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SPAN1003 Narrative and Cultural Identity in the Hispanic World

Module Overview

This module will use different texts from Spain and Spanish America from the mid fifteenth century through to the present. It will focus on major themes in Spanish and Spanish American history, such as Discovery and Colonisation; nationalism; migration; Dictatorship and Ethnicity. This module covers key moments in the development of modern Spanish and Spanish American culture within its broader social, political and historical context. You will also be introduced to the terms and debates in Hispanic Studies and Cultural Studies. You will gain a sound basic knowledge of key figures and events in Spanish and Spanish American history from the Middle Ages to the end of the 20th century, and an understanding of the key factors influencing social and political change during this period. This will allow you to place social, political and artistic events in a historical context, and to make an informed response to, and evaluate critically, a range of texts and topics representative of the main historical and cultural movements in Spain and Spanish America.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• Introduce you to key moments in the development of modern Spanish and Spanish American culture within its broader social, political and historical context • To gain basic knowledge of key figures and events in Spanish and Spanish American history from the Middle Ages to the end of the 20th century, and an understanding of the key factors influencing social and political change during this period. • introduce you to ways in which key themes of Spanish and Latin American history, such as ‘colonisation’, ‘Nationalism’, ‘Migration’ and ‘Dictatorship’ have been explored in a variety of narratives produced in the Spanish-speaking world; • Introduce you to the concepts and debates in Hispanic Studies and Hispanic Cultural Studies • explore the ways in which texts construct cultural identities, in particular regional and national, ethnic, class and gender identities • explore the ways in which audiences respond to these texts • enable you to explore a range of narrative forms, including fiction, film, narrative poetry and painting • introduce you to particular genres, for example, gaucho narratives and theatre or Chicano film • introduce you to critical approaches that may be applied to Spanish and Latin American material, and which will then be developed in the first year Modern Languages module ‘Reading Culture’; • provide a grounding in ways of reading high, popular and mass cultural texts that will be expanded in the 2 year module ‘High Popular and Mass Culture in the Hispanic World’ • introduce you to skills in oral presentation and academic writing

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • A range of Spanish and Latin American narratives in different genres and media
  • The ways in which crucial developments in Spanish and Spanish American history have been debated through those narratives
  • Different theoretical approaches towards narrative
  • Different cultural and social functions of narrative
  • The internal workings of different forms of narrative
Cognitive Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Evaluate different theoretical approaches towards narrative
  • Construct your own critical analysis of the narratives studied
  • Reflect critically on your own readings of narratives
  • Through the study of the major themes in Spanish and Spanish American history that are explored in the narraitves studied, make clear links with the material covered in other first year SPLAS courses and in Spanish language modules
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Develop basic techniques and strategies for analysing narratives
  • Employ basic bibliographical and referencing skills
  • Confidently employ basic oral and written communication skills
  • Lead and participate in discussions
  • Assess arguments and develop your own response
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Read confidently a wide range of narratives in Spanish
  • Identify and summarize the key points of debate about those narratives
  • Express your ideas lucidly in writing

Syllabus

The key historical periods examined on this module are: The Spanish Golden Age and the Conquest of the Americas (1492-1700) Spain, end of the Empire date (1700s) to the Civil War and Franco’s dictatorship (1936 -1975) Transition to a Democratic Spain (1975 – 2000s) The emergence of Spanish America: the way to Independence (1812 - 1898) Spanish America in the 20th century: Revolution and Dictatorship (1898 - 1975) Modern Spanish America (1975 – 2000s) We will examine how the texts studied explore key themes of Spanish and Spanish American history, such as ‘identity’, ‘race’, ‘ethnicity’ ‘colonisation’, ‘nationalism’, ‘migration’ and ‘dictatorship’. You will develop range of ways of thinking about such texts and their many cultural and social functions and how audiences respond. Issues of national, ethnic, class and gender identity will be highlighted. The module will also look at the ways in which these texts are constructed in a variety of media and genres, and at the refusal of narrative in certain avant-garde texts. You will learn how to analyse the internal workings of different kinds of narrative, and to think critically about their social and political functions.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include * Lectures * Seminars, to include oral presentations and group discussion Learning activities include * Presenting theoretical analysis in class * Constructing arguments in response to questions set for assessed work * Independent study The lectures and seminars will discuss theoretical approaches towards narrative, and critically analyse the material chosen for the module programme. In seminars, class discussion will sometimes be generated by student presentations. Your participation in the seminars will require you to develop your ideas, organize them and express them clearly in oral form. Your understanding of the material and theoretical issues covered, and your ability to construct your own argument, will be tested in the written tasks, which will also enable you to develop your writing, referencing and bibliographical skills.

TypeHours
Completion of assessment task40
Follow-up work4
Wider reading or practice40
Preparation for scheduled sessions2
Revision40
Lecture12
Seminar12
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Stephen Hart and Richard Young (2003). Contemporary Latin American Cultural Studies. 

Philip Swanson (2003). The Companion to Latin American Studies. 

Helen Graham and Jo Labanyi (1995). Spanish Cultural studies: an introduction: the struggle for modernity. 

Francisco Goya y Lucientes. Selected paintings (on Blackboard)

Introduction.

Bwana. 1996, dir. Imanol Uribe - DVDs in Centre for Language Resources

La Casa de Bernarda Alba. TV production, dir. Mario Camus, 1987, available on You Tube

Cristóbal Colón (2002). Los Cuatro Viajes. 

Bartolomé de las Casas (2003). An Account, Much Abbreviated, of the "Destruction of the Indies" with Related Texts. 

André Saint-Lu (2005). Brevísima relación de la destrucción de las Indias. 

Catherine Davies (2003). The Companion to Hispanic Studies. 

El Gaucho Martin Fierro. El Gaucho Martin Fierro (1872), José Hernandez, Copies with English translation will be distributed and other materials in pack. (different publishers available (e.g amazon/October books) including Letras Hispánicas)

Víctor Erice, El espíritu de la colmena. Film, 1973 - available on BOB and in Centre for Language Resources

Assessment

Assessment Strategy

Assessments designed to provide informal, on-module feedback • Seminar discussions • Individual feedback

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Assessed written tasks  (2000 words) 90%
Presentation 10%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Resubmit assessments 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisite: A-level Spanish or equivalent

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