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Course Description
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Hispanic Cinema and Culture
University of Barcelona (UB)
Barcelona, Spain

Subject Area(s) Level(s) Instruction in Credits Contact Hours Prerequisites
Painting; Film Studies; Literature; Music ; Art Intermediate and Advanced Spanish 3 45 Two to three semesters of college level Spanish is recommended

Latin America: Painting, Cinema, Literature & Music (22.5 hours)

The course will consist of the study of Latin American artistic expressions through some of its most representative works and of the socio-cultural artistic framework they are in. The main objective is to provide students with the knowledge and the specific reading clues, as well as to optimize and develop the different comprehension and interpretation strategies linked to the cultural and artistic world of Latin America.


The course starts with a historical reflection on the rich and multiple identity of Latin America, which encompasses from the legends that the pre-Hispanic civilizations cultivated up to the chronicles of the Spaniards that found the new world. This introduction will be documented with audiovisual and artistic information about Pre-Columbine art, Mexican muralists´s paintings and significant literary or essayistic pieces from consecrated authors of our time such as Miguel Angel Asturias, Octavio Paz, Carlos Fuentes and Arturo Uslar Pietri.

After this brief historical and artistic introduction, the main focus is on the study of contemporary prose and especially the short-story, due to its important role in the development and the height of Latin American narrative. Poetry, myth and history in Pablo Neruda are analyzed, the poetic and photographic prose of Juan Rulfo and elements of “neo-fantastic literature” in the short-stories of Julio Cortázar. There is also an initiation to a dialogue with traditional rhythm and music of Latin America. The term-long course ends with the adaptation of a work of literature to cinema: setting, time, plot, characters and action.


-BELLINI, Giuseppe, (1997), Nueva historia de la literatura hispanoamericana, Madrid, Castalia.
-FRANCO, J., (1990), Historia de la Literatura Hispanoamericana, Barcelona, Ariel.
-GOIC, C., (1988), Historia y crítica de la Literatura Hispanoamericana T. II, Del Romanticismo al Modernismo, Barcelona, Crítica.
-GOIC, C., (1988), Historia de la Literatura Hispanoamericana, Tomo III, Época contemporánea, Barcelona, Crítica, S. A.
-GUTIERREZ, R. (2000) Historia del arte Iberoamericano, Lungwerg ediciones
-PÉREZ MURILLO, D y FERNÁNDEZ FERNÁNDEZ, D. (COOR) (2002): La memoria filmada: América Latina a través de su cine, Madrid, Editorial Iepala


Given the theoretical-practical nature of the classes, the course assessment has a final exam and two written commentaries which the student has to do during the course.

Film Studies/Art - Spanish Cinema (22.5 hours)

The course objectives are to discuss films shown in class and to broaden students’ knowledge of conversational Spanish through cinema (formal and informal register, dialect varieties, and so on). The course also aims to analyze how films reflect Spanish society and how Spanish cinema responds to its changing needs.


During the course we view films, or excerpts of films, from among the most representative in Spanish cinema from its origins to the present day. We analyze the artistic oeuvres of established film-makers such as Buñuel, Bardem, García Berlanga, Saura, etc., and so on, and special attention will be paid to the works of the most important Spanish directors of the last two decades – Almodóvar, Trueba, Amenábar, Medem, Miró, among others.


Heredero, C. F., (1999), Veinte nuevos directores, Madrid, Alianza.
Seguin, J. C., (1996), Historia del cine español, Madrid, Acento Editorial.
Torres, A. M., (1996), Diccionario Espasa de cine español, (edición de bolsillo), Madrid, Espasa.


At the end of the term students will submit an essay on a topic related to course material.

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