Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024

Module SPAN2151: Icons and Myths of the Hispanic World

Department: Modern Languages and Cultures (Spanish)

SPAN2151: Icons and Myths of the Hispanic World

Type Open Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap 75 Location Durham


  • Spanish Language 1A (SPAN1011) OR Spanish Language 1B (SPAN1072) 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


  • To provide an introduction to the icons and myths of the Hispanic world (looking at both Spain and Latin America), laying the foundations for advanced study at level III.


  • The module offers a panoramic overview of the formation and development of some of the most characteristic and distinctive icons and myths of the Spanish-speaking world, building to an understanding of how Hispanic identities are forged and perceived (both internally and externally) by comparing and contrasting salient representations as they appear in literature and film, as well as music and art
  • The module will be taught in English and will be available to students taking either second-year beginners or second-year post A-level Spanish

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • An understanding of the main icons and myths of the Hispanic world and the ways in which they contribute towards the construction and development of cultural attitudes
  • Knowledge of selected examples of cultural production, notably written, musical, and visual representations focused on icons and myths
  • An appreciation of the ways in which icons and myths mutate as they develop in time and space
Subject-specific Skills:
  • An ability to evaluate and react critically to questions of iconicity and myth-making in the Spanish speaking world
  • An ability to understand and apply theories and methods of analysis to literary, filmic, and visual texts
  • Understanding of cultural attitudes and differences in the Spanish speaking world
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, 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

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
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