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Module

LAS4010 : Cultura y Política en Colombia

  • Offered for Year: 2021/22
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Nick Morgan
  • Other Staff: Miss Alba Griffin
  • Owning School: Modern Languages
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

In keeping with the overall aims of the degrees offered in the SML, the purpose of this course is to introduce students to the key issues in cultural politics in Colombia today. It will allow students to apply the critical skills acquired at stages one and two, plus the linguistic competence gained during the year abroad, to the study of the target culture. As they develop their analytical capacities, students will also gain a deeper understanding of Colombia's complex socio-cultural environment.

Colombia's reputation suggests a conflict-ridden and violent country, associated with drug-trafficking, kidnapping and guerrilla war. Yet the vast majority of Colombians experience the daily realities of politics in very different ways. Constructed around the three main themes of race, class and gender, this module provides an in-depth introduction to cultural politics in Colombia. Students will study different forms of cultural production, ranging from telenovelas to reggaeton and from journalism to literature. In the process, you will come to understand why "Sin tetas no hay paraiso" was both a massive ratings success and a source of numerous complaints, or why the game show "Nada mas que la verdad" was accused of criminalising the poor. You will watch and analyse Colombian cinema and read at least one contemporary novel. The outcome will be an overall picture of the complex socio-cultural mosaic that is Colombia today.

Outline Of Syllabus

In theoretical terms, this module focuses on approaches to cultural analysis that emphasise the themes of race, class and gender. However, the course is organised around different forms of cultural production: telenovela, novel, TV, film and journalism.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion140:0040:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture91:009:00Present-in-Person
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching91:009:00Present-in-Person (seminars)
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities72:0014:00Non-synchronous online (structured lecture materials replacing what would have been lectures)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching11:001:00Synchronous online (tutorial)
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1127:00127:00N/A
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

We will adopt flexible, blended learning methods and strategies to introduce students to the analysis of the relationship between culture and politics in Colombia. Lectures, both in the form of present in person sessions (where practicable) and in the form of non-synchronous online teaching, will outline general principles, illustrated by specific examples, and be supplemented by structured independent reading and guided online learning activities. Small group teaching, noted above as synchronous present-in-person or, if necessary, online synchronous teaching, will allow students to examine cultural products and explore local contexts, allowing for detailed discussion and analysis as well as revisiting and reinforcing knowledge from the lecture materials and online guided activities. Seminars will provide the students with the opportunity to lead discussion on a topic through interactive activities that develop their independent thinking and critical analysis. Both types of learning activities will include advice on how to prepare for assessment. Surgery hours allow students to consult the module leader with any particular difficulties in understanding concepts, tasks, etc. Independent learning includes preparation for small group work, further reading and assessment.

Assessment Methods

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

Exams
Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination602A30In-class test in Spanish, showing grasp of concepts and their application in context.
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M702500 word essay in English
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Essay2MWorksheet requiring short answers on key concepts.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The written exercise in Spanish, done in the last week before the Easter break, allows students to demonstrate their grasp of the foundational concepts required for the analysis of culture and politics in Colombia, while the final summative assessment allows students to build on the feedback gained both from the formative assessment, done in mid-semester, and the written exercise in order to express the knowledge and skills developed over the whole semester. The final essay has more weight as it is here that students will be able to apply their knowledge to the in-depth analysis of a specific cultural issue of their own choice.

Reading Lists

Timetable