, we will investigate themes which inform our understanding of the Spanish speaking world. The key dates and corresponding themes are:- • 1492-1992 From “discovery” to “commemorations” (Conquest and Colonisation) • 1898 “Loss” of the Spanish empire / “Independence” of the Americas: Nationalism and Neo-colonialism. • 1930s-1940s Political ideologies in conflict (Spanish Civil War; Repression and counterinsurgency in Latin America) • 1960s/1970s Political Transitions (Cuban Revolution; Spanish Democratic Transition) • 2000s Contemporary Spanish and Latin American Politics Through an historical overview, as well as comparisons and contrasts of specific issues, we will investigate the connections between Spain and the Americas from the pre-colonial to the post-colonial period. In addition to studying more conventional historical issues (e.g. discovery, colonialism, nationalism and revolution), we will look at more recent trends in social and cultural history, including migration and the construction of ethnicity and gender

Special Features

Your knowledge and understanding of the history and society of the Spanish-speaking world will be developed through attendance at, and participation in, seminars and assessed in an essay and in the final examination. The feedback provided on the essay will help you to prepare for the final exam.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include • weekly lectures • weekly seminars Template Approved by Senate – June 2013 University of Southampton 4 Module Profile date module name Learning activities include • student presentations • essay writing • discussion of texts in the target language Innovative or special features of this module • The use of relevant texts and films in the target language

Follow-up work4
Completion of assessment task40
Preparation for scheduled sessions2
Wider reading or practice40
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Reid, Michael (2007). Forgotten Continent Yale. 

Shubert, A (1990). A Social History of Modern Spain. 

Carr, Raymond (1991). Modern Spain 1875-1980. 

Chasteen J.C (2001). Born in Blood and Fire. 

Galeano, Eduardo (1997). Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent. 

Hillman, Richard S., ed. (1997). Understanding Contemporary Latin America. 

Graham, Helen and Jo Labanyi (1995). Spanish Cultural Studies: An Introduction. 

Hooper, John (1995). The New Spaniards. 

Keen, Benjamin (1980). Short History of Latin America. 


Assessment Strategy

Assessments designed to provide informal, on-module feedback • feedback on essay plans • feedback on seminar presentations


MethodPercentage contribution
Class participation 5%
Essay  (1500 words) 40%
Final essay 50%
Seminar presentation 5%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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