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Level 5

5AASB102 Imperial Visions in Iberian Literature

Credit value: 15 credits
Module tutor: Dr Catarina Fouto 
Assessment: One 2000 word essay (40%), One two-hour exam (60%)
Teaching pattern: Two hours per week
Reassessment: Reassessment for this module will take the form of coursework.  The exam element will be replaced with a 3000 word essay.

This module is taught in English, using English-language translations for students with no prior knowledge of Portuguese or Spanish.

The Iberian Peninsula was home to the first ventures of global empires. Drawing on key early modern Spanish and Portuguese texts, this module examines the literary representation of imperialism during the formative years of Iberian expansion, the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.  The body of works examined includes epic and drama, but also travel accounts and religious writing, which will enable students to engage with a number of important authors and a variety of works. 

Educational aims and objectives

The Iberian Peninsula was home to the first ventures of global empires. Drawing on key early modern Spanish and Portuguese texts, this module examines the literary representation of imperialism during the formative years of Iberian expansion, the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.  The body of works examined includes epic and drama, but also travel accounts and religious writing, which will enable students to engage with a number of important authors and a variety of works.

Students will learn how texts construct a ‘poetics of empire’ that advances but also critiques early modern imperialism and colonial rule, as territorial expansion moves from the local Iberian context of Reconquista to the overseas expansion in the New World, both East and West. By engaging with a variety of sources (some of which are read in extracts), students will reflect upon: early modern concepts of empire, imperialism and colonial rule (including political theories); ideological approaches to imperial discourse in literature (‘the poetics of empire’); the political, moral, and religious critique of empire posed by the corpus of selected texts.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, the student will be able to demonstrate intellectual, transferable and practicable skills appropriate to a Level 5 module and in particular will be able to:

  • demonstrate good knowledge of key concepts underpinning the discourse of empire (empire; expansion; colonisation; holy way, crusade);
  • use such concepts comparatively across primary texts;
  • show awareness of the role played by historical context in the development of the concept of empire;
  • show awareness and effectively discuss critical approaches to the subject;
  • show an understanding of the link between literary form and the construction of imperialist discourse;
  • show awareness of how the critique of empire is present in primary texts;
  • begin to develop appropriate study and research strategies, in order to plan, draft, author and complete the module assessment.

Core texts

To be confirmed before the start of semester 

The modules run in each academic year are subject to change in line with staff availability and student demand so there is no guarantee every module will run. Module descriptions and information may vary depending between years.

 

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