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Realities and Fictions in Argentina (SPAN30020)

Undergraduate level 3Points: 12.5Not available in 2019

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Year of offerNot available in 2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 3
Subject codeSPAN30020
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This study abroad subject will be taught in two places in Argentina over three weeks from 19th November to 8th December 2018.

The dichotomy Civilisation vs Barbarism has been, since Sarmiento’s foundational essay entitled Facundo: Civilisation and Barbarism (1845), one of the guiding fictions of Argentine cultural history. Written at a time of cultural crisis, this founding binary would then rule the rest of Argentina’s history until today. This course will highlight these opposing sides, revisiting forgotten and forbidden stories, exploring ideas through immersion in real Argentina: a two-sided country, a place of contradictions. In the countryside, we will get to see the “barbaric” Argentina, the gaucho land, while learning about local legends, eating traditional food, and visiting places unknown to tourists. On the other side, in the “civilised” cosmopolitan city of Buenos Aires, we will learn about its vibrant cultural life, architecture, music, politics, astonishing stories of censorship during the dirty war and the struggles in democratic times.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should:

  • be able to effectively communicate and appreciate the different cultural forces shaping Argentine society;
  • have demonstrated an independent approach to knowledge through the on-site experience;
  • be able to understand the relationship between fact-based history in Argentina and its myths, legends and fictions;
  • be able to compare and contrast the cultural differences between life in the country and life in the city in Argentina;
  • be able to critically analyse the contemporary Hispanic cultures both in English and Spanish;
  • be able to self-reflect on the social, political, historical and cultural realities and fictions shaping Argentine society.

Generic skills

At the completion of this subject, students should:

  • understand social, political, historical and cultural contexts and international awareness/openness to the world through the contextualisation of judgements and knowledge, developing a critical self-awareness, being open to new ideas and new aspects of Argentine culture, and by formulating arguments;
  • have developed analytic skills in the close reading of argumentative strategies, concepts, and institutional bases of postcolonial and anti-globalization debates, and explanatory skills to deal with the complexity of the social and political issues raised by such debates;
  • be able to communicate knowledge intelligibly and economically through essay and assignment writing, tutorial discussions and class presentations;
  • be able to speak publicly with increasing confidence in self expression through tutorial participation and class presentations.

Last updated: 21 August 2019