Study Abroad and Exchanges

Modules

Modules

HIS2085 : Pre-Columbian and Spanish America (Inactive)

Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

The nature, scale, and complexity of pre-Columbian society greatly confused the Spanish explorers: they gazed in wonder at the magnificent palaces and temples, yet were horrified by evidence of human sacrifice. In this module we study the clash of cultures that lay behind such confusion. You will gain an appreciation of the wide diversity of the indigenous civilisations that pre-dated the arrival of the Europeans, and more specifically will acquire an in-depth knowledge of the diverse, often contradictory, facets of the pre-eminent civilisations at the time of “discovery”: the Aztec and Inca empires. We will consider the motives and preconceptions of early European explorers and how tales of their exploits fired the imaginations and ambitions of the conquistadores and early colonial settlers.

The experience of conquest had irrevocable effects for both victors and vanquished. The indigenous who survived military defeat and disease faced a future of marginalisation, exploitation, and discrimination. For the victors, euphoria quickly turned to factionalism as competing interests sought to profit from their new colonies. In analysing the shape of colonial society, we gain an appreciation of how these tensions were borne out in social, religious, political and economic life. Finally, we question the degree to which it is right to assume that the experience of conquest was complete. We look at examples of indigenous resistance to colonial authority, and consider the extent to which such rebellions drew inspiration from the past and left a legacy for those that would follow.

The aims of this module are:
•To provide an appreciation of the salient features in pre-Columbian and early Spanish American history.
•To provide an opportunity of investigating selected problems in some depth and of acquiring a sound general knowledge of the subject, reading widely and critically in the associated secondary literature.
•To develop the capacity for independent study.

Outline Of Syllabus

Lecture and discussion topics may vary from year to year but will include the majority of the following:

Lectures
The indigenous civilisations of Central and South America
Maya culture and society
Aztec culture and society
Inca culture and society
Spain in 1492
Spanish voyages of exploration
The conquest of the Aztec Empire
The conquest of the Inca Empire
Spanish Colonial administrative system
Early colonial society: missionaries, encomiendas, mining
Depopulation of the indigenous
Spanish ecclesiastical debates
African slavery in the Spanish American colonies
Caste system and cultural diversity
Indigenous resistance

Seminar topics
European perceptions and pre-conceptions of the world in the fifteenth century.
The expansion of the Aztec Empire
The conquest of the Aztec Empire
The expansion of the Inca Empire
The Conquest the Inca Empire
The demise of the indigenous population of Spanish America
The role of religion in the conquest and colonisation of Mexico
The role of religion in the conquest and colonisation of Peru and Bolivia
To what extent was the conquest of Spanish America complete?

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture12:002:00Revision session
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture12:002:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion641:0064:0040% of guided independent study
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture201:0020:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading641:0064:0040% of guided independent study
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching12:002:00Film Screening
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching101:0010:00Seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops12:002:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study341:0034:0020% of guided independent study
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures impart core knowledge and an outline of knowledge that students are expected to acquire and they stimulate development of listening and note-taking skills.

Seminars offer opportunities to analyse specific themes in detail, to develop interpersonal and presentational skills, to develop teamwork skills, and to show initiative.

As and when deemed appropriate, seminar and lecture discussions will be augmented and/or replaced by the viewing of films/documentaries or other pedagogic activities.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Exams
Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1352A75unseen
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M252000 words (including footnotes but excluding bibliography)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Submitted work tests intended knowledge and skills outcomes and develops key skills in research, reading and writing. Work submitted during the delivery of the module forms a means of determining student progress. The exam tests acquisition of a clear general knowledge of the subject plus the ability to think and analyse a problem quickly, to select from and to apply both the general knowledge and detailed knowledge of aspects of the subject to new questions, problem-solving skills, adaptability, the ability to work unaided, and to write clearly and concisely.
All Erasmus students at Newcastle University are expected to do the same assessment as students registered for a degree.
Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending semester 1 only are required to finish their assessment while in Newcastle. This will take the form of an alternative assessment, as outlined in the formats below:

Modules assessed by Coursework and Exam:
The normal alternative form of assessment for all semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be one essay in addition to the other coursework assessment (the length of the essay should be adjusted in order to comply with the assessment tariff); to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Modules assessed by Exam only:
The normal alternative form of assessment for all semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be two 2,000 word written exercises; to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Modules assessed by Coursework only:
All semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be expected to complete the standard assessment for the module; to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending the whole academic year or semester 2 are required to complete the standard assessment as set out in the MOF under all circumstances.

Reading Lists

Timetable