Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2022-2023 (archived)


Department: Modern Languages and Cultures (Spanish)


Type Open Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Not available in 2022/23 Module Cap 75 Location Durham


  • Spanish Language 1A (SPAN1011) OR Spanish Language 1B (SPAN 1072) OR an equivalent qualification to the satisfaction of the Chairman/Chairwoman of the Board of Studies in MLAC or his/her representative.


  • Modern Languages & Cultures, Liberal Arts/Combined Honours and all Joint and 'with' programmes: Spanish Language 2A (SPAN2011) or Spanish Language 2B (SPAN2111). Other: see Chairman/Chairwoman of the Board of Studies in MLAC or his/her representative.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • N/A


  • This module approaches issues of race and gender through analyses of a range of important Latin American films from the 20th and 21st centuries.
  • The module introduces students to a series of emblematic films in which ideologies of race, ethnicity, and gender are explored in their specific Latin American and Caribbean contexts.
  • The module explores a corpus of thought-provoking visual texts by filmmakers in the region. Students will analyse the ways in which Latin American filmmaking engages notions of race, ethnicity and gender present in the Latin American film canon of the past century and reflective of current trends.


  • Latin American cultures have been largely defined by discourses of national and regional consciousness. Yet issues of race and gender figure centrally in many of the most original and emblematic Latin American films. What is the cultural logic of this emphasis on race and gender in the various contexts of Latin American and Caribbean cinema?
  • This module offers a focused exploration of national and regional filmmaking. It considers some of the strategies that have shaped longstanding and contemporary ways of filming race, ethnicity and gender, and it studies a variety of debates on cultural difference, political resistance, and social and economic transformation.
  • Using influential film and cultural criticism from Latin America, the module provides both a general introduction to Latin American film culture and a detailed background to some of the hemisphere’s central discussions on the complex and often perplexing interactions of race, ethnicity and gender on the big screen.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • An understanding of the ways in which Latin American film has served as a vehicle for influential debates on race and gender politics.
  • An understanding of key concepts in Latin American film and visual culture.
  • An appreciation of a carefully chosen series of visual texts in which race and gender figure centrally as critical expressions of indigenous, diasporic, creole and postcolonial societies in the Americas.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • • An ability to interpret both canonical and recent films from a range of national and regional film industries, typically including countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. • Critical and research skills that involve visual and cultural analysis. • A broad and historically situated understanding of the development of Latin American film cultures, and of their increasingly prominent place in today's hemispheric and transnational film markets.
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)
  • Comprehension and critical analysis.
  • Coherent articulation of ideas and arguments, orally and in writing.

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 typically 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
Lecture 20 Weekly 1 hour 20
Seminar 10 Fortnightly 1 hour 10
Preparation and Reading 170
Total hours 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