Culture and Society of Contemporary Spain

Universidad Católica de Valencia

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Culture and Society of Contemporary Spain

  • Host University

    Universidad Católica de Valencia

  • Location

    Valencia, Spain

  • Area of Study

    European Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • Credits

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

    With an emphasis on the present-day, but setting the examination of institutions and attitudes in their historical context, this course offers an introduction to Spanish culture, familiarizing students with the social, economic and political structures of contemporary Spain. Course highlights include: the restoration of the ancestral monarchy after years of dictatorship; the organization in autonomous communities; and the perception of Spain in the world today. Language of Instruction: Spanish or English based on demand

    1. Contemporary Spain in context
    - The nineteenth century and its aftermath
    - Franco's dictatorship
    - Transition to democracy
    - Spain and the USA
    2. The Spanish State
    - The 1978 constitution
    - The monarchy
    - The government system
    - Local government
    3. Regionalization and regionalism
    - Regions and regionalist movements
    - The Basque Country
    4. Spain today
    - Spain & the E.U.
    - Health care
    - Education system
    - Social challenges
    * Class pace permitting, some movies will be watched (i.e. El laberinto del fauno & Lobo).

    The class will be organized on a seminar style basis. That is, the professor will count on students having read the assigned material beforehand (articles, handouts, news, etc.) and, therefore, coming to class prepared to debate. Active participation and attendance are essential and will play an active role in the final grade.

    1. A reader prepared by the professor.

    This class is intensive; therefore it is necessary to keep up with the material, complete the exercises (there will be quite a bit of homework each night) and attend class daily. You are allowed up to 2 absences, use them wisely. Any absence beyond that will lower your final grade in 0,5 points (out of a grand total of 10 points) for each absence beyond the second one (exceptions will only be granted in case of hospitalization or when the student is required to go back to the States).

    DO NOT COME LATE TO CLASS: if on 2 occasions you get to class 15 minutes late, that will count as
    1 absence. Likewise, if on 2 occasions you leave your class 15 minutes before the ending time, that will also imply 1 absence. Any tardy after 15 minutes will count as 1 absence (i.e. Getting to class at 11 = 1 absence // Leaving class at 12 = 1 absence).

    Según las normas UCV-US PROGRAM, no entregar el trabajo en la fecha y hora indicadas supone un
    punto (sobre 10) de penalización por día. Entregarlo después de las 5 pm del día indicado, 1 punto, después de las 5 pm del día siguiente, 2 puntos, y entregarlo después de las 5 pm del siguiente día (72 horas después de lo establecido) = nota 0, aunque se le corrija el ensayo al estudiante.
    * Es responsabilidad únicamente del estudiante el asegurarse que el profesor ha recibido y puede abrir su documento adjunto (attachment) en formato Word.doc. Si por cualquier motivo el profesor no puede abrir el documento o no lo recibe, es responsabilidad del estudiante el asegurarse, NO del profesor. De otra manera la nota será 0, cero.
    *Plagio: There is ZERO tolerance with plagiarism. Copy and paste, except on ?quotations? regulated by MLA or Chicago style procedures, from any kind of work is considered plagiarism. Any form of academic dishonesty may result in your failing the course. Direct translation from an English article to Spanish is considered a breach of academic integrity as