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

Undergraduate Course: Cuban and Puerto Rican Cinema: Between Revolution and Colonialism (Ordinary) (ELCH09028)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 9 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course will offer an introduction to a range of Cuban and Puerto Rican films from different periods and styles, focusing on how filmmakers in both Cuba and Puerto Rico (and their diasporas) have (re)negotiated their political conditions and production possibilities.
Course description While Cuba in the 1960s was the epicenter of the Latin American left, Puerto Rico was the symbolic showcase of Caribbean capitalism. This course will offer an introduction to a range of Cuban and Puerto Rican films from different periods and styles, focusing on how filmmakers in both Cuba and Puerto Rico (and their diasporas) have (re)negotiated their political conditions and production possibilities. Students will examine a selection of films in order to explore issues relating to revolution and colonialism (and neocolonialism). The course will explore related concerns surrounding film aesthetics and language in both documentary and fiction. The material will be discussed in terms of both the aesthetic contributions the films have made and their foregrounding of discourses on politics, gender and race.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements This course is taught in Spanish.
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).
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  4
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 1 close-analysis of a film (1000 words) (30%)
1 time limited assessment of 1500 words (70%)
Individual Presentation of materials (formative)
Feedback Students will receive detailed written feedback on both presentations and their written work.
Optional follow-up sessions will be available for face-to-face consultation to help students
understand the implications of this feedback, and to further explore ways in which future work
might be enhanced.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate familiarity with a diverse range of films from Cuba and Puerto Rico, and the historical context that surrounds their production and reception.
  2. examine the ways in which the analysis of different films contributes to the understanding of broader political struggles and social contexts.
  3. critically explore key concepts and frameworks in Latin American and world cinema and history in order to substantiate their arguments.
  4. evaluate the way cinema in Cuba and Puerto Rico has evolved in new media ecologies.
  5. critically analyze the diversity of cinema within Cuba and Puerto Rico.
Reading List
Essential Reading:

Díaz-Zambrana, Rosana and Patricia Tome. Cinema paraíso: Representaciones e imágenes audiovisuales
en el Caribe hispano. San Juan and Santo Domingo: Isla Negra, 2010.
Esterrich, Carmelo. Concrete and Countryside: The Urban and the Rural in 1950s Puerto Rican Culture.
Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018.
The Ethnic Eye: Latino Media Arts. Eds, Chon A. Noriega and Ana M. Lopez. Minneapolis: University
of Minnesota Press, 1996.
Hojas de cine: Testimonios y documentos del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano. Vol. III Centroamérica y el
Caribe. Mexico: Fundación Mexicana de Cineastas, 1988.
Imagining Our Americas: Toward a Transnational Frame. Eds. Sandhya Shukla and Heidi Tinsman.
Durham: Duke University Press, 2007.
New Latin American Cinema, ed. Michael T. Martin, Vol. 2. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1997.
Puerto Rican Jam: Essays on Culture and Politics. Ed. Frances Negrón-Muntaner and Ramón
Grosfoguel. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997.
Venegas, Cristina. Digital Dilemmas: The State, the Individual, and Digital Media in Cuba. New
Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2009.

Recommended Reading:
Aguilera Skvirsky, Salomé. "The Postcolonial city symphony film and the 'ruins' of Suite Habana."
Social Identities, 19: 3-4 (2013): 423-439.
Ebrahim, Haseenah. "Afrocuban Religions in Sara Gómez's One Way or Another and Gloria Rolando's
Oggun." The Western Journal of Black Studies 22.4 (1998): 239-251.
López, Iraida. "Interview with La Operación's Ana María García, 'Not many options for contraception.'"
Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media 29 (1984): 38-39.
Lord, Susan. "Acts of Affection: Cinema, Citizenship, and Race in the Work of Sara Gómez." Gender
and Sexuality in 1968: Transformative Politics in the Cultural Imagination, eds. Lessie Jo Frazier
and Deborah Cohen. New York: Palgrave, 2009. 173-192.
Lugo-Ortiz, Lourdes. Tropiezos con la memoria: La esterilización femenina puertorriqueña. San Juan:
Plaza Mayor, 2011.
Marsh Kennedy, Catherine. Negociaciones culturales: Los intelectuales y el proyecto pedagógico del
estado muñocista. San Juan: Ediciones Callejón, 2009.
Martínez-Echazábal, Lourdes y Inés María Martiatu, "¡Sara es mucha Sara!" Afro-Hispanic Review 33.1
(2014): 235-260.
Noriega, Chon A. "An Education Through Art, 1960." Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies 41.1 (2016):
---. "Sacred Contingencies: The Digital Deconstructions of Raphael Montañez Ortiz." Art
Journal 54.4 (1995): 36-40.
Ramos, Julio. "Otros modos de hacer cine: conversación con Miguel Coyula en La Habana." 80Grados,
Safa, Helen. Myth of the Male Breadwinner: Women and Industrialization in the Caribbean. New York:
Routledge, 1995.

Recommended Filmography:
De cierta manera. Dir. Sara Gómez. Cuba: ICAIC, 1974.
Manos a la obra: Operación Bootstrap. Dir. Pedro Rivera and Susan Zeig. Cinema Guild, 1983.
Memorias del desarrollo. Dir. Miguel Coyula. Pirámide, 2010.
Memorias del subdesarrollo. Dir. Tomás Gutiérrez Alea. Cuba: ICAIC, 1968.
La Operación. Dir. Ana María García. Latin America Film Project, 1982.
El Puente. Dir. Amílcar Tirado. Divedco, 1954.
Puerto Rico: Paradise Invaded. Dir. Alfonso Beato. Latin America Film Project, 1977.
Santa y Andrés. Dir. Lechuga, Carlos. 5th Avenue Productions, 2016.
Suite Habana. Dir. Fernando Pérez. ICAIC, 2003.
Los Sures. Dir. Diego Echeverria. Union Docs, 1984.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Graduate Attributes
As an outcome of having studied this course, students will benefit from having developed a
range of professional and personal skills commensurate with the range of SCQF Level 10
Knowledge and understanding: students will have had the opportunity to demonstrate their
critical understanding of a range of the principal theories and concepts of media analysis in
relation to their reading and discussion of the course material;
Applied Knowledge, Skills and Understanding: in their work for class discussion, presentations
and formal assessment tasks, students will have been able to practice the application of these
theories and concepts in their construction of arguments about the course material;
Generic Cognitive skills: in completing assessed essays and class presentations, students will
have practiced identifying, defining, conceptualizing and analyzing complex problems and issues
germane to the discipline;
Communication: through participating in these tasks students will also have demonstrated the
ability to communicate ideas and information about specialized topics in the discipline to an
informed audience of their peers and subject specialists;
Autonomy and Working with Others: students will also have shown the capacity to work
autonomously and in small groups on designated tasks, develop new thinking with their peers,
and take responsibility for the reporting, analysis and defense of these ideas.
Keywordsfilm,Caribbean,Latin America,race,gender,politics,documentary,fiction
Course organiserDr Jessica Gordon-Burroughs
Tel: (0131 6)50 3679
Course secretaryMrs Vivien MacNish Porter
Tel: (0131 6)50 3528
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