Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024


Department: Modern Languages and Cultures (Spanish)


Type Open Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap 30 Location Durham


  • Spanish Language 2A (SPAN2011) OR Spanish Language 2B (SPAN2111) OR an equivalent qualification to the satisfaction of the Chairman/Chairwoman of the Board of Studies in MLAC or his/her representative.


  • Modern European Languages, Combined Honours and all Joint and 'with' programmes: Spanish Language 4 (SPAN3011). Other: see Chairman/Chairwoman of the Board of Studies in MLAC or his/her representative.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To expand upon and develop understanding of twentieth- and twenty-first-century Latin American literature.
  • To explore and develop critical and theoretical frameworks in relation to modern Latin American literature.
  • To apply knowledge of cultural and historical context to the study of modern Latin American literature.
  • To examine, where appropriate, the ways in which different examples of modern Latin American literature engage with academic debates and cultural forms that cross disciplinary boundaries, typically including fields such as music, art, and philosophy.


  • Latin American literature from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Typically, this will be focused around particular authors or literary genres, including prose and poetry, and will range across at least two different Latin American countries.
  • Cultural, theoretical, and other-disciplinary texts will be used in the exploration of the aforementioned literature, as appropriate.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students are expected to have an advanced understanding of a range of texts and/or authors in the field of twentieth and twenty-first century Latin American literature.
  • Expertise in applying critical and theoretical frameworks, including from extra-literary disciplines, to modern Latin American literature, and an understanding of how that literature contributes to and modifies our conceptualisation of those frameworks.
  • An understanding of the ways in which cultural and historical context brings itself to bear on the meaning of and our engagement with modern Latin American literature.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of tis module, students are expected to have detailed understanding of and be able to analyse a range of modern Latin American texts across different genres in a critical, scholarly fashion, applying theoretical frameworks and cultural contexts to these where appropriate.
Key Skills:
  • By the end of this module, students are expected to have extended their skills in critical analysis and academic writing.
  • Have developed further their oral communication skills.
  • Have developed further their research skills, specifically as regards text selection and the identification of appropriate theoretical and cultural frameworks.

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

  • The module will be taught in terms 1 and 2 on a ‘long-thin' basis.
  • Weekly lectures will deliver key information about and analyses of the content of the module.
  • Fortnightly seminars with smaller groups will allow for group presentations and small-group discussions, both leading to class-wide discussions.
  • Two modes of assessment provide opportunities for students to demonstrate their understanding of the texts, authors, and topics studied, and their ability to apply appropriate historical, critical, and theoretical frameworks in different ways:
  • a) A 3,000-word essay in English that involves detailed analysis of two or more of the core texts studied in Term 1. Students will be responsible for selecting their own texts from those available, and for deciding which secondary and theoretical texts to evaluate and incorporate into their essay.
  • b) A seen-paper examination in the Easter Term on the core texts studied in Term 2. The seen examination involves answering 1 question only in a set amount of time at home. The aim, thus, is to give students the time and access resources necessary to produce a longer, more research-based examination essay than would be possible in a ‘traditional’ examination, with less emphasis on memory retention, whilst still working to a time limit. The students can thus: demonstrate detailed knowledge (not memorised) and understanding of the core texts; show their ability to have researched and identified – and have detailed knowledge and understanding of – key theoretical and cultural frameworks; and avail themselves of the opportunity to show the extent to which they are able to marshal this understanding and knowledge in a time-limited exercise requiring concise expression and the ability to think on their feet.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lecture 20 Weekly 1 hour 20
Seminar 10 Fortnightly 1 hour 10
Reading and Preparation 170
Total SLAT hours 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Summative Essay Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Summative Essay 3,000 words 100% No
Component: Examination Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
'Seen-paper' Examination 2,000 words 100% No

Formative Assessment:

Seminars involve small group presentations and small and large group discussions. Oral formative feedback is proivded and further discussion takes place during the seminar sessions.

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