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

Undergraduate Course: Surrealist, Fantastic and Uncanny Encounters in Catalan Culture (ELCH09037)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 9 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course focuses on surrealism, the fantastic and the uncanny in Catalan culture through a wide range of modes of artistic expression including painting, literature and film. Students will learn about the surrealist painting of Salvador Dalí, Àngel Planells and Ángeles Santos, the uncanny narrative of Mercè Rodoreda, Manuel de Pedrolo's science-fiction, and Bigas Luna's surreal-like filmmaking. A fundamental aspect of this course refers to the ways in which surrealist, fantastic and uncanny manifestations constitute imaginative responses to different forms of oppression.
Course description Surrealism, the fantastic and the uncanny are interconnected and evolving frames of thought that find a rich expression in Catalan culture. The first block of the course will introduce these concepts and consider the surrealist manifestos (1924 and 1930) and its legacies. We will then delve into the origins of plastic surrealism in the Iberian Peninsula with Salvador Dalí, followed by the surrealist art of one of the few working-class avant-garde artists in this context, Àngel Planells, and ending with the painting by Ángeles Santos, a female artist that proposes a pictorial deconstruction of patriarchal structures.

The course will also analyse the imagery of the fantastic and the uncanny through two novels and a film, addressing themes such as the monstrous, the implications of the supernatural, the creation of alternative worlds and the subversive nature of horror. Nevertheless, rather than being escapist ventures, these written and audiovisual materials will allow to explore central issues to human existence such as the meaning of life and death and imaginative responses to political and personal oppression. At the same time, the texts will be framed within critical approaches and current theoretical discussions.

It must be noted that the selection of filmmaker Bigas Luna and writers Mercè Rodoreda and Manuel de Pedrolo encourages active learning because their work can be understood as part of the legacy of surrealism. This selection encourages critical thinking and provides students with an understanding of how surrealism, the fantastic and the uncanny remain connected. The course then offers students a deep dive into the state of the art in connection with all these movements and artistic modes.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Textbooks or ebooks, c. £20 - 25.
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Summative

50% Video presentation (10 minutes)
50% comparative essay (1,500 words)

0% essay proposal (150 words)
Feedback Students will be given oral feedback every week during discussions to help them analyse the materials.

Students will be given detailed written feedback for their video presentation and comparative essay assignments.

Students will be given written formative feedback for their essay proposals.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an understanding of some of the fundamental questions regarding the status of Catalan culture through the study of art, written materials and cinema.
  2. Analyse key manifestations of surrealism, the fantastic and the uncanny in different forms: painting, written text and film.
  3. Examine a range of critical approaches to, and theoretical debates regarding surrealism, the fantastic and the uncanny.
  4. Appraise written, visual and audiovisual materials within their socio-political and cultural milieu.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Be sensitive to and understand the diversity in people from different communities, genders and backgrounds.

Communicate complex ideas and arguments in oral and written form.

Think independently and come up with their own lines of arguments.

Conduct research and enquiry into specific areas of knowledge.
Course organiserDr Anna Vives
Course secretary
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