Topics on Current Spanish Culture: Steps Towards a New Society? (with optional service-learning component)
ISA Seville Study Center
Area of Study
Taught In English
Recommended U.S. Semester Credits3
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units4
Hours & Credits
USF Course Code: ANT 4930
Prerequisite: none; taught in English.
Students: ISA students
Contact hours: 45
I. Course Description:
This pandemic will pass into history. The way in which it passes will shape Spain for the future. The decisions that have been taken and the consequences are having an impact in all aspects of our life, including the culture. This course employs a cultural anthropological approach to the study of modern day Spain with a particular focus on Andalusia, the diversity of its peoples, and the challenges that we are facing. It shall analyze the evolution of Spanish culture and values in the 21st century, including the post pandemic scenario, through the examination of some of the complexities/concerns that qualify current Andalusia reality (and that of Spain overall) including social integration, education, gender relations, migration, unemployment and housing.
This course is partly based on collaborative learning with tasks that shall generate positive interdependence among participants as well as tasks that require an active role within Andalusian society. As cultural studies is a cross-cutting field-based science that emphasizes direct participation in a culture, students will be able to participate in service-learning projects. This component of the course strives to facilitate students´ access to a more profound understanding of current day Andalusia, while increasing their ability to critically examine challenges in the world around them, and make a real difference through personal agency. This will reflected in a specific certification.
II. Learning Outcomes:
• Students will expand their understanding of contemporary Spanish history and culture, be able to know the current challenges faced by Spanish society today with a special focus on the pandemic and the changes that has brought to the Spanish society.
• Students will gain additional insight into current day Spain/Andalusia through a closer observation of Sevillian culture.
• Students will increase their intercultural competence through the study of course content and the interaction with Spanish society.
• Students will enhance their critical thinking and writing skills by analysing service learning experiences in relation to class content
III. Course Contents (order of content may be modified):
1. Introduction to the basic knowledge of Cultures, Societies and Identities:
1.1. Humankind, bodies, cultures and traditions. Societies. Identities. Stereotypes.
1.2. Languages and Communication. Multilayer approach.
1.3. Dimensions of diversity.
2. Cultural Divides, Cultural Challenges: Finding Common Ground
2.1. The Success or Lack of Social Integration.
2.2. Adapting to Multiculturalism in the Classroom
2.3. Adult Educational Programs.
2.4. The Question of Identity. Central and peripheral regions.
2.5. Globalization and the Spanish - Andalusian Lifestyle and the recent changes.
3. Life before and after the Pandemic:
3.1. Challenging customs and habits.
3.2. Sociological and historical changes of the Spanish population.
3.3. New definition of family and gender roles.
3.4. Divorce and the Single Parent.
3.5. Population ageing.
3.6. Social concerns: CIS survey.
4. Challenging the welfare state: From the economic crisis to the pandemic.
4.1. The role of the government during the crisis.
4.2. Facing changes in the labour relations, work patterns and educational challenges.
4.3. How the Spaniards evaluate the management of the crisis. Short-term and long-term consequences.
4.4. Spanish Welfare System –within an European context?
4.5. Differential effects of the crisis: age, gender, socioeconomic levels and functional diversity.
5. Spain, Work in progress:
5.1. A country in lockdown. Who will bear the costs of this choice and how?
5.2. Telecommuting and the impact in the work environment.
5.3. Rethinking the travel and tourism industry. Mobility and new perspectives.
5.4. The Spanish Educational System, Up to Par with EU Standards? The Pisa report.
5.5. Out of school, Out of Work: Societal implications, the “ninis”.
6. The Gypsy Culture, More than Flamenco:
6.1. The Land, its People: Societal Struggles, Social Discrimination.
6.2. Politics and Economy.
6.3. Values and Customs. Gender relationships.
6.4. From Triana to Tres Mil Viviendas, An overlooked presence.
6.5. –Family, Tradition, Religion.
