Barcelona and Havana: Icon, Myth and History - LS579

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2020 to 2021.


This module focuses on the cultural history of Barcelona and Havana the iconic capitals of Catalonia and Cuba. 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 Barcelona and Havana will be traced by studying representations of both cities 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


Level 5.

Method of assessment

The module will be assessed by 100% coursework.

The exact subject of the essay will be determined by the students themselves in consultation with the module leader who will ensure the essay questions are appropriate for Level 5.

Indicative reading

Indicative Reading List:

Greene, Graham. (1958) Our Man in Havana.
Gutiérrez Alea, Tomás. (1966) Muerte de un Burócrata, (Film).
Guerín, José Luis. (2001)The Construction (En construcción), (Film).
Obejas, Achy. (2007) Havana Noir.
Ospina, Carmen & López, Adriana. (2011) Barcelona Noir.
Padura, Leonardo. (2005) Adiós Hemingway.
Pérez, Fernando. (2003) Suite Habana, (Film).
Pons, Ventura. (2007) Barcelona (a map) (Barcelona un mapa), (Film).
Rodoreda, Mercè. (1962) Time of the Doves / In Diamond Square (La plaça del Diamant).
Ruiz Zafón, Carlos. (2002) The Shadow of the Wind (L'ombra del vent).

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate refined written communication skills, including the structuring of an original argument, through the writing of coursework.

2. Read closely and critically, and to apply a range of critical terms to literature and film.

3. Demonstrate enhanced IT skills by conducting individual research using available resources (library and online) and by using computers to produce coursework; teaching materials for the module will be available on Moodle, giving further practice in IT skills.


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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