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Unit information: Close Encounters with Discourse in 2018/19

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Close Encounters with Discourse
Unit code HISP10016
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Jo Crow
Open unit status Not open




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


This unit focuses on close reading of Spanish language texts, whether written, visual or oral and allows students to delve deeper into language as social practice and to hone their skills of analytical reading, presentation and independent research, while also enhancing their skills as learners of the Spanish language. The texts studied will relate to social issues drawn from historical and contemporary contexts. Students will be introduced to discourse analysis approaches, and will develop practical skills in researching the broader sociohistorical context of the texts studied.

During the unit, students will work in groups and assess each other's formative work, as well as developing their skills in the light of feedback from the tutor. The formative group work is designed to facilitate the summative individual tasks. The skills developed in this unit (research, summary, presentation of data) all have direct relevance for later employment in graduate careers.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of the unit, students will be able to:

  1. Produce a bibliography relevant to the subject being studied (and explain its relevance and use)
  2. Write a brief literature review
  3. Use the aforementioned bibliography and literature review to put together a analytical commentary on a specific primary source, which opens up questions about specific issues related to the historic and contemporary Hispanic world
  4. Digest and scrutinise the language of a given primary text (written or produced in Spanish)
  5. Summarise secondary literature written in Spanish
  6. Present the findings of their analysis at a standard appropriate to level C.

Teaching details

3 weekly seminar hours

Assessment Details


  • two bibliographies related to a text studied (ILO1)
  • two brief literature reviews (ILO2)
  • two brief commentary presentations (ILO6)


  • two 1500 word commentaries, each drawing on the formative work (50% each) (ILOs 3, 4, 5)

Reading and References

The texts covered will often be related to contemporary themes and issues and will vary from year to year. A full list will appear within the Blackboard unit site.