7. From Emigration to Immigration: the "New Andalusians"
7.1. Immigrants and expats. How do Spaniards deal with immigration?
7.2. Street vendors, the Sub-Saharan Presence.
7.3. Caregivers to the Elderly, Latin American Arrivals.
7.4. Harvesting. The lack of workforce and work permits.
7.5. The Spanish Response: xenophobia, the Celebration of Diversity, or a little bit of both?
7.6. The Hijab in the Classroom Controversy.
7.7. Multicultural Celebrations.
In addition to current journal and newspaper articles, students will view relevant (documentary) films and online videos, and be provided with selections from cultural and socio-historical texts. These include but are not limited to the following:
Graham, Helen and Labanyi, Jo, ed. Spanish Cultural Studies: An Introduction, The Struggle for Modernity. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995.
Hooper, John. The New Spaniards. London: Penguin Books, 2006.
Jordan, Barry and Morgan-Tamosunas, Rikki, eds. Contemporary Spanish Cultural Studies. Great Britain: Arnold, 2000.
Nash, Elizabeth. Seville, Córdoba and Granada: a Cultural and Literary History. Oxford:
Single Books Limited, 2005.
Tremlett, Giles. Ghosts of Spain: Travels through Spain and its Silent Past. New York: Walker & Company, 2006.
Polígono Sur (El Arte de las Tres Mil). Dominique Able. 2003.
La Casa de Bernarda Alba (Federico García Lorca). Mario Camus. 1987.
Los Santos Inocentes Mario Camus. 1984.
The students will receive a set of articles from different sources. They will be provided by means of the Schoology platform or email.
V.I. How to succeed in this course?
Due to the collaborative component of this course, participation and meaningful interaction with the professor and peers is as essential to the course specially during class discussions.
Come prepared to class: use the syllabus to be aware about will be covered or due in class, do all assignments before class, review before the class and be organized.
The course will be covering a tremendous amount of material therefore keeping the tasks of the subject up-to-date is key to assimilating the contents, something that cannot be achieved if only the study time is concentrated before the midterm or final.
VI. Grading scale:
La calificación final del curso utilizará la siguiente escala/ Final grades will be calculated according to the following scale:
94 - 100 A
90-93 A -
87 -89 B +
84 - 86 B
80 - 83 B -
77 - 79 C+
74 - 76 C
70 - 73 C-
67 -69 D+
64 -66 D
60 -63 D-
VII. Course Policies
Class attendance is mandatory and is taken every class day and it is reflected in the course attendance sheet.
An 85% attendance rate is required for the successful completion of the course. Perfect attendance will be taken positively into account in the participation section.
If a student exceeds this limit, 1 point will be taken off of the final grade (Spanish grade). Reaching a 20% of unexcused absences means that the transcript for this subject will show “not attended course”.
Excused absences: Medical Certificates that will be considered only if issued by a physician (not notes from the family explaining the student’s absence). The certificates must include the exact dates for which a student should be excused for having missed classes. Courses cannot be audited, so attendance is possible only for students enrolled in a specific class.
Punctuality: Students are expected to arrive on time to class and to return directly to class after class breaks. Arriving 10 minutes late (or more) and/or early class departures are considered unexcused absences and will be taken into account as half an absence.
Attending class is not only the presence in the classroom. The professor will encourage active participation in the course and it will be taken into account as part of the evaluation.
Courses cannot be taken as auditors, thus attendance is possible only for students enrolled in a specific class.
VII.II. Conduct in class.
Students who actively participate in classroom activities and who maintain a professional and respectful attitude will be evaluated positively. Students must not eat or use laptops during the class (unless specifically authorized by the teacher).
VII.III. Late work.
One half point will be taken off (from the learning activities grade) for homework that is submitted late repeatedly. Late assignments will be corrected but will not be graded.
Missing a class does not release the student from completing the homework assigned or studying the topics covered in class that day.
VII.IV. Make-up exams:
If a student cannot be present for an examination for a valid reason (see V.II.) and approved by the teacher and academic direction, a make-up exam will be given.
VII.V. Quizzes retention:
After quizzes are graded, the professor will review the examination with the class and collect all exams. The quizzes will be retained for one semester following the current one, and then they will be destroyed.
VII.VI. Academic Honesty:
Students are expected to act in accordance with their university standards of conduct concerning plagiarism and academic dishonesty.
VII.VII. Special accommodations:
Students with special needs who require reasonable accommodations, special assistance or specific aid in this course (either for properly making-up classes, taking exams, etc.) should direct their request to Academic Coordination during the first days of the course in the case that they did not report it when submitting the Health Form.
Teaching staff is required to report any disclosures harassment or violence of any kind.
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