LAS2032 : Caribbean Imaginaries: Image, Text, Music

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


In consonance with the overall aim of the degrees offered in the SML, to contribute to students’ broad-based knowledge of aspects of the history, politics, society and culture of a variety of Hispanic countries, focusing on the culture of the Hispanophone Caribbean and its diasporas.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module introduces students to a selection of founding mythologies of the Caribbean, including narratives of origins and identity, nature and magic, 'mestizaje', migration and belonging. Students will be able to re-examine preconceived images and stereotypes relating to the Caribbean through a consideration of the area's geographical openness, racial hybridity, cultural intermixture, violent history, and diasporic movements.

The material has been organised into five interrelated topics: 'Discoveries' and the Sea; Slavery and the Plantation; The Marvellous and the Monstrous; Rhythm and music; Diasporic dilemmas.

The material has been chosen to encourage students to reflect critically on the intersections of culture, consumption, history, and politics, but also to encourage close attention to form, medium and genre. The module is therefore comparative in spirit, and assessed essays will be required to compare different literary genres/media. The module is taught in English, with certain activities in Spanish, offering students the opportunity to build on their language skills whilst also consolidating their ability to analyse a variety of cultural forms, including poetry, visual art, music, and film.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture122:0024:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching81:008:00Seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery41:004:00Surgery
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1164:00164:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will allow definition of the scope of the syllabus, an introduction to a body of knowledge, and modelling of the analysis required (note-taking). They will make use of PowerPoint, and a hand-out with key words and references will be provided with each lecture. Seminars will provide the students with the opportunity to discuss key texts and topics individually and in groups, give group presentations and develop their independent thinking, critical analysis and debate. All knowledge outcomes are addressed by the mix of interactive lectures and seminar delivery. The module is taught in English with primary materials in Spanish, and assessed in English and Spanish.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M702500 words in English. To be submitted end of Semester 1.
Written exercise2M15In class test in English. 40 minutes.
Written exercise2M15In class test in Spanish. 40 minutes.
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Oral Presentation1MWeekly group oral presentation in Spanish.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The module will be assessed both in English and Spanish in consonance with recommendations from UGAF. The first in-class written test will test students’ knowledge of the key concepts covered in the course as well as the contexts and objects of study analysed in class. The second test will also hone their linguistic skills in Spanish. The essay will help students to develop analytical and organisational skills, as they will be asked to engage with argumentative thinking. The group oral presentations in Spanish will help students develop research and language skills, allowing them to revisit key concepts from the course and develop their own interpretations of primary material.

Reading Lists