SP2TT-Transatlantic Exchanges: Latin America in the Global Nineteenth Century

Module Provider: Modern Languages
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Pre-requisites: SP1L1 Beginners Spanish Language or SP1L2 Intermediate Spanish Language or SP1L3 Advanced Spanish Language 1
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Catriona McAllister

Email: c.mcallister@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

The nineteenth century saw dramatic political change in Latin America. As the region achieved independence from the Spanish and Portuguese empires, the newly emerging nations faced questions over how to shape their political, economic and cultural futures. This module explores both the factors that led to this profound shift and the way that Latin America approached its new future throughout the century. The module views these changes through a global lens, examining the impact of influential ideas, the movement of people and international political interactions. By examining key historical and cultural texts, and important moments such as the wars of independence and the abolition of slavery, the module will explore how Latin America faced the challenges of the nineteenth century and how this period left its political and cultural mark on the region.


• To explore the evolution of Latin America in the nineteenth century.

• To understand the complex factors that promoted independence in Latin America and the end of the Spanish and Portuguese Empires.

• To examine and analyse how political ideas were discussed in the public sphere, and represented in a range of historical and cultural texts.

• To understand the ideas and discourses which formed the basis for Spain, Portugal and Latin America’s development in the twentieth century. 

Assessable learning outcomes:

• The ability to analyse the historical evolution of Spain, Portugal and Latin America from a variety of perspectives 

• The ability to analyse the production of ideas in a range of political, social and cultural practices

• The ability to develop a complex understanding of historical change

• 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:

Students will be able to enhance their Spanish language skills by engaging with texts in Spanish.

Outline content:

Topics for study may include:

  • Independence: reluctant revolutions

  • The aftermath of independence

  • Modernisation: economic, social and political

  • Liberalism and positivism

  • The survival of slavery in Brazil and Cuba

  • The late 19th century and the sense of Latin America

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Lectures and seminars.

Group work.

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

Students may also undertake an academic placement, through which they will learn how to apply the knowledge and skills gained in studying for this module in a professional context outside the University.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 5 5
Seminars 10 10
Tutorials 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 assignment including essay 40
Report 20
Oral assessment and presentation 10
Class test administered by School 30

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Oral presentation: group presentation during Autumn or Spring Term (10% overall grade)

Report (book review): 750 words, to be submitted in Week 1 of Spring Term (20% overall grade)

Essay: 2500 words, to be submitted in Week 10 of Spring Term (40% overall grade)

Class-test: 1 hour in-class test at beginning of Summer Term (30% overall grade)

One piece of assessment worth no more than 50% of the module mark can be replaced by a report produced after an academic placement. The placement must be agreed in advance by the module convenor; the length of the report is to be equivalent to standard departmental practice for coursework. 

Formative assessment methods:

Students may submit an essay plan or 500 words of their essay for feedback in week 7 of Spring Term.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (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.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:


    Reassessment arrangements:

    Re- examination in August in the event of failure in this module and in Part 2. Coursework bearing a confirmed mark of 40% or more can be carried forward; all other coursework to be resubmitted by 12 NOON on the third Friday of August or, if the University is closed, by 12 NOON on the first working day thereafter.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Last updated: 20 April 2018


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