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

Undergraduate Course: The Spanish Newspaper Column by Writers (ELCH10040)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis module provides an introduction to, close study and practice of newspaper columns by contemporary Spanish writers published in the Spanish press since the 1980s.
Course description In Spain, writers have had a presence in the periodical press for centuries, a presence that became particularly pronounced from the 19th century onwards, with the period from 1898 to 1936 being an especially fertile one. Since 1975 this presence has become even more marked by way of the genre of the newspaper column cultivated by writers, which has flourished since the re-instatement of democracy and with the boom the periodical press experienced during the period, contributing to the configuration of a, in many ways, new genre in Spanish letters. The course will study and practice this mode of writing, its formal aspects and, to a lesser extent, also emerging themes and representations of contemporary Spain, by way of various collections of such columns by writers published in book form.

It consists of: formal and thematic analyses of newspaper columns; an exploration of generic questions; a look at ensuing representations of contemporary Spain; the practice of this particular aspect of feature writing in Spanish.

After an introduction to the history and development of this genre in Week 1, the work in seminars revolves around the feature writing of a specific author. Students will familiarize themselves with one or two collections of texts by the writer in advance of each seminar. The work in each seminar will be divided into two halves: first, a brief introduction to the literature of each writer and a collective discussion of the main elements that characterize the newspaper columns of the writer in question; second, smaller-group work, with each group focusing on a specific newspaper column and presenting a 5-10 minute analysis of the particular column to the whole class.

Each student will undertake at least two such (formative) presentations per semester. In addition, students will be asked to write two (summative) newspaper columns of 750 words each, to be submitted in Weeks 6 and 9, to be assessed and returned with feedback in Weeks 7 and 10, respectively. Finally, each student will write an essay on the genre of the newspaper column, as well as an analysis of a particular column by an unspecified writer, under exam conditions at the end of the semester.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Entry into Spanish Honours required.
Additional Costs Purchase of primary texts to be studied.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  17
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 20, Summative Assessment Hours 4, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 172 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 70 %, Coursework 30 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The final mark will be made up of 30% coursework, consisting of two 750-word newspaper columns in Spanish to be submitted in teaching Weeks 6 and 9 of the semester and returned with feedback in Weeks 7 and 10, respectively; and 70% examination, made up of two questions to be answered in two hours, one being an essay on the genre of the newspaper column, the other an analysis of a newspaper column by an unidentified author. Moreover, all students will undertake a presentation in the course of the semester (formative assessment), which will be discussed and evaluated in class.
Feedback Students will be given feedback in writing on their coursework and their examinations, and will also be invited to individual, face-to-face oral feedback sessions on all these elements.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand the Spanish newspaper by writers in the contemporary period.
  2. Understand the history and development of this genre of writing.
  3. Understand the importance of structure, form, and language of columns, and of other specific features, such as register, voice and tone and the use of other rhetorical and narrative devices, in giving shape to columns.
  4. Analyse in detail this type of feature writing.
  5. Emulate such writing in Spanish, having developed appropriate written skills.
Reading List
MARÍAS, Javier, Mano de sombra
MARÍAS, Javier, Lección pasada de moda. Letras de lengua
PÉREZ-REVERTE, Arturo, Patente de corso
PÉREZ-REVERTE, Arturo, Cuando éramos honrados mercenarios
JORDÁ, Eduardo, Glorieta de los lotos
CERCAS, Javier, Relatos reales
MILLÁS, Juan José, Articuentos
MONTERO, Rosa, La vida desnuda
MUÑOZ MOLINA, Antonio, La vida por delante
LINDO, Elvira, Tinto de verano I
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information One two-hour lecture, followed by 9 two-hour seminars.
KeywordsDELC Newspaper Column,Spain,Newspaper,Writers,Feature Writing
Course organiserDr Alexis Grohmann
Tel: (0131 6)50 3678
Course secretaryMiss Fiona Jack
Tel: (0131 6)50 3635
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