SP2LS-Literature and Society in the Modern Hispanic World

Module Provider: Modern Languages
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Par Kumaraswami

Email: p.kumaraswami@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

This module examines key examples of literary production in the Hispanic world in the twentieth century. Through examining iconic literary texts (in Spanish or English as appropriate), and locating them in important literary movements and genres such as surrealism, indigenismo, négritude, narratives of dictatorship, magical realism and the novela rosa, the module explores how literature, both canonical and experimental, reflected social change in the Hispanic world and established literary differences and dialogues between Spain and Spanish America in the twentieth century.


  • To explore the evolution of literature in the Hispanic world in the twentieth century, and to analyse the changing relationship between the two.

  • To understand how literature reflected and represented social change in the Hispanic world.

  • To examine and analyse how these texts were received and discussed in the public sphere, in the Hispanic world and beyond.

  • To understand the ideas which formed the basis for literature produced in the Hispanic world in the twentieth century.

Assessable learning outcomes:

  • The ability to analyse the historical evolution of twentieth-century literature from the Hispanic world from a variety of perspectives

  • The ability to analyse the production and dissemination of ideas about literature in the context of its social context

  • The ability to develop a complex understanding of key literary movements and genres

  • The ability to work effectively in collaboration with other students, and sustain written and oral arguments coherently.

  • the ability to synthesize information

  • the ability to read and interpret critically

  • independent research skills (library, electronic databases, internet materials)

  • analytical skills based on working with primary and secondary sources

Additional outcomes:

Knowledge and skills gained from extra-curricular resources, such as guest speakers and cultural excursions

Outline content:

The module allows students of Spanish to develop both their understanding and skills in literary studies as well as their proficiency in the Spanish language.


Texts for study (in full or as extracts) may include:


Nicolás Guillén, Sóngoro Cosongo (1931)

Federico García Lorca, Poeta en Nueva York (1940)

Pablo Neruda, Canto general (1950)

Ana María Matute, Primera memoria (1959)

Julio Cortázar, Rayuela (1963)

Gabriel García Márquez, Crónica de una muerte anunciada (1981)

Isabel Allende, Cuentos de Eva Luna (1989)

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Lectures and seminars (in Spanish and English, where appropriate)


Group work


Use of office hours and additional individual meetings for guidance and feedback

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 5 5
Seminars 10 10
Tutorials 1 1 2
Guided independent study 83 83
Total hours by term 99.00 99.00 2.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 40
Report 10
Oral assessment and presentation 20
Class test administered by School 30

Other information on summative assessment:

  • Oral presentation: group presentation during Autumn Term

  • Report (book review): 750 words, to be submitted in Week 11 of Autumn Term

  • Essay: 2500 words, to be submitted in Week 1 of Summer Term

  • Written exam: 2 hours, at beginning of Summer Term

Formative assessment methods:

Draft essay plan, submitted for informal written and oral feedback in advance of submission of summative essay.

Revision session for examination in Summer Term

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:

    Two hours

    Requirements for a pass:

    Module mark of 40%

    Reassessment arrangements:

    Students who fail the module and Part 2 as a whole will be re-examined in August. Coursework will be carried forward if it bears a mark of 40% or more. Otherwise it must be submitted by 1.00 pm on the third Friday of August or, if the University is closed, the first working day thereafter.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Last updated: 31 March 2017

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