Spanish and Latin American Studies Content Modules 2017/18 Level 4 Modules: Full Module Title: Introducción al mundo hispánico Module Code

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Full Module Title:

Cultural Histories of Twentieth Century Brazil

Module Code:



30 credits / Level 6


Dr Emily Baker


Dr Emily Baker

Entrance Requirements:

This module will be taught in English. There is no language requirement other than English.


Thursdays 6.00-7.30pm (Terms 1 and 2)

Module Description:

This course explores (the long) Brazilian Twentieth Century through a variety of different cultural and critical texts, and from a range of disciplinary perspectives. Term one (“National Projects and Radical Resistors”) involves the examination of political and cultural projects that have attempted to shape the nation in both imaginary and material terms. This will involve the study of art, music, literature, film, democracy and social reform, dictatorship, and urban guerrillas past and present. In term two the focus is on issues of inequality and its intersections with questions of class, race, gender and the environment. In the analysis of selected stories, students will explore the man-made quality of divisions between people and binaries such as Self/Other, and Society/Nature; as well as philosophies and works that seek to overcome these divisions. Another theme will be ‘Globalisation’ and the impact of our increasing global interconnectedness on the drugs trade and environmental politics, and the ways in which these impact specific communities in Brazil. Over the course of the module students will be exposed to—and encouraged to deploy—a range of key theoretical concepts from politics, economics and environmental studies; gender, racial and post-colonial studies; and psychoanalytical and philosophical discourse. Reflection will also be encouraged upon the connections between movements and events in Brazil and the broader transnational context, including making critical comparisons with one’s own culture.


Term 1: National Projects and Radical Resistors.
Week 1: Introduction to the Module

Essay: Roberto Schwarz, “Nationalism by Exclusion”. Misplaced Ideas (1992).

Week 2: End of the 19th Century (1): Foundational fictions

Novel: José de Alencar, Iracema (1856)

Sommer, Doris. ‘O Guaraní and Iracema: Brazil’s Two-faced Indigenism’. Foundational Fictions (1991).
Week 3: End of the 19th Century (2): The Abolition of Slavery and the República Velha in Brazil

Film: Behind the Sun (dir. Walter Salles, 2001).

Week 4: Finding a National Identity: Semana de Arte Moderna 1922 São Paulo

Manifesto: Oswald de Andrade, ‘The Anthropophagic Manifesto’ (1928).

Ades, Dawn et al. Art in Latin America: The Modern Era, 1820-1980 (1989)
Week 5: Finding a National Identity: Music

Article: Borge, Jason, ‘Jazz and the Great Samba Debate, and Vice Versa’, Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies, 25 (2016).

Week 7: The Vargas Era (1930 – 1945)

Williams, D. Culture Wars in Brazil: The First Vargas Regime, 1930-1945 (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2001).

Week 8: Social Reform and Cinema Novo

Film: Black God White Devil (dir. Glauber Rocha, 1964)

Manifesto: Glauber Rocha ‘The Esthetic of Hunger’ (1965)

Child, Benjamin, ‘The Magical Real and the Rural Modern in Cinema Novo: Vidas Secas and Black God, White Devil’, South Central Review, 31 (2014), 55–73.

Week 9: Dictatorship (and gender)

Cowan, Benjamin A., ‘Sex and the Security State: Gender, Sexuality, and “Subversion” at Brazil’s Escola Superior de Guerra, 1964-1985’, Journal of the History of Sexuality, 16 (2007), 459–81.

Deutsch, Sandra McGee, ‘Christians, Homemakers, and Transgressors: Extreme Right-Wing Women in Twentieth-Century Brazil’, Journal of Women’s History, 16 (2004), 124–37
Week 10: Radical Resistors

Manifesto: Carlos Marighella ‘Manual of the Urban Guerilla’ (1969)

Williams, John W., ‘Carlos Marighela: The Father of Urban Guerrilla Warfare’, Terrorism, 12 (1989), 1–20.*
Week 11: Contemporary Urban Guerrillas

Documentary: Ninguém é Black Bloc – A Brazilian Urban Guerrilla Group (dir. Romulo Cyríaco, 2015)

Term 2: Issues of Inequality and Exploitation (Race, Gender, Nature)
Week 1: Self-representation from the Favela: Carolina de Jesus and Testimonio

Diary Extracts: Carolina de Jesus, Child of the Dark (1960)

Essay: Beverley, John, ‘The Margin at the Centre: On Testimonio’, Testimonio: On the Politics of Truth (2004).*
Week 2: Clarice Lispector: The Passion according to G.H. (1)

Reis, Levilson C., ‘The Invisible, the Unclean, the Uncanny: The Feminine Black Other in Lispector’s THE PASSION ACCORDING TO G. H.’, The Explicator, 68 (2010), 133–35.*

Week 3: Clarice Lispector: The Passion according to G.H. (2)

Goh, Irving, ‘Blindness and Animality, or Learning How to Live Finally in Clarice Lispector’s The Passion according to G. H.’, Differences, 23 (2012), 113–35.

