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Images and Representations of the Hispanic World

Module Code: HP104
Module Name: Images and Representations of the Hispanic World
Module Convenor: Dr Leticia Villamediana-González
Module Credits: 30

Module Convenor: Dr Leticia Villamediana González
Module Tutors:
Dr Leticia Villamediana González, Dr Tom Whittaker, and Maria Reyes Baztán

Module Description (2020-21)

Bienvenid@s! Have you ever wondered where the familiar stereotypes of Spain and Latin America come from? How have they circulated and been received at different times and in different places? And how have Spaniards and Latin Americans represented themselves to travellers, tourists, artists, and even invaders?

This course introduces you to a wide range of written and visual representations of the Hispanic world, in both Spanish and English. We investigate topics which, in different ways, pose important questions about studying other languages and cultures. This year's selection includes:

Section 1. Term 1 Weeks 1-8. 'The Spanish Black Legend: Hispanophilia and Hispanophobia', Dr Leticia Villamediana González.

In this section, we will explore how Spain has been perceived and described through history, looking at literature, propaganda, paintings and films. We analyse the phenomenon of the Spanish Black Legend, its existence, its legacy and how it has affected the way Spaniards saw and see themselves nowadays.

Primary texts: Bartolomé de las Casas's Brevísima relación de la destrucción de las Indias; extracts from travel books; political and satirical prints; and the film Ocho apellidos vascos. Copies and translations are available online, in the library or will be distributed by the tutor.

We'll also have a week dedicated to essay writing and library skills.

Section 2. Term 1 Weeks 9-10 and term 2 Weeks 1-3. 'Visualising Spain', Dr Tom Whittaker

This section traces the ways in which Spanish national identity has been imagined and critiqued through painting and film during the twentieth century. It also introduces students to some of the technical terms needed to study film, as well as a critical understanding of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) and the Franco regime (1939-1975).

Primary texts: film Bienvenido Mr. Marshall and Picasso's Guernica. Film will be available online on Moodle.

Section 3. Term 2, Weeks 4-10. 'The Spanish Empire and its aftermath: race, colonisation and resistance', Maria Reyes Baztán.

This section explores the making of the Spanish Transatlantic Empire and its aftermath. From the arrival of Christopher Colombus until the present day, we will explore through the use of images, literature and other sources, the discourses and practices that the Spaniards used to colonise the Americas and the legacies of empire in our daily life.

In each case, we emphasise both close textual and film analysis and wide independent reading.

If you want to know more about the module, you can read what our students say about it in our blogs, in Spanish or in English.

The course has a weekly lecture and seminar. Both are taught in English and texts will be available (when possible) in Spanish and in English. You will prepare for each seminar with guided research, reflection and close reading of a set text or extract. Each session combines tutor-led lecture with student-led analysis and discussion. Your work in this course will help you to extend the linguistic ability you will acquire in language modules, to develop your critical reading skills, and to manage and understand a wide range of primary and secondary source materials.


Assessment Method:

Assessment is designed to develop your advanced writing and analytical skills in English. Over the course of the year, you will prepare three independent pieces of work. You will have individual feedback meetings with your tutors to discuss each piece of work, and you will choose your best two pieces to revise for submission as an assessed portfolio at the end of the year.

Formative assessment:

3 x 1500-word commentaries/essays in English to be submitted during the year. Two to be revised and submitted in summative portfolio.

Summative assessment:

2 x 2000-2500-word commentaries/essays in English (revised from formative work).

One 500-word reflective analysis in English.

Dr Leticia Villamediana González

Dr Leticia Villamediana-González

2020-2021 Terms 1 & 2
Lecture: Online
Seminar: Tbc

Moodle HP104 page (for seminar work and supporting materials)


‘Faces of the Conquistador’
© Visual Artist Frank Bonilla