SPAN 2111 - Introduction to Latin American Culture
North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2022
General Course Information
Course Code SPAN 2111 Course Introduction to Latin American Culture Coordinating Unit Spanish Studies Term Semester 1 Level Undergraduate Location/s North Terrace Campus Units 3 Contact Up to 3 hours per week Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y Prerequisites SPAN 2101 Assumed Knowledge Basic oral & written knowledge of the Spanish language Course Description This course is a general introduction to the cultures of Latin America. It is aimed at students with little or no knowledge of the region. Starting with a review of the major aboriginal cultures that existed in Latin America previous to the arrival of the Spaniards, we will proceed to explore the conquest of the American continent and the effects these events had in the shaping of Latin American culture and society. Enough time will be dedicated to the discussion of the process of nation building in the continent, including the struggle for independence and early revolutionary movements. The second half of the course will be dedicated completely to the study and discussion of 20th and 21st Century Latin America. Some of the topics will touch on the processes of decolonization that today are emerging in different Latin American countries. This course will be conducted in Spanish. Reading materials will be mostly in Spanish.
Course Coordinator: Dr Sergio Holas1Room 807, Napier Building
Phone: 8313 4744
Consultation Hours: Tuesday 10 to 13:00 p.m.
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
Course Learning Outcomes1) acquire an advanced knowledge and understanding of Latin American cultures and societes.
2) acquire the ability to independently use a variety of sources to further your understanding of Latin American discourses on "liberacion" and "decolonization".
3) To get an overview of the immense diversity of Latin American and Amerindians cultures throughout history.
4) To reach an understanding of the ways in which Latin American peoples/indigenous communities creatively decolonize and represent themselves under different and continuous processes of colonization.
5) To reach an understanding of the situated nature of knowledge.
6) To have a strong conceptual and systemic foundation to further study in the area of Latin American Studies.
7) To further develop the capacity to write reports and oral presentations on Latin American theme.
8) To gain the ability to work collaboratively with their peers and to communicate effectively with them.
9) To further learn how to make effective use of the internet resources when doing research on Latin American cultures.
10) To be able to critically appreciate the cultural richness of Latin American cultures.
11) to be able to appreciate the "mestizo" character of Latin American cultural producctions.
University Graduate Attributes
No information currently available.
Required ResourcesAll of your readings for SPAN 2111 Introduction to Latin American Cultures are on the www. In the following Required Readings list you will find all the texts you will need to prepare yourselves prior to your lectures and workshops.
Wearne, Philip, "Before Columbus", Return of the Indian. Conquest and Revival in the Americas. London: Cassell & LAB, 1996, pp. 32-60.
Dussel, E., "Conference 4. The Spiritual Conquest. Toward the Encounter Between Two Worlds?" Available at:
https://es.slideshare.net/Romercito2/enrique-dussell-el-encubrimiento-del-otro (Pages 48to 57) Accessed 11/07/2018
Weeks 4 & 5:
Quijano, Anibal, "Colonialidad del poder, eurocentrismo y America Latina. Available at:
Octavio Paz, "Los hijos de la Malinche."
Guillermo Bonfil Batalla, "Forging a Nation". México profundo. Reclaiming a Civilization. (pp. 94-107)
http://www.chnm.gmu.edu/wwh/modules/lesson6/spanish/octaviopaz.html Accessed 11/07/2018.
José Martí, "Nuestra América." Available at:
José Martí, "Nuestra América." Available at:
Menchu Tum, Rigoberta,, "La diversidad cultural es el espejo de la diversidad natural". Available at:
República Plurinacional de Bolivia, "Nueva Ley Marco de la Madre Tierra y desarrollo integral para vivir bien". Available at:
http://www.ftierra.org/index.php/component/attachements/download/27 Accessed 11/07/2018
Online LearningOther Learning Resources.
a. Latin American Network Information center, University of Texas:
Vast internet resources on countries, economy, education, government, media, culture, communication, science, society, and many other aspects. In English, Portuguese and Spanish.
b. Library of Congress - Hispanic reading Room:
The primary access point for research to the Caribbean, Latin America, and Iberia; the indigenous cultures of those areas; and peoples throughout the world historically influenced by Luso-Hispanic heritage, including Latinos in the US, and peoples of Portuguese or Spanish heritage in Africa, Asia, and Oceania.
c. Consejo Latinoamericano de Ciencias Sociales. CLACSO.
