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Unit information: Critical Concepts in the Study of the Hispanic World in 2018/19

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Unit name Critical Concepts in the Study of the Hispanic World
Unit code HISP10010
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Wells
Open unit status Open




School/department Department of Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American Studies
Faculty Faculty of Arts


This unit will explore the major themes and concepts which students need to comprehend in order to understand the cultures, histories and literatures of the Hispanic world. Moving through themes such as gender, narrative, popular culture, linguistics, colonialism and identity, the unit will introduce students to the major theoretical and conceptual approaches to the study of the Hispanic world. In seminars students will explore 8 key texts or sources in detail, and analyse these in their cultural, political and historical contexts.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the unit, students will be able to demonstrate:

  1. an understanding of the major critical concepts and theories that are employed to understand the histories, cultures and politics of the Hispanic world;
  2. an ability to analyse texts and images from a critical and theoretically informed perspective, and have developed the capacity to critically assess texts, images and films and to comment on and judge meaning and intention.
  3. skills in critical analysis appropriate to Level C.

Teaching details

2 hour weekly lecture and a 1 hour weekly seminar per week.

Students will be provided with a reading list and source booklet; extensive use will also be made of Blackboard.

Assessment Details

One learning portfolio (accounting for 100% of the mark), consisting of 8 x 500-word reports on each of the eight central subjects (total 4000 words) discussed in weekly seminars. The portfolio will test ILOs 1-3.

Reading and References

D. T. Gies (ed.), The Cambridge History of Spanish Literature (Cambridge, 2004).

Helen Graham, and Jo Labanyi (eds.), Spanish Cultural Studies, (Oxford, 1995).

Jo Labanyi, Spanish Literature: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford, 2010)

Sally Faulkner, A History of Spain Film: Cinema and Society 1910-2010 (London, 2013)

Phil Swanson, (ed.), The Companion to Latin American Studies (London: Arnold, 2003).

Matthew Brown, From Frontiers to Football: Latin American History from 1800 to the present (London, 2014)

John King, Magical Reels: A History of Cinema in Latin America (London, 2000)