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Cooking up the Nation (SPAN20024)

Undergraduate level 2Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 2
Subject codeSPAN20024
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject focuses on the interaction between cuisine and nationalist discourses in Spain and Peru, exploring how food can function as a site of control and/or a vehicle for the construction of nationhood. Studies of national cuisines demonstrate that how we talk about food is as revealing of our identity as what we eat. Some important developments in the newly emerging field of Hispanic Cultural Food Studies reveal that gastronomic identities can be mobilised within different social contexts to different political and cultural ends. These range from the prescription and re-description of gender roles to processes of modernisation, from national renewal to questions of national boundaries. Culinary identities in Spain and Peru will also be examined in the context of regional rivalries, regional integration, post-colonial legacies and dictatorial rule.

Academic skills are enhanced through learning how to write scholarly essays in Spanish and to do close readings of a variety of food texts and scholarly and journalistic articles. Workplace-relevant skills are developed through collaborative project-based group work, and investigative and oral skills developed through media that could include podcasts, radio broadcasts, or other journalistic presentations.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should:

  • understand and use at an academic level strategies in the use of linguo-cultural genres at an advanced level with a focus on researching the food cultures of Spain and Peru from the late 19th through to present day;
  • be able to interpret the intellectual, cultural and historical context of contemporary Spanish and Latin American societies by acquiring learning strategies to researching national and trans-national contexts;
  • understand the role of cultural studies and food studies in shaping Hispanic Studies research as a global discipline;
  • understand the academic and research practice of the main theories and approaches to the cultures of Spain and Peru;
  • understand and research the social, political, historical and cultural contexts and international awareness of the major Spanish-language cultural and food practices around the world;
  • be able to communicate knowledge intelligibly, bilingually and economically through researching in the form of academic essays on Spanish-language culture;
  • understand and research the linguo-cultural acquisition and contextualisation of judgements and knowledge process, developing a critical self-awareness and being open to new ideas and new aspects of contemporary Hispanic cultures both in English and Spanish showing autonomous, self-directed and academic-level skills;
  • have developed public speaking skills and confidence in self-expression, research and conversations where cultural differences within the Spanish-speaking world are addressed in relation to culture, particularly food culture.

Generic skills

At the completion of this subject, students should:

  • understand social, political, historical and cultural contexts and international awareness/ openness to the word: through the contextualisation of judgements and knowledge;
  • have developed a critical self-awareness, be open to new ideas and new aspects of Spanish culture, and formulate arguments;
  • be able to communicate intelligibly and economically: through essay 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: 11 October 2019