1 x 3-hour seminar weekly
9 units of SPAN topics
Enrolment not permitted
SPAN7416 has been successfully completed
Assumed knowledge
Introductory Spanish
Topic description
This topic will examine key aspects of contemporary Latin American society through the analysis of several films and/or texts. Films and literary texts will examine key issues in Latin American cinema such as questions of violence and power, race and ethnicity, eroticism and the construction of gender and sexuality, the representation of border issues, migration, urban life, and youth culture, social change.

The topic focuses on films and literary texts within the cultural and social contexts of their production, in the light of current theories of film and literature. The topic shows how from these films and literary works there emerges a strong critique of the traditional and often stereotypical image of Latin America and Hispanics.

The program will change, depending on changes in resources. As such the choice of examining films, literary texts or a combination will vary form year to year. Authors and film-makers who may be covered in this topic are, among others, Roberto Bolano, Isabel Allende, Gabriel García Márquez, Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortázar, Pablo Urbanyi, Elena Poniatowska, Angeles Mastretta and Margo Glantz.; Enrique Fabián Bielinsky, Marcelo Pineyro, Jorge Gaggero, Leonardo Di Cesare. Pablo Trapero, Eliseo Subiela and Carlos Sorín.
Educational aims
This topic aims to:

  • familiarise students with a number of important Latin American literary and visual texts

  • allow a deeper understanding of 20th and 21st century Latin American society through the analysis of films and literary works

  • develop students' ability to discuss and critically analyse a variety of literary and cinematic texts in their historical and/or social context to an appropriate level

  • develop learner's critical and analytical skills through the study of the films and literary texts

  • analyse the influence of Latin American literature, politics, and economics on Latin American cinema

  • develop students skills in the analysis of Latin American cinematic and literary practices and their ability to identify and understand specifically Latin American cinematic and literary themes
Expected learning outcomes
On completing this topic students will:

  • have a critical understanding of Latin American contemporary cinema and literature

  • be able to analyse the cultural and historical aspects present in the films and literary texts studied

  • an understanding of the films and literary works and their relationship to Latin American historical, social, and political reality

  • be able to communicate their knowledge, understanding and analyses of the topics studied in written and spoken Spanish

  • be able to evaluate and apply a range of critical approaches to the material covered