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HP104-30 Icons and Representations of the Hispanic World

School of Modern Languages and Cultures
Undergraduate Level 1
Module leader
Tom Whittaker
Credit value
Module duration
22 weeks
100% coursework
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description


Module web page

Module aims

The aim of this module is to introduce students to the discipline of Hispanic Studies and to foster a critical engagement with written and visual texts via the study of key themes that each in different ways pose questions about studying other languages and cultures. Students will reflect on the nature and range of Hispanic Studies, and then engage with travel writing, images and stereotypes of the Hispanic world. In each case, emphasis is placed on close textual analysis to foment (i) linguistic ability acquired in language modules; (ii) critical reading skills; (iii) management and understanding of source materials where relevant.

Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

Unit 1: Colonising and Decolonising Nature in the New Worl' (Weeks 1-5) Reading Week Unit 2:The Spanish Black Legend (Weeks 7-10) Christmas Vacation Unit 2: The Spanish Black Legend, cont’d (Weeks 1-3) Unit 3: Visualising Spain (Weeks 4-5, 7-10) Easter Vacation Revision tutorials

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • An ability and willingness to engage with other cultures, appreciating their distinctive features
  • Ability to use the target language(s) for purposes of understanding, expression and communication
  • Knowledge, awareness and understanding of one or more cultures and societies, other than their own.
Indicative reading list

Unit 1: Latin America

Bollaín, Lucía, También la lluvia, 2010
Colón, Cristobal, Diario de Abordo, Edición Luis Arranz, Edaf, S.A.,1986.
Cortés, Hernan, Cartas de Relación, Madrid, Editorial Castalia, 1993.
Darwin, Charles, Voyages of the Beagle, London, Penguin, 1989.
Von Humbolt, Alexander, Personal narrative of travels to the equinoctial regions of the New Continent
during the years 1799-1804, Philadelphia, M. Carey, 1815.

Díaz del Castillo, Bernal, Historia verdadera de la conquista de Nueva España, Madrid, Real Academia,
El Libro de Marco Polo anotado por Cristobal Colón, Madrid, Alianza editorial, 1987.
Leonard, Irving, The book of the Brave: Being an Account of Books and of Men in the Spanish Conquest
and Settlement of the Sixteenth Century New World, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1992.
Fuentes, Carlos, Valiente Mundo Nuevo: épica, utopía y mito en la novela hispanoamericana, México,
Fondo de Cultura, 1990.
Fuentes, Carlos, El Naranjo, México, Alfaguarra, 1993.
Lindsay, Claire, Contemporary Travel Writing of Latin America, New York, Routledge, 2010.
Pratt, Mary- Louise, Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation, London, Routledge, 1992.
Todorov, Tzvetan, The Conquest of America: The Question of the Other, New York, Harper and Row, 1984.

Unit 2: Imagining Spain
Cadalso, José, Cartas Marruecas, ed. by Russell P. Sebold (Madrid: Catedra, 2000)
Las Casas, Bartolomé, Brevísima relación de la destrudcción de las Indias (1552)
Montesquieu, Persian Letters (1721)

Coletes Blanco, Agustín y Alicia Laspra Rodríguez, Libertad frente a tiranía: poesía inglesa de la Guerra de
la Indpendencia (1808-1814). Antología bilingüe (Madrid: Fundación Dos de Mayo-Espasa, 2013)
Hontanilla, Ana, ‘Images of Barbaric Spain in Eighteenth-Century British Travel Writing’, Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture, Volume 37, 2008, pp. 119-143
Iglesias, Carmen, No siempre lo peor es cierto (Barcelona: Galaxia Gutenberg, 2008)
Kitts, Sally-Ann, ‘Cadalso's "Cartas Marruecas" and Questions of Identity, Modernity, and Heroism’, Hispanic Research Journal: Iberian and Latin American Studies, 12 (2011), 34-47
Saglia, Diego, Poetic Castles in Spain: British Romanticism and Figurations of Iberia (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2000)

Unit 3: Visualing Spain

Berlanga, Luis García, Bienvenido Mr. Marshall (1953)
Cazorla Sánchez, Antonio, Fear and progress: ordinary lives in Franco's Spain, 1939-1975. Chichester: Wiley Blackwell, 2010.
Richardson, Nathan, Constructing Spain: The Re-imagination of Space and Place in Fiction and Film, 1953-2003 (Bucknell University Press, 2011)
Triana Toribio, Nuria, Spanish National Cinema (Routledge, 2002)

View reading list on Talis Aspire


All modules delivered in SMLC are necessarily international. Students engage with themes and ideas from a culture other than that of the UK and employ their linguistic skills in the analysis of primary materials from a non-Anglophone context. Students will also be encouraged to draw on the experiences of visiting exchange students in the classroom and will frequently engage with theoretical and critical frameworks from across the world.