Vast internet resources on Social Sciences and the Arts.
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching ModesSemana 1:
Introduction to the course
Worlds before Columbus: Anahuac and Tahuantinsiyu
How Europe was constructed and its consequences in its peripheries
What "coloniality of power" means? What are its effects?
What "coloniality of being" and "coloniality of knowledge" mean?
The meanings of La Malinche
Independence from Spain (México)
Independence from Spain (Cuba)
Decolonization in Latin América
Decolonization in Latin America
Transmodernity is here
No information currently available.
Learning Activities SummarySeminar paper:
You must guide your workshop session. Before your seminar reading session you will read the assigned paper and devise 3 questions that will form the basis for discussion in the group. Keep the questions relatively straightforward. At the seminar, you will introduce the paper and then the class will be divided into groups. Each group will select a speaker for the group. Your questions will be discussed in the groups in turn, and each group will then report to the class on its findings (consensus or disagreements).
Your seminar paper is based on what takes place during the seminar. First, you should introduce the paper and state the question or question you explored in your group. Then, you should devote the first 40% (approx.) of the word count to summing up the main ideas that emerged during the discussion in your group. The remainder of your seminar paper should be your own analysis of what you see as the major issues that need to be considered in order to understand and interpret the particular text (including an appraisal of whether or not these were adequately covered during the seminar discussion). The due date for the submission of the seminar paper is the Wednesday of the week following your seminar presentation.
This exercise requires you to choose one of the texts set for study and to locate 3 scholarly articles about it. For each of the 3 articles, you need to:
• give the full bibliographical details (see Section 6 of this booklet, §2 Referencing for guidance);
• provide a 100 word critical appraisal of the argument contained in the article.
• identify and give a list of 5 key words (concepts) for each of the 3 articles.
Again, while you may find some suitable articles via the internet, your best resource is the library (same research procedure as recommended for the previous section on the workshop presentation).
Select a movement of Liberation in Latin America and write your essay on the processes of de-linking and decolonization that they entail. This means that you have to think about what you would like to do and then contact me to talk about the theme you are thinking for your essay.
Then do a literary review about it about the theme and write down a question or thesis about an aspect of it that you would like to explore in depth. In your question or thesis you must write about it as part of a larger process of delinking from Western assumptions and decolonization. To do so you must explore what bibliography there is about the theme. In other words, you must search it on your own and bring them into the conversation.
There are two aspects you should focus on:
a. First, what your theoretical tools (the concepts you are going to use) are? You need to identify the theoretical tools/the concepts you are using and define and understand them well. The key name to initiate your bibliographic search in the first area (tools) is Walter Mignolo who’s research will help you to identify the concepts/tools you will use (with such terms as: decolonization, de-linking, coloniality/modernity, delinking processes, etcetera). Another name you should investigate is Aníbal Quijano and the concept of “coloniality of power”, “coloniality of being”, “coloniality of knowledge” that he creates and develops with others.
b. Second, what is the theme/thesis you are to explore in your essay? Once you have identified your tools, i.e. the words/concepts you are to use to explore the theme of your interest, then state as clearly as possible your theme/thesis. Then you write down an index of tentative parts. When you have done this you must go into the process of writing your essay.
Please, any questions in regards to the essay contact me in my e-mail (email@example.com).
The Essay MUST be submitted to me via Canvas on Monday 30th of May.
The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:
- Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
- Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
- Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
- Assessment must maintain academic standards.
Assessment SummaryThe course have the following assessment:
10% of the final mark is given to active participation in classes and seminars;
30% Anotated bibliography;
20% Seminar Paper;
Assessment DetailParticipation & attendance 10%
Annotated bibliography (800 hundred words) 30%
Seminar paper (600 hundred words) 20%
Essay (1500- words) 40%
SubmissionAll work handed in during the year should be clearly labelled with the student’s name and class and also with the name of the staff member for whom it is intended. It should be written on alternate lines (double spaced and in a font no less than 12 point), for greater clarity and to allow ample room for correction. For essay work, attention should be given to the correct setting out of quotations and bibliographical material. No hand written work will be accepted for marking. Submittion must be the due date.
Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:
M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme) Grade Mark Description FNS Fail No Submission F 1-49 Fail P 50-64 Pass C 65-74 Credit D 75-84 Distinction HD 85-100 High Distinction CN Continuing NFE No Formal Examination RP Result Pending
Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.
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