Spanish Civilization and Culture

Universidad Pablo de Olavide

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Spanish Civilization and Culture

  • Host University

    Universidad Pablo de Olavide

  • Location

    Seville, Spain

  • Area of Study

    European Studies, Spanish, Spanish Culture

  • Language Level


  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    This course has two main goals: (i) to increase the students? knowledge and appreciation of
    Spanish culture and its people and (ii) to build and strengthen their intercultural awareness as
    result. Focusing mostly on the 20th century, we will explore Spain's diverse heritage through the
    different factors which constitute its present identity: history, art, economy, social organization,
    education, dance, music, and folklore. We will also read about and discuss linguistic and
    cultural variety, regionalism, nationalism, ethnicity and politics.

    Students will be required to purchase and read John Hooper?s The New Spaniards, which will
    be available at the campus bookstore, located in the Celestino Mutis building. In addition,
    students will also be asked to acquire a course pack with a few extra reading assignments. The
    course pack will be available at the copy center, located in the Celestino Mutis building as well.


    The course will be thematically structured into these 10 units:
    Unit 1: Envisioning Spain: Past and Present
    Unit 2: Spain Today I: Society
    Unit 3: Spain Today II: Politics
    Unit 4: Spain Today III: Art and Culture (Includes Movie Projection)
    Unit 5: Education in Spain
    Unit 6: Faith and Religion
    Unit 7: Social Life and Leisure
    Unit 8: Spanish Regional Diversity: (Oral Presentations)
    Unit 9: A Changing Society
    Unit 10: Conclusions: Contrasting Spain, the U.S. and other Countries and Cultures

    Students will come prepared to class, reading the daily assignment from the course pack. In
    class, we will use audiovisual materials (slides, films, music) to supplement the information
    presented in the readings. Every session will be structured around class discussion, focusing on
    the readings assigned and the audiovisual material presented. Students? progress will be checked
    by their class participation, 5 in-class quizzes, 5 short essays, oral presentations and a
    cumulative final exam.

    The final grade is broken down as follows:

    Class Participation 15%
    Oral Presentations 15%
    5 In-class Quizzes (1 every 2 units) 20%
    5 Short Essays (1 every 2 units) 25%
    Cumulative Final Exam 25%

    A) Class Participation:
    The whole course is structured around class discussion based on
    readings, teacher instruction and debates. Previous reflection on assigned readings is crucial for
    success in this course since students will be asked in class about specific and general aspects of
    the material read. In fact, lively discussions will be encouraged at all times. Class participation
    will therefore be graded in accordance to both the students? previous readings and reflection
    about the assigned texts, manifested in the relevance of their contributions to discussion.

    B) Oral Presentations: For Unit 8, students will be expected to deliver interactive group
    presentations based on a selected Spanish region (its cultural traditions, ?fiestas?, etc.). Each
    group will be formed by a maximum of 5 members, each of whom will have to present an
    aspect of the topic selected for about 10 minutes. Previously, the groups will be required to hand
    in a neat outline of the overall presentation to the instructor and their classmates. The overall
    grade will be based on each student?s presentation along with the overall quality of the group

    C) In-class Quizzes:
    These are aimed at evaluating the students? knowledge of the different
    topics covered with a focus on detail. They will be asked to complete 5 in-class quizzes in
    blocks of two units. These quizzes, designed to be completed in 10 minutes, will hinge around
    the information from the readings and the material presented and discussed in class. They may
    include, but not be limited to, true/false questions, definitions, multiple choice activities, short
    questions, etc. Missing class without medical excuse will not be considered a reason for
    rescheduling a quiz.

    D) Short Essays: These are conceived to check the students? ability to put acquired knowledge
    in context and establish comparative reflections across the topics covered. The students will
    have to conduct some research and write 5 1,000-word essays whose topics they will have to
    choose from a list that the professor will provide every two units. Essays will be typed and
    printed (Times New Roman pt.12, 1 & ½ spaces). Their grade will depend on parameters such
    as thematic pertinence and coherence, appropriateness of language use, quality of the crosscultural
    reflections included and reliability of the sources explored. Handwritten and emailed
    essays will not be accepted. Late turn-ins will lower the essay grade by ½ a point per day.

    E) Cumulative Final Exam: This test will measure the students? ability to critically react to the
    material covered in class, with a focus on establishing thematic links among topics. They will be
    asked to write a 4-page long essay on one of the 5 different topics which the professor will
    previously select. The exam?s date will be announced in class soon.

    VI: BIBLIOGRAPHY AND OTHER RESOUCES: Throughout the course, we will use
    of all the bibliography and resources listed below as our main reference framework.

    Book Sources

    Brenan, Gerald. The Spanish Labyrinth. (new edition of 2nd revised edition). CUP, 1990

    Fernández Santiago, Miriam. Spanish Civilization and Culture. Seville, 2006

    Gies, David (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Modern Spanish Culture. CUP, 1999.

    Hooper, John. The New Spaniards. (2nd edition). Penguin Book, 2006

    Kamen, Henry. Imagining Spain: Historical Myth and National Identity. YUP, 2008

    Payne, Stanley. España: Una Historia Única. Temas de Hoy, 2008

    Richardson, Bill. Spanish Studies: An Introduction. London: Arnold, 2001

    DVD Collections

    Arteseros, Alfonso. España en la Memoria: Intereconomía TV, 2009

    García de Cortázar, Fernando (coord.) Memoria de España: RTVE, 2004

    Prego, Victoria. Historia Audiovisual de la Transición: Tiempo, 2003

    Internet Sites
    Instituto Cervantes Web Page
    Spain?s Department of Culture Web Page

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations