SPA4006 : Spectres of the Past: Memory in Contemporary Spanish Culture

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


In consonance with the overall aim of the degrees offered in the SML, this module aims to contribute to students’ broad-based knowledge of contemporary Spanish culture. It will build on skills gained at Stages 1 and 2 through studying a range of literary and cinematic responses to the memory of Francoism.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module draws on material in Spanish and explores how literature, theatre and film have intervened in debates over how the memory of Francoism should be represented. It will address questions of how to read and interpret literary and filmic texts in the light of broader theoretical debates concerning the memory of dictatorship. Particular emphasis will be placed on transnational and multidirectional memory, whereby contemporary works attempt to establish productive dialogues with other memories of authoritarianism - most notably the Holocaust. The module aims to provide an introduction to key conceptualisations of memory that have marked out the boundaries of the emerging interdisciplinary field of Memory Studies, as well as how approaches to memory have evolved in Spain since 1975. The module is comparative in spirit and assessed essays will be required to compare different literary genres/media. The module is taught in English, with certain activities (theatre workshop and student presentations) in Spanish.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture221:0022:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching81:008:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops12:002:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery41:004:00Individual supervision
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1161:10161:10N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study12:502:50Guided screening
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). Lectures will make use of PowerPoint, and a hand-out with the structure of the lecture and key words will be provided with each lecture. Seminars will provide the students with the opportunity to discuss a topic individually and in groups, prepare group presentations and develop their independent thinking and critical analysis and debate.
All knowledge outcomes are addressed by the mix of interactive lectures and seminar delivery.
The module is taught in ENGLISH and assessed in SPANISH and ENGLISH.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1A602000 words In English
Written exercise1M20In-class written exercise: commentary on an extract of the novel being studies. Extract released prior to test
Written exercise1M20Based on set pre-reading. Reading will be released in advance and will cover the main theoretical concept of the module- memory
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Oral Presentation1MIn Spanish
Essay1Moptional practice essay
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The module will be taught in one semester and is assessed both in English and Spanish in consonance with recommendations from UGAF. The commentary test will train students to engage closely with the text in order to better help them select supporting analysis for their argument in the essay. The reading test will test knowledge and understanding of the module's framing theoretical concept of memory. The essay will help students to develop analytical and organisational skills, as they will be asked to engage with argumentative thinking.

Reading Lists