Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE An Introduction to Latin America

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Spanish and Latin American Studies

DESCRIPTION Assuming no prior knowledge of the subject, this study-unit is aimed at students who are not Spanish language and literature or history specialists but are interested in an introduction to contemporary Latin America.

In the initial part of the study-unit students will be offered a narrative history of the continent which is broadly chronological in approach so that they may acquire some idea of the main events which have effected this continent. More specifically it will look at the meeting of European and American cultures, the Colonial Epoch, Independence and the creation of national regimes, the development of neocolonialism, the period of dictatorships, and the relatively recent emergence of democracy.

In the latter part of the study-unit students will look at a range of current issues including demographic growth and urbanization, social exclusion and inequality, indigenous peoples and 'mestizaje'.

Study-unit Aims:

This unit aims to introduce students to the history of Latin America and subsequently analyze some of the economic, social, political and cultural issues which confront this continent at the present time.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Demonstrate some understanding of contemporary Latin American society and the events, processes, structures, circumstances and personalities that have shaped this continent's history;

- Discuss with a measure of confidence the historical references and debates that serve as a background to current economic, political, social and cultural debates in Latin America.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Bring together essential information from written sources;
- Organize and present ideas in a structured manner;
- Infer key cultural and social issues from the media;
- Analyze social events;
- Acquire skills in historical explanation, causation and argumentation.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Williamson, E. (2009) The Penguin History of Latin America. London: Penguin.
Fowler, W. (2002) Latin America, 1800-2000. London: Arnold.
Skidmore, T.E. (1997) Modern Latin America. New York & Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Levine, R.M. (2003) The History of Brazil. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Cosia Villegas, D. et al (2002) A Compact History of Mexico. Mexico D.F.: El Colegio de Mexico.
Roos W. & Van Renterghem, O. (2006) Ecuador: A Guide to the People, Politics and Culture. New York: Interlink Books.
The above titles are in the process of being acquired by the University of Malta Library.

ADDITIONAL NOTES Students reading for a BA Spanish and Latin American Studies cannot take this study-unit.

The language of instruction is English. Students can follow this study-unit without having any knowledge of Spanish.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Seminar

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Examination (1 Hour) SEM2 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Carmel A. Vassallo

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.