Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2022-2023 (archived)

Module SPAN1141: Identity in the Spanish Speaking World

Department: Modern Languages and Cultures (Spanish)

SPAN1141: Identity in the Spanish Speaking World

Type Open Level 1 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2022/23 Module Cap 75 Location Durham


  • Grade A in Spanish at A level or an equivalent qualification


  • Modern Languages & Cultures, Liberal Arts/Combined Honours and all Joint and 'with' programmes: Spanish Language 1A (SPAN1011). Other: see Chairman/Chairwoman of the Board of Studies in MLAC or his/her representative.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • Spanish Language 1B (SPAN1072)


  • To provide an introduction to representations of the question of identity in the Spanish speaking world, laying the foundations for advanced study at levels II and III


  • This module, which is taught and assessed in English, is open to students taking Spanish Language 1A and involves the study of constructions and reconstructions of national and transnational identities in the Hispanic World. It pays particular attention to the role of language and linguistic contact in the make-up of transcultural identities and to representations of race, gender, sexuality and nationality in samples of Spanish and Latin American cultural production. Materials may include written texts (literary and non-literary), films, visual artefacts (paintings, posters, photographs) or music, whose study will be used to build an understanding of identity in the Spanish-speaking world that focuses on the variation between different countries, periods and cultural forms. By taking the course students will gain an understanding not just of the ways in which the self is constructed and represented in a global way but of how the Spanish-speaking world is characterized by a series of distinct and individual conceptions of selfhood that can differ significantly from one another. This module has been designed to reflect a commitment to diversity in its resources and delivery and will create opportunities for students to engage in critical analysis of different perspectives relevant to the study area.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • An understanding of the main elements that shape representations of and attitudes towards cultural identities in Spain and Latin America.
  • Knowledge of selected examples of literary and filmic representations of identity produced in Spain and Latin America.
  • An understanding of the complexity and diversity of the Spanish speaking world with specific reference to representations of identity, paying particular attention to questions of race, gender, sexuality, exile, and nationality.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • An ability to evaluate critically and contextualize representations of identity in the Spanish speaking world
  • Comprehension, critical analysis, and selective reapplication of information from a variety of sources.
  • An ability to combine organized independent study with effective group work
  • Coherent articulation of ideas and arguments, orally and in writing
Key Skills:
  • Writing skills
  • Research and time management skills
  • IT skills (word-processing of assignments, use of an online learning environment, use of online sources of information)
  • Understanding of cultural attitudes and differences in the Spanish speaking world

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • A weekly general lecture will deliver key information on the module; a fortnightly seminar with smaller groups will allow for individual presentations and active discussions
  • The summative essay is based on topics covered during the Michaelmas Term.
  • The examination covers the work carried out in the Epiphany and Summer Terms and tests the understanding of topics under controlled conditions
  • The mixture of summative essay and final examination responds to requests from students for this mode of assessment

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 20 1 per week 1 hour 20
Seminars 10 1 per fortnight 1 hour 10
Preparation and Reading 170
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 2000 words 100% Yes
Component: Examination Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written examination 2 hours 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:


Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University