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LAS2028 : Diversidad Cultural en America Latina

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Nick Morgan
  • Lecturer: Dr Fernando Da Silva Beleza Correia Pinto, Dr Josep Cru Talaveron, Professor Rosaleen Howard
  • Owning School: Modern Languages
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0


In consonance with the overall aims of the degrees offered in the SML, the module aims to
•       build upon skills gained at Stage 1
•       acquaint students with the multicultural and multilingual nature of contemporary Latin America
•       introduce students to some key concepts and debates in social anthropology
•       introduce students to cultural and political issues at stake in Latin American society
•       develop inter-cultural awareness

The module introduces anthropological approaches to the study of multiculturalism, with specific focus on Latin America, and the Latin American diaspora. It examines cultural diversity in the region in contemporary perspective, with special attention to the roles of ethnicity, gender and class in the construction of social identities. We look at indigenous, mestizo, black and gendered identities through cosmology, religion, music and dance; the influence of tourism; youth cultures;and the role of political action. Special emphasis is placed on the interrelationship between ´tradition´ and ´modernity´ in contemporary society, and the meanings of these terms is explored. Concepts from cultural studies such as hybridity, transculturation, and border thinking will shed light on the social meanings of cultural diversity in ‘postcolonial’ Latin America. A range of case studies from across the region will be used to illustrate these topics.

Outline Of Syllabus

Precise sessions will vary depending on the availability of staff, particularly in the light of research leave. Sessions will include:

Introduction to anthropological concepts
Ethnicity and the concept of blackness in Latin America
Ethnic identities: from 'indio' to 'mestizo' and back again
Andean cosmovisions: time, space and festive life
Tourism and cultural survival
Popular religion in the Caribbean and Brazil
Borderlands and Diasporas
Essay preparation

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture161:0016:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching161:0016:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery41:004:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1164:00164:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will provide students with the principal analytical tools required for the module and familiarise them with the basic facts and themes. An interactive style of lecturing will be adopted in order to motivate students and orient them towards the seminar discussion topics. Use will be made of PowerPoint for class presentation, helping students to develop note-taking skills. PowerPoint based handouts will be provided and supplementary sources placed on Blackboard as far as possible. There will be focus on independent study and students will be encouraged to develop their research skills and independence in project management. They will be expected to draw on a range of sources in their written work, and to put together arguments with a level of originality where topics allow.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M801 assessed essay. The essay should be of 2000 including quotations and notes (but excluding bibliography) End of semester.
Written exercise1M20Commentary (800 words) End of semester.
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise1MWeek 7, Practice commentary.
Essay2MWeek 5, Practice essay.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Students have the option of completing a practice commentary and a practice essay, which will be marked and returned to the student. This will take the form of an essay plan, which should include an introduction, a structure plan of the essay and a conclusion.

The assessed essay provides opportunity for students to engage with the course material and to research other sources on their chosen topic. It also gives them the chance to develop and demonstrate the ability to structure an argument in writing, and to practice referencing skills. The commentary requires the students to engage with some of the abstract concepts which we use in the module for discussing cultural phenomena; for this they will consult some theoretical texts on concepts such as identity, tradition, modernity, ethnicity, culture, and so on.

Reading Lists