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Unit information: African Presence in Latin America: Nation and Representation in 2019/20

Please note: Due to alternative arrangements for teaching and assessment in place from 18 March 2020 to mitigate against the restrictions in place due to COVID-19, information shown for 2019/20 may not always be accurate.

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 African Presence in Latin America: Nation and Representation
Unit code HISP20100
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Peters
Open unit status Not open




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


This unit focuses on the contribution of African-descended people to the histories, cultures and societies of Latin America from slavery to the present day. Emphasis is on an interdisciplinary and critical engagement with official discourse in national identity formation contrasted with the lived experience of blackness. Through the systematic comparison of several cases, the unit discusses how ideas of race and nation in Latin America have shaped opportunities for mobilisation and public policies. We will also explore the processes of formation and transformation of Afro-Latin cultures and their connections to a wider hemispheric identity. Countries to be explored include Cuba, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, and Mexico.

Intended learning outcomes

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

1. demonstrate broad knowledge and critical understanding of the key issues related to the presence of African-descended peoples in Latin America.

2. respond in a rigorous and analytical manner to the debates raised by the unit and to interrogate these critically.

3. engage in close analysis of literary and visual sources.

4. show a critical awareness of theoretical scholarship on race and nation and be able to explain it in written form as appropriate to level I.

5. carry out independent research appropriate to level I.

6. demonstrate the ability to work collaboratively.

7. demonstrate sophisticated presentation skills.

Teaching details

1 weekly lecture and 1 weekly seminar hour

Assessment Details

1 essay (summative, 50%), assessing ILOs 1-5.

1 2-hour exam (summative, 50%), assessing ILOs 1-4.

1 group presentation on topic chosen by students (formative), assessing ILOs 1-7.

Reading and References


Alejandro de la Fuente, A Nation for All: Race, Inequality, and Politics in Twentieth-Century Cuba, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press (2001)

George Reid Andrews, Afro-Latin-America, 1800-2000, Harvard: Harvard University Press (2004)

Laurence Prescott, Without Hatreds and Fears: Jorge Artel and the Struggle for Black Literary Expression in Colombia, Detriot: Wayne State University Press (2000)

Ernesto Sagas, Race and Politics in the Dominican Republic, Gainesville: University Press of Florida(2000)

Emanuelle Oliveira, Writing Identity: The Politics of Contemporary Afro-Brazilian Literature, Indiana: Purdue University Press (2008)


Carlos Diegues, Quilombo (1984)

Sergio Giral, El otro Francisco (1974)

Sara Gómez, De cierta maneira (1974)

Nelson Pereira dos Santos, Rio Zona Norte (1957)


Jorge Artel, Tambores en la noche : poesia, Bogotá : Ministerio de Cultura (2010)

Nicolás Guillén,, Obra poética. [2], 1958-1972, La Habana : Unión de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba (1974)

Nancy Morejón, Black Woman and Other Poems, London: Mango Publishing (2001)