SP2MCN-Modern and Contemporary Spanish Narratives

Module Provider: Modern Languages
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Pre-requisites: SP1L3 Advanced Spanish Language 1
Non-modular pre-requisites: Pass in SP1L3 or equivalent
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Marta Simo-Comas

Email: m.simo-comas@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

The primary aim of this module is to provide students with an understanding of the main narrative trends in Modern and Contemporary Spanish culture through the study of a selection of fictional works (short stories, novels and films) spanning the period from the end of the 19th Century to the present. A secondary aim of the course is to introduce a conceptual framework for analysing such works through their narrative devices and for situating them within the intellectual and socio-cultural contexts in which they were produced. Themes to be discussed include: realist representation; the irrational and the fantastic; symbolic representation; issues of identity; narrative structure; intertextuality; aspects of genres such as detective and historical fiction.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module students should be able to:
- identify key cultural patterns and narrative trends;
- situate the works studied within their intellectual and socio-cultural contexts;
- analyse these works in terms of such issues as form, theme, style and genre;
- draw relevant comparisons and contrasts between the different works studied;
- articulate individual critical responses to fictional works;
- engage critically with the ideas presented in lectures, seminars, and secondary materials;
- organise and articulate a coherent written argument in a coursework essay and under examination conditions.

Additional outcomes:
Oral and written communication skills will be developed, together with critical, interpretative and analytical abilities.

Outline content:
The course will be organised around key narrative trends in Spanish culture (fiction and film) and texts for study will include canonical novels and films as well as a selection of short stories representative of the different cultural trends, themes and narrative aspects studied in the course. The texts may include:
short stories by Emilia Pardo Bazán, Leopoldo Alas, Pío Baroja, Cristina Fernández Cubas, José María Merino, Javier Tomeo and Álvaro Pombo;
novels by Manuel Vázquez Montalbán, Antonio Muñoz Molina and Luis Landero;
films by Marco Ferreri, Alejandro Amenábar and Julio Medem.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
This module will be taught in Autumn and Spring terms, by means of weekly lectures and seminars. The activities conducted in the seminars aim at developing critical skills and students will be expected to read / watch the works in advance in order to be able to contribute fully to discussions and assignments. Revision sessions will be scheduled in the Summer term, incorporating feedback on the assignment.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10 10
Seminars 5 5 2
Guided independent study 84 84
Total hours by term 99.00 99.00 2.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Written assignment including essay 50

Other information on summative assessment:
Students will write one 2,000-2,500-word essay, to be handed in by the Part 2 Spring Term deadline.

One exam to be held in the department.

Formative assessment methods:

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:

    Requirements for a pass:

    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.

    Last updated: 17 May 2016

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