First year culture modules

Hispanic Literature: Texts and Contexts (20 credits)

gran-via-madridThis module provides an overview of Hispanic Literature through a selection of the most important, accessible, and enjoyable texts from Medieval and Golden‐Age Spain, 20th‐century Spain, Latin‐America and the Hispanic Caribbean. Texts studied include examples of poetry, drama, prose narrative and film. Each text is considered in its own terms and within its cultural context, and each is introduced in lectures and then explored in more depth in small seminar groups. Both lectures and seminars are taught by a range of staff, all of whom are specialists in the field, introducing students to a variety of critical approaches and providing a foundation for the choice of optional modules for further study in Year 2.

Assessment: 1 Coursework Essay in English per semester (2 x 25%); Written Exam (50%).

Contact Hours: 2 hours per week in both semesters.

Conveners: Dr. Jules Whicker.

History & Politics (20 credits)

Semester 1 (History) looks at the history of Spain and Latin America. After a brief introduction to the discovery, colonisation and independence of Latin America, the Spanish‐American strand considers the issues of race and ethnicity, and then examines the origins and impact of the Mexican Revolution. The Spanish Peninsular strand examines the origins of the Spanish Civil War, the impact of the Franco regime and the transition to democracy after 1975. Semester 2 (Politics) looks at the processes of democratisation known as the third wave, the legacy of violence and state repression in the new democracies, the re-emergence of and other popular movements in Latin America; and Spain since the promulgation of the Constitution in 1978: the transition to democracy, regionalism, responses to terrorism, and electoral politics.

Assessment: 2 x 1,500-word Essays in English (2 x 25%); 1 x 2-hour Written Exam (50%).

Contact Hours: 2 hours per week in both semesters.

Convener: Dr. Nick Griffiths.

Images of Hispanic Identity (10 Credits) [Paired with Iberian Languages & Linguistics (10 credits)]

This module provides an introduction to a variety of approaches to the study of Visual Arts, through a diverse range of representative texts. The module is divided into two parts. Semester 1 (Cinema and Representation), examines three films: Pedro Almodóvar’s Todo sobre mi madre (1999); Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Amores perros (2000); and Joshua Marston’s Maria Full of Grace (2004). Semester 2 (Art History and Representation), concentrates on some of the major works of Salvador Dalí, Pablo Picasso, and Frida Kahlo.

Assessment: 1 x 1,500 word Coursework Essay in English (50%); 1 x 1-hour Class Test (50%).

Contact Hours: 2 hours per week.

Convener: Dr. Conrad James.

Iberian Languages & Linguistics (10 credits) [Paired with Images of Hispanic Identity (10 credits)]

The module covers the basic principles of linguistics, with specific emphasis on language change and the minority languages of Spain. Sections include: Introduction to Linguistics/Principles of linguistics; Native speaker's competence; Language change over time; the Indo‐European group/Romance Languages; Language change over region; Dialectology; Language change in society; Sociolinguistics; Principles of language planning/Language planning in Spain; Catalan, Galician & Basque.

Assessment: Un-assessed class exercises; 2-hour Written Exam (100%).

Contact Hours: 2 hours per week.

Convener: Dr. Aengus Ward.

LC Catalan Culture Project (10 credits)

This 10 credit module is part of the 40 credits of Catalan Studies that will permit you to finish your degree with a Minor in Catalan Studies.

This module is designed to allow students to examine in depth some of the most important aspects of Catalan society, culture, politics and history. Students should develop basic research and presentation skills by focusing on aspects of Catalan culture and society such as 1) the construction of national identity in the Catalan speaking territories; 2) representations of Catalan cultural identity in visual art, literature, music and architecture; and 3) language and socio-cultural context. By the end of the module students should be able to: Communicate effectively orally and in writing; outline the physical and human geography of the Catalan speaking territories; identify and analyse key concepts in Catalan Cultural Studies; demonstrate an understanding of the history of the Catalan language, literature, art, and popular culture.

Assessment: 1 x 2,000-word Essay (80%); 1 oral presentation of 15 minutes in English or Catalan (20%).

Delivery methods: Two supervisions each term. Students can be asked to attend an introductory meeting during week 2, semester1.

Convener: Dr. Elisenda Marcer

 

 

Disclaimer

Modules and courses are constantly updated and under review. As with most academic programmes, please remember that it is possible that a module may not be offered in any particular year, for instance because a member of staff is on study leave or too few students opt for it. The University of Birmingham reserves the right to vary or withdraw any course or module.