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

Undergraduate Course: Narrativising illness and disability in Latin American Visual Cultures (ELCH10067)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course will offer an introduction to a range of Latin American visual texts from different periods and styles, focusing on how creators have depicted and, in many cases, contested representations of illness and disability. Students will examine a selection of Latin American visual texts (photography, painting, art installations, cinema and television) in order to explore issues relating to corporeal and social identity, health stigma and social health policy. The material will be discussed in terms of both the aesthetic contributions the texts have made and their foregrounding of discourses on identity, health and stigma.
Course description This module seeks to provide students with an understanding of how narratives of illnesses, disability, and other medical conditions can influence and shape the way Latin American societies understand and approach such conditions. Through an interpretation of media and filmic texts, as well as photography, poster illustrations and the general arts students will study how the depiction of illness and disability may influence social and health policy in Latin America, while also challenging or endorsing discrimination towards certain groups affected by such issues. The main purpose of this module is to provide students with the tools to read, interpret, understand and evaluate illness, impairment and, when appropriate, care (as this constitutes, in most cases, the way individuals become informed about such conditions) through visual representation. The module will, ultimately, study how Latin American visual texts influence people's notions of responsibility and identity, and how illness, disability and even caregiving affect selfhood. Assessment will be via the creation of health posters (a common practice in the medical sciences) and through academic analysis.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
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 key concepts and frameworks on Latin American visual texts dealing with health and health stigma and the ability to apply terminology effectively.
  2. Critically identify, define and conceptualise the importance of cultural interventions within social policy and health policy contexts.
  3. Demonstrate some originality and creativity when dealing with a diverse range of Latin American visual texts including photography, painting, art installations, cinema and television.
  4. Interpret and formulate, in the appropriate register, written documentation that reflects students' findings and conclusions while dealing with complex ethical and professional issues in accordance with current and/or ethical codes and practices within social and health policy.
Reading List
Visual sources will be provided in class (most of the visual/cultural texts analysed can be accessed freely online; while the module leader owns copyright for all other materials).

Antebi, S and Jorgesen, B E (eds.) Libre Acceso: Latin American Literature and Film through Disability Studies. New York: State of New York University Press.

Armus, D (2003) Disease in the History of Modern Latin America: From Malaria to Aids. Durham and London: Duke University Press.

Kuppers, P (2014) Studying Disability, Arts and Culture: An Introduction. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Meruane, L (2012) Viajes virales: Una mirada del SIDA a través de la narrativa latinoamericana. Santiago de Chile: Fondo de Cultura Económica.

Millet-Gallant, A (2010) The Disabled Body in Contemporary Art. London: Springer.

Subero, G (2014) Representations of HIV/AIDS in Contemporary Hispano-American and Caribbean Culture. London and New York: Routledge.
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.
KeywordsIllness,Disability,Stigma,Health,Identity,Selfhood,Social Policy,Latin America
Course organiserDr Gus Subero
Course secretaryMiss Fiona Jack
Tel: (0131 6)50 3635
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