ML0282: Cultures in Context (Spanish)

School Hispanic Studies
Department Code MLANG
Module Code ML0282
External Subject Code R430
Number of Credits 30
Level L5
Language of Delivery English
Module Leader Dr Tilmann Altenberg
Semester Double Semester
Academic Year 2020/1

Outline Description of Module

Building on the first-year module Understanding Hispanidad in a Global Context, this module will introduce students to the theoretically reflected and methodologically guided study of history, society and cultural production from across the Spanish-speaking world.

Over the two semesters, students will engage with concepts, theories and approaches that are central to Hispanic and Latin American Studies and will look at materials from a range of contexts such as Argentina, Cuba, Spain and the US-Mexican border. Teaching is divided into four themed blocks: Culture and Representation, Identity, Power, and Memory. Each block will be introduced by two school-wide lectures before students split into their specific languages for more in-depth study. Some blocks may then take a more historical approach, others will emphasise critical analysis of different genres of cultural production.

Lectures, seminars and workshops will guide students in their exploration of texts and other cultural artefacts in Spanish. The materials examined in context typically include historical documents, literary texts, comics, and films.

On completion of the module a student should be able to

  • Articulate a theoretically reflected understanding of the history, society and culture(s) of their respective field of study in a transnational context;
  • Show familiarity with key issues and specific cultural products of the respective field of study;
  • Relate the cultural artefacts studied to one another and to their context of production;
  • Apply methods of textual and visual analysis, as relevant to the materials studied;
  • Demonstrate critical thinking;
  • Demonstrate cultural sensitivity and self-awareness;
  • Show advanced competency in information literacy and IT skills;
  • Present arguments orally and in writing in a structured, logical and coherent manner, drawing on adequate secondary reading.

How the module will be delivered

The module will be taught through a blend of live online classes and guided, interactive online tasks and activities, designed to fulfil the learning outcomes. These will be delivered remotely, and on-campus if the University deems it safe and practicable.


Skills that will be practised and developed

  • Close reading;
  • Critical thinking;
  • Basic research skills;
  • Organisational skills;
  • Study skills;
  • Writing skills;
  • Word-processing skills;
  • Presentation skills;
  • Self-awareness.

How the module will be assessed

The method(s) of assessing the learning outcomes for this module are set out in the Assessment Table, which also contains the weightings of each assessment component.


You may be required to resit one or more of the assessments in this module if you fail the module. The Examination Board will advise you which assessments you need to resit during the August resit period. Resit assessments that are not supported by extenuating circumstances will be capped at the pass mark applicable to your programme.

Assessment Breakdown

Type % Title Duration(hrs)
Written Assessment 25 Essay N/A
Presentation 15 Oral Presentation N/A
Written Assessment 5 Online Quiz N/A
Written Assessment 25 Essay (Autumn Semester) N/A
Written Assessment 25 Essay N/A
Written Assessment 5 Online Quiz N/A

Syllabus content

Students will explore topics such as:

  • ‘Culture’ or ‘cultures’?
  • Who is responsible for the meaning of cultural goods?
  • Tradition, convention and innovation in culture.
  • The canon and alternative voices.
  • Cultural stereotypes and their consequences.
  • Eurocentrism and Anglo centrism.
  • National myths in a transnational context.
  • Colonialism and its heritage.
  • Intersections of identity: race, ethnicity, gender, class, religion, sexual orientation.
  • What are ‘fiction’ and ‘narrative’ and why do they matter to human beings?
  • Key works from literature and other arts.
  • What do political and cultural institutions tell us about a society?
  • Key features of the economy and business.
  • Foreign policy and international relations.

Essential Reading and Resource List

A detailed reading and resource list will be provided on Learning Central.

Background Reading and Resource List

A detailed reading and resource list will be provided on Learning Central.

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