After Dictatorship: Spain and Latin America - LS571

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2017-18 2018-19
Canterbury Autumn
View Timetable
5 15 (7.5) DR A Lazaro-Reboll


Successful completion of Level 4 modules.





This module explores the different ways in which Spain and Latin American countries have attempted to make transitions from dictatorship to democracy. The course provides an overview of the political, social and cultural developments in Spain and Latin America after conditions of dictatorship, from 1975 onwards in the case of Spain and from the 1980s and 1990s in the case of specific Latin American countries (Chile, Argentina and Peru, among others). The course takes a comparative and interdisciplinary approach by combining history, literature, film, journalism and comics. The chosen texts provide an insight into the political, social and cultural attitudes of post-dictatorship societies as well as into the changing role and conditions of cultural production in post-dictatorial democracies. Issues such as historical trauma and historical memory, forgetting and collective memory, and justice and truth commissions cut across the module.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

20 contact hours.

Method of assessment

100% Coursework.

Preliminary reading

Indicative Reading List:

Set Texts
La muerte y la doncella (Ariel Dorfman, 1990) – Chile.
La mujer sin cabeza (Lucrecia Martel, 2008) – Argentina.
Abril Rojo (Santiago Roncagliolo, 2006) – Peru
Asesinato en el Comité Central (Manuel Vázquez Montalbán, 1981) – Spain.
Postmodernos (Lidia Falcón, 1993) – Spain
Soldados de Salamina (Javier Cerca, 2001) - Spain
El laberinto del fauno (Guillermo del Toro, 2006) – Spain

A selection of short journalistic texts, short documentaries, cartoons and comics will be made available via Moodle and/or photocopy form.

Secondary Texts
The Legacy of Human Rights Violations in the Southern Cone: Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, Luis Roniger and Mario Sznajder (Oxford: OUP, 1999)
Spain: Dictatorship to Democracy, Raymond Carr and Juan Pablo Fusi (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1979)
Politics and memory of democratic transition: the Spanish model, Gregorio Alonso and Diego Muro (eds.) (London: Routledge, 2011).

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this module will have knowledge of:

a) The different ways in which Spain and Latin American countries have attempted to make transitions from dictatorship to democracy;
b) A variety of textual media, having synthesised information from a number of sources in order to gain a coherent understanding of the subject, whilst expanding their knowledge of critical and cultural theory;
c) Methods of analysing, criticising and assessing logical arguments, and studying and reaching conclusions independently;
d) Researching, planning and presenting orally to the group on a chosen topic;
e) Reading and listening to texts in Spanish.

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