The Hispanic City - HISP5800

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2021 to 2022
Autumn Term 6 15 (7.5) William Rowlandson checkmark-circle


This module focuses on the cultural history of the Hispanic world, such as Barcelona, Havana, Madrid, Buenos Aires, Seville, Lima and Mexico City. Many of the key events and movements of the past century are intimately linked to these two cities, from the collapse of the Spanish Empire and the birth of the new the Latin-American republics, the emergence of nationalism, the development of alternative modes of self-government and their engagement with modernity. Changes and continuities in the political, social and physical topography of these cities will be traced by studying representations of them in a range of texts and films from the mid twentieth to the early twenty-first century. Alongside feature films and prose genres such as short stories and reportage, the module will also consider theoretical texts on the city and the contribution of urban life to modern Hispanic culture. Central themes are the interplay of the individual and the collective, urban anonymity and liberation versus alienation and uniformity, multiculturalism and migration.


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 20
Total Private Study Hours: 130
Total Study Hours: 150

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

• ePortfolio (1,000 words) – 30%
• Essay 2 (2,500 words) – 50%
• Presentation (15 minutes) – 20%

Reassessment methods

• 100% Coursework (3,000 words)

Indicative reading

Indicative Reading List:

McGuirk, Justin (2015). Radical Cities Across Latin America in Search of a New Architecture. London/New York: Verso
McNamara, Kevin R. (2014). The Cambridge Companion to the City in Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Nash, Elizabeth (2001). Madrid: A Cultural and Literary History. New York: Interlink
Ramon Resina Joan (2001). Iberian Cities. London: Routledge
Walker, Charles (2017). The Lima Reader. Durham, NC: Duke University Press
Wilson, Jason (2007). Buenos Aires: A Cultural History. New York: Interlink

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

Demonstrate a detailed and critical knowledge and understanding of 20th and 21st century recent cultural and political history of two major Hispanic cities.
Demonstrate an advanced competence in applying this knowledge within new and differing contexts (e.g. as regards the city as a lieu de mémoire and the relationship between representations of the city to current debates about multiculturalism, migration and national identity).
Demonstrate a systematic knowledge of selected twentieth-century prose works and films that represent the city and city life in the cities chosen.
Show critical understanding of the ways in which urban development and theories of urbanity have contributed to modern Hispanic culture, in particular to literature and film.
Demonstrate independent learning skills by being able to make use of a wide range of high-level resources, including up-to-date research in peer-reviewed journals, information technology, relevant subject bibliographies and other primary and secondary sources relating to the Hispanic city.


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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