Subject specific skills

This module will develop students’ linguistic skills through engaging with primary materials in the target language. It will build students’ capacity to engage with aspects of Hispanic culture through analysis of this primary material and through seminar discussion aimed at deeper critical thinking. In particular, students’ awareness of the Hispanic World will be enhanced through lectures and seminars which engage in scholarship in the field.

Transferable skills

All SMLC culture modules demand critical and analytical engagement with artefacts from target-language cultures. In the course of independent study, class work and assessment students will develop the following skills: written and oral communication, creative and critical thinking, problem solving and analysis, time management and organisation, independent research in both English and their target language(s), intercultural understanding and the ability to mediate between languages and cultures, ICT literacy in both English and the target language(s), personal responsibility and the exercise of initiative.

Study time

Type Required
Lectures 22 sessions of 1 hour (7%)
Seminars 22 sessions of 1 hour (7%)
Private study 256 hours (85%)
Total 300 hours
Private study description

Students will be required to prepare readings before each lecture and seminar.


No further costs have been identified for this module.

You must pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Assessment group A4
Weighting Study time
Written Assignment 1 (2500 words) 50%
Written Assignment 2 (2500 words) 50%
Feedback on assessment

Feedback will be provided in the course of the module in a number of ways. Feedback should be understood to be both formal and informal and is not restricted to feedback on formal written work.
Oral feedback will be provided by the module tutor in the course of seminar discussion. This may include feedback on points raised in small group work or in the course of individual presentations or larger group discussion.
Written feedback will be provided on formal assessment using the standard SMLC Assessed Work feedback form appropriate to the assessment. Feedback is intended to enable continuous improvement throughout the module and written feedback is generally the final stage of this feedback process. Feedback will always demonstrate areas of success and areas for future development, which can be applied to future assessment. Feedback will be both discipline-specific and focussed on key transferrable skills, enabling students to apply this feedback to their future professional lives. Feedback will be fair and reasonable and will be linked to the SMLC marking scheme appropriate to the module.


This module is Core for:

  • Year 1 of UHPA-R400 Undergraduate Hispanic Studies
  • Year 1 of UHPA-R4T1 Undergraduate Hispanic Studies with Chinese

This module is Core optional for:

  • Year 1 of UIPA-R4L8 Undergraduate Hispanic Studies and Global Sustainable Development
  • Year 1 of ULNA-R4V1 Undergraduate Hispanic Studies and History
  • Year 1 of UHPA-R4W4 Undergraduate Hispanic Studies and Theatre Studies
  • Year 1 of UHPA-RP43 Undergraduate Hispanic Studies with Film Studies
  • Year 1 of ULNA-R4RL Undergraduate Hispanic Studies with Italian

This module is Optional for:

  • Year 1 of UFRA-R900 Undergraduate Modern Languages

This module is Core option list A for:

  • Year 1 of UHPA-R400 Undergraduate Hispanic Studies
  • Year 1 of ULNA-R4Q1 Undergraduate Hispanic Studies and Linguistics

This module is Core option list B for:

  • Year 1 of ULNA-R9Q2 Undergraduate Modern Languages with Linguistics
  • Year 1 of UPOA-M166 Undergraduate Politics, International Studies and Hispanic Studies

This module is Core option list C for:

  • Year 1 of ULNA-R9L1 Undergraduate Modern Languages and Economics (4-year)
  • Year 1 of ULNA-R9Q1 Undergraduate Modern Languages and Linguistics

This module is Core option list D for:

  • Year 1 of ULNA-R4L1 Undergraduate Hispanic Studies and Economics (4-year)

This module is Core option list G for:

  • Year 1 of UHPA-R4T6 Undergraduate Hispanic Studies with Arabic
  • Year 1 of ULNA-R4RJ Undergraduate Hispanic Studies with French

This module is Option list B for:

  • Year 1 of UHPA-QR34 Undergraduate English and Hispanic Studies