Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024

Module SPAN1171: INTRODUCTION TO HISPANIC LITERATURE AND CULTURE (ab initio)

Department: Modern Languages and Cultures (Spanish)

SPAN1171: INTRODUCTION TO HISPANIC LITERATURE AND CULTURE (ab initio)

Type Open Level 1 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap 30 Location Durham

Prerequisites

  • Grade A or above at A level in a foreign European language, or an equivalent qualification

Corequisites

  • Modern European Languages, Combined Honours and all Joint and 'with' programmes: Spanish Language 1B (SPAN1072). Other: see Chairman/Chairwoman of the Board of Studies in MLAC or his/her representative.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • Spanish Language 1A (SPAN1011); any MLAN or MLAS-coded Spanish Language modules.

Aims

  • To offer ab initio students of Spanish an introduction to literary and cultural studies with reference to Spain and Latin America.
  • To offer ab initio students the opportunity to engage effectively with key cultural issues in the Hispanic world from the Middle Ages to the present.
  • To provide an introduction to theoretical analysis and the methodology and practice of research, with emphasis on the acquisition and utilization of theory, critical terminology, and essential research skills.
  • To provide an introduction to key 'texts' and issues in the areas of specialism of research active members of the Department of Hispanic Studies, enabling students to make properly informed decisions as to module choices level II and level III, and as regards the topic of their final-year Dissertation.
  • To provide a crucial point of departure in the acquisition of critical modes of enquiry for students planning to engage at a higher intellectual level with literary and cultural ‘texts’ and topics studied at levels II, III, and in the final-year Dissertation.

Content

  • This module, which is taught and assessed in English, offers an introduction to literary and cultural studies with reference to Spain and Latin America, from the Middle Ages to the present. Specifically, it provides an introduction to key 'texts' and issues in the areas of specialism of research active members of the Hispanic Studies language area through the analysis of representative sample outputs, in bilingual editions/with English subtitles where relevant. There will also be an increasing use of samples of texts in the target language as the year progresses. Areas covered will vary from year to year but will normally include the analysis of traditional forms of literature (such as poetry, theatre, and prose) as well as film and other visual forms such as painting and photography. The module will, where staff availability allows, typically aim to offer a 50/50 split in its focus on Spain and Latin America respectively, in order to provide a broad and balanced introduction to literary and cultural research in the Hispanic world, past and present. Students will also have gained confidence in working with samples of cultural production in the target language. 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:
  • By the end of the module students will have received a firm grounding in the literature and culture of the Spanish-speaking world from the Middle Ages to the contemporary period and will be able to engage critically with a range of theoretical and methodological approaches to analysis.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module students will have gained the ability to evaluate critically and to contextualise samples of Spanish and Latin American literary and cultural production, in translation where relevant.
  • They will also have gained confidence in working with samples of cultural production in the target language.
  • They will have enhanced their powers of comprehension and critical analysis, and will be able to articulate theoretically-informed approaches to analysis orally and in writing.
Key Skills:
  • They will be able to engage with primary sources, in translation where relevant, and evaluate them with reference to broader theoretical ideas.
  • They will gain skills in the acquisition and interpretation of information through reading and research, as well as in general written and oral communication skills.
  • They will gain the ability to work independently in order to complete a summative assessment to a deadline, providing research-led interpretations and solutions to questions and problems posed by the module topics and in-class discussions.

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

  • A weekly lecture will deliver key information on the module.
  • A fortnightly seminar with smaller groups will allow for active discussion. They will tackle the ‘texts’ and topics in a way that is commensurate with the linguistic and cultural knowledge and experience of the student cohort, mainly using primary and secondary texts in English/English translation (where relevant), alongside the original texts in the target language. There will be an increasing use of samples of texts in the target language.
  • The summative essay is based on topics covered during the Michaelmas Term; the examination covers the work carried out in the Epiphany and Easter Terms.
  • This assessment format responds to the need for students to articulate and structure their thoughts in writing as preparation for the final-year dissertation, as well as preparing them for assessment by examination at levels II and III.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 20 weekly 1 hour 20
Tutorials 10 fortnightly 1 hour 10
Student preparation and reading time 170
Total SLAT hours 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Summative Essay Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Summative Essay 2,000 words 100% Yes
Component: Written Examination Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written Examination 2 hours 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:

None


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