Goh, Irving, ‘Le Toucher, Le Cafard, Or, On Touching – the Cockroach in Clarice Lispector’s Passion according to G.H.’, MLN, 131 (2016), 461–80
Week 4: Clarice Lispector: The destruction of sovereignty

Lispector, Clarice, and Earl E. Fitz, ‘Beauty and the Beast, Or, the Wound Too Great’, Latin American Literary Review, 19 (1991)

Week 5: Contemporary Inequalities: theories and case studies

Meurs P., N. Note, D. Aerts ‘The “Globe” Globalization,” Kritike 5:2 (2011): 10-25.

Week 7: Globalisation and Inequality: Favelas, drugs and representation (1)

Penglase, R. Ben, ‘Lost Bullets: Fetishes of Urban Violence in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’, Anthropological Quarterly, 84 (2011).

Week 8: Globalisation and Inequality: Favelas, drugs and representation (2)

Film: City of God (2002).

Cinar, Alev, and Thomas Bender, Urban Imaginaries: Locating the Modern City (2007).
Week 9: Globalisation and Environmental Politics (1)

Documentary: The Munduruku Indians

Riethof, Marieke, ‘The International Human Rights Discourse as a Strategic Focus in Socio-Environmental Conflicts: The Case of Hydro-Electric Dams in Brazil’, The International Journal of Human Rights, 0 (2016), 1–18.*
Week 10: Globalisation and Environmental Politics (2): Brazil and the World-Ecology

Moore, Jason W., ‘The End of the Road? Agricultural Revolutions in the Capitalist World-Ecology, 1450–2010’, Journal of Agrarian Change, 10 (2010), 389–413.

Week 11: Revision


Essay 1 (2,500 words): 40%

Essay 2 (3,500 words): 60%

Indicative Texts:

Please can everyone get hold of a copy of:
José de Alencar, Iracema (1856) (Available on Kindle or paperback).

Clarice Lispector’s The Passion according to G.H. (Modern Penguin Classics: 2014).

The articles mentioned above shall be provided on Moodle.
Selected further reading:
D. Ades et al. Art in Latin America: The Modern Era, 1820-1980 (Yale UP: 1989)

J. Beverley. Testimonio: On the Politics of Truth (U of Minnesota P: 2004).

A. Cinar, and T. Bender, Urban Imaginaries: Locating the Modern City (U of Minnesota P: 2007).

J. Derrida, On Touching, Jean-Luc Nancy (Stanford UP: 2005).

J. Holston, Insurgent Citizenship: Disjunctions of Democracy and Modernity in Brazil (Princeton UP: 2008).

A. Kertzer, Favelization (Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution: 2014).

C. Lindner (ed), Globalization, Violence and the Visual Culture of Cities (Routledge: 2010).

L. Martins, Photography and Documentary Film in the Making of Modern Brazil (Manchester UP: 2013).

C. Marighella, Minimanual of an Urban Guerilla (1969).

J. Moore, Capitalism in the Web of Life (Verso: 2015).

Nancy, Jean-Luc, The Inoperative Community (U of Minnesota P: 1986).

Nancy, Jean-Luc, The Creation of the World, Or, Globalization (SUNY Press: 2007).

R. Schwarz, Misplaced Ideas: Essays on Brazilian Culture (Routledge: 1992)

D. Sommer, Foundational Fictions: The National Romances of Latin America (U of California P: 1994)

D. Williams, Culture Wars in Brazil: The First Vargas Regime, 1930-1945 (Duke UP: 2001).

R. J. Williams, Brazil (Reaktion: 2009).


Behind the Sun (dir. Walter Salles, 2001). Available on BOB.

Black God White Devil (dir. Glauber Rocha, 1964). Available on BOB.

City of God (dir. Fernando Merelles, Kátia Lund 2002).

Documentary: The Munduruku Indians. Available on Kanopy.

-- Ninguém é Black Bloc – A Brazilian Urban Guerrilla Group (dir. Romulo Cyríaco, 2015). Available on Kanopy.

Other Important Information:

The course will be conducted in a colloquium format. All students will be expected to attend every session and to participate actively in class discussion.

Full Module Title:

Project BA Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies

Module Code:



30 Credits / Level 6


Dr María Elena Placencia


Lecturers in Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies

Entrance Requirements:

Students are advised to choose/propose a topic related to a module or modules that they have taken before as part of their degree programme. They need to have the relevant background in order to be able to undertake a given research project successfully.



Module Description:

Taken in the final year, the Project is a research module that allows students to explore in depth a topic of their interest, over the course of their final year. It has equal weight as a full 30-credit module and it is not taught. As such, students are required to undertake work equivalent to that required for any 30-credit module. The topic is selected by students in consultation with their supervisor (i.e., a lecturer who has agreed to act as their supervisor).



Assessment Table:

  1. Monday 13 November 2017: Deadline for students to provide a working title of their project (in consultation with their supervisor).

  2. Monday 15 January 2018: Deadline for students to submit to Moodle a project plan, a draft chapter, and a bibliography of works consulted or to be consulted via Turnitin.

  3. Monday 14 May 2018: Deadline for the submission of the full project via Turnitin.

Please note:

  • The project should not normally exceed 8,000 words.

  • Projects may be written in English, Spanish or Portuguese (in consultation with supervisor), but no extra credit will be given for writing in Spanish or Portuguese.

Essential Texts:

N/A. It is an independent research project.

Other Important Information:

Students should discuss the final year project with the BA SPLAS course director or their personal tutor in the summer term of their second, third or fifth year of study (second, for full-time students; third, for part-time students; fifth, for students on the decelerated route). The course director / personal tutor will recommend a potential supervisor for the project with whom the student should arrange an appointment soon after.
Students will not be permitted to begin a project after the sixth week of the autumn term.

Full Module Title:

Spanish Discourse Analysis

Module Code



30 Credits / Level 6


Dr María Elena Placencia


Dr María Elena Placencia

Entrance Requirements:

Language pre-requisite: Spanish 3 or equivalent.


Thursdays 6.00-9.00 pm (Term 2)

Module Description:

This course, aimed at advanced learners or native speakers of Spanish, focuses on the study of language use in context. Drawing on different linguistic theories and concepts within the broad field of (Spanish) Discourse Analysis, we will examine features of language use in different text types, including, for example, service encounters, advertising, as well as some modalities of computer-mediated discourse. We will look at both structural aspects in the construction of texts as well as functional ones. The course will help you gain a better understanding of how social interaction is (re)created through language and a more advanced knowledge of linguistic mechanisms and strategies used by speakers of Spanish in their pursuit of different social and interpersonal goals.


Sample topics:
El discurso oral: Datos empleados y aspectos metodológicos en su estudio

El español coloquial: recursos de intensificación y atenuación

El estudio del habla en la interacción: la toma de turnos, solapamientos e interrupciones

El discurso publicitario

El discurso mediado por ordenador


-Linguistic analysis 2000 words (35%)

-Transcription + commentary (15%)

-Essay 3000 words (50%)

Indicative Reading:

-Selected chapters from the following (amongst other titles):

Yus, Francisco (2010). Ciberpragmática 2.0: nuevos usos del lenguaje en Internet. Barcelona: Planeta.

Fuentes Rodríguez, Catalina (2010). La gramática de la cortesía en español/LE. Madrid: Arco/Libros.

Poch, Dolors & Alcoba, Santiago (2011). Cortesía y publicidad. Barcelona: Planeta.

-Relevant articles from the following journals (amongst other journals): Oralia – Revista de Análisis del Discurso Oral, Journal of Pragmatics, Pragmatics, Sociocultural Pragmatics.

Full Module Title

The Spanish Noir. Crime and Detection in Contemporary Fiction

Module Code





Dr Mari Paz Balibrea


Dr Mari Paz Balibrea

Entrance Requirements:

A commitment to read all class materials, primary and secondary.

The course will be taught in English with primary texts in translation.


Wednesdays 6.00 – 7:30 pm (Term 1)

Module Description:
This class acquaints students with the history of detective fiction as a popular genre in Spain while focusing on some of its major practitioners. The module will link its emergence to major developments in Spanish history, namely the transition to democracy from dictatorship. Moreover, it will make sense of its popularity in a newly defined society through its exploration of topics such as memory (or lack thereof), urbanization, neoliberalization, freedom, the state and sexuality. Furthermore, the module will familiarise participants with theoretical approaches to the study of detective and crime fiction.

Weeks 1-3: Navigating the literary world of detective fiction: historical and theoretical questions

Week 4: Investigating the Spanish case: an overview

Week 5: Our cases

1. Manuel Vázquez Montalbán. The Angst-Ridden Executive. Melville House Publishing, [1977] 2012

Week 7: Our cases

2. Eduardo Mendoza. The Truth About the Savolta Case. HarperCollins, [1975] 1993

Week 8: Our cases

3. Manuel Vázquez Montalbán. Murder in the Central Committee. Melville House Publishing, [1982] 2012

Week 9: Our cases

4. Eduardo Mendoza. The Mistery of the Enchanted Cript. Telegram Books, [1978] 2008

Week 10: Our cases

5. Manuel Vázquez Montalbán. Off Side. Melville House Publishing, [1989] 2012

Week 11: Concluding remarks and essay workshop





Oral presentation

10-minute individual presentation



3,500 words


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