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

Postgraduate Course: Beyond Macondo: Discovering magical realism in contemporary Hispanic literature (ELCH11018)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe boom generation internationalised Latin American literature, bringing to light a new genre known as magical realism. The central topic of this course is the study of some of these key voices alongside a younger generation, which has currently revitalised the genre. The course will take a theoretical and critical approach, in which students will explore the development of magical realism in both cultural and literary contexts. For this, students will work with both novels and films. The aim of this course is to provide a wider understanding of the socio-political, cultural, and historical events described in the novels and films, and to assess the extent to which magical realism has worked to reflect on questions related to memory and identity in the Latin American context and beyond. Another goal of the course is to examine the contribution of female writers to the genre, who have historically remained marginalised from the success acquired by the male dominated boom generation.
Course description This course will take an interdisciplinary approach, in which students will engage with concepts retrieved from literary studies, memory studies, history and cultural studies, to explore and critically assess questions related to memory and identity, gender and history. Students will also be provided with the theoretical grounds for the development of magical realism, allowing them to revisit and broaden knowledge from previous years. After taking this course, students will have developed a wider perspective of the impact magical realism has had in cultural and literary circles in the region and beyond, while developing the means for comparing and connecting cultural, social and historical events in different contexts and periods. Likewise, the material studied in the course will allow students to expand on classic understandings of magical realism at the academic level, as well as examining and appraising the contribution to the genre by female writers from the Hispanic World. Students will thus acquire a more expansive and inclusive overall view of the subject.

In this course, students will read and analyze classical and contemporary novels, as well as working with films adapted from these texts. Students will also work with original and recent work published on the subject, to support their engagement with questions on memory, identity and gender.

This is a seminar-based course, which will include analysis of primary source texts (novels and films), accompanied by recommended secondary readings. Each week, a presentation will be provided by the tutor, followed by a presentation offered by students. Likewise, the class will offer space for group discussion of the readings and activities provided in LEARN. Students' learning and understanding will be tested through coursework assignments, including a group poster and final essay.

The work will be delivered and assessed in Spanish.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Textbooks and/or ebooks.
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:  2
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Components of Assessment: Coursework 100%.

Group poster (40%)
3000 words final essay (60%)

Formative components of Assessment:
10 minutes oral group presentation
Feedback Students will be given:

- formative feedback on oral presentation, which will be done informally in class in real time.
- formative feedback on their posters via a 10-minute group session.

After submission of the posters, written feedback for the group will be provided.

For the essay, individual written feedback will be provided. Students will be able to contact the Course Organiser in advance for questions and/or essay plans.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Develop appropriate methodologies in oral and written form to explore magical realism in a variety of forms, including films and novels.
  2. Research and evaluate information in light of evidence and argument.
  3. Assess the development of magic realism and its impact as a cultural and literary phenomenon. 
  4. Demonstrate their communication skills by practicing independent and collaborative work.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Knowledge and understanding: students will be able to demonstrate their detailed knowledge and some of the key concepts linked to magical realism and female writers' contribution to the genre.
Practice, applied knowledge, skills and understanding: students will have the opportunity to practice their understanding of key concepts in class discussions, as well as in formative and summative assessments.
Generic cognitive skills: students will learn to think independently and come up with their own lines of arguments.
Communication: students will be able to demonstrate their oral and written communication skills, by identifying, conceptualising and analysing complex ideas and arguments.
Autonomy and working with others: students will practice their abilities to work independently and in small groups, to present complex ideas and analytical skills to others.
KeywordsMagical realism,Hispanic world,boom literature,contemporary literature
Course organiserDr Barbara Castillo Buttinghausen
Course secretary
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