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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : European Languages and Cultures - Hispanic Studies

Undergraduate Course: Genre Cinemas and the Latin American Social Imagination (Ordinary) (ELCH09023)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 9 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course offers an introduction to the study of genre cinema as a contextual tool to understand the different ways in which Latin American societies operate in their socio-political dimensions. Through close analysis of horror, sci-fi, fantasy and wrestling (understood as a syncretic form of superhero genre) tropes students will be able to identify recurrent themes that serve as a metaphor for the conditions of (under)development in the Latin American socio-political context. The films will be discussed in terms of their aesthetic attributes and the social issues foregrounded in such narratives through film reviews and academic reports. Students will be able to understand how genre cinemas (often shunned in academic circles) are equally capable of providing an insight into social and political discourses shaping Latin American societies.
Course description This module aims to provide students with an analysis of a number of contemporary social, political and economic issues in Latin America (and the Spanish Caribbean) by a close reading of genre cinema. The module will provide a historical survey of horror, fantasy, wrestling (an early form of superhero genre that emerged in Mexico), among other cinematic genres, in Latin America in the 20th and 21st century. It will consider the ways in which horror, fantasy and superhero conventions and archetypes have been used by filmmakers in order to articulate issues regarding politics, gender, the family, the body, modernity, (under)development and art itself. It will consider how Latin American directors have engaged and continue to engage these types of films with the social, political and cultural realities of a changing continent torn between development and underdevelopment and, at times, volatile political climates. Assessment will be via film reviews (a common practice in journalism) and through academic analysis.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesIn order to be eligible to take 4th Year options, Visiting Students should have the equivalent of at least two years of study at University level of the appropriate language(s) and culture(s).
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the principal theories, concepts and principles in genre cinemas.
  2. Demonstrate detailed knowledge of the tropes and metaphors used in genre cinemas to address social concerns in Latin America.
  3. Critically identify, define, conceptualise and analyse key ideas and frameworks in analytical writing on Latin American film, and enable students to apply terminology effectively.
  4. Use a wide range of research skills, verbal presentation, and written communication, in general and in relation to specific cultural contexts.
Reading List
Cardentey Levin, A (2014) "La Revolución zombificada. La alegoría del trauma cubano en Juan de los Muertos, de Alejandro Brugués". Alambique: Revista Académica de ficción y fantasia. Volume 2, Issue 1. [online]

Ruétalo, V and D, Tierney (2002) Lastploitation, Exploitation Cinemas and Latin America. London and New York: Routledge, 102-114.

Davies, A (2008) Guillermo del Toro's Cronos: the Vampire as Embodied Heterotopia. Quarterly Review of Film and Video. Volume 25, Issue 5: 395-403.

Eljaiek-Rodruiguez, G (2015) "El retorno de los muertos vivientes (al Caribe). Juan de los muertos y los zombis en el cine cubano contemporáneo". Hispanic Research Journal: Iberian and Latin American Studies. Volume 16, Issue 1: 86-102.

Greene, D (2005) Mexploitation Cinema: A critical History of Mexican Vampire, Wrestler, Ape-Man and similar films 1957-1977. North Carolina: McFarland.

Mosquera, G (2003) "A few reflections on the creation of the film Moebious" in M, Manaresi (ed.) Mathematics, Arts, Technology and Cinema. London: Springer Science & Business Media, 156-162.

Odell, C and Le Blanc, M (2007) Horror Films. Harpenden: Kamera Books.

Risner, Jonathan (2006) Killers on the Pampa: Gender, Cinematic Landscapes, and the Transnational Slasher in Adrián García Bogliano's Habitaciones para turistas (2004) and 36 Pasos. Hispanet Journal, No. 4 [online]

Subero, G (2016) Gender and Sexuality in Latin American Horror Cinema: Embodiments of Evil. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills 1. The ability to foster curiosity that makes a positive difference.
2. The passion to engage locally and globally.
3. The ability to become creative problem solvers and researchers.
4. Then ability to become critical and reflective thinkers.
5. The ability to become skilled communicators.
KeywordsGenre cinemas,Latin America,Horror,Fantasy,Wrestling,(Under)development in Latin America
Course organiserDr Gus Subero
Course secretaryMiss Fiona Jack
Tel: (0131 6)50 3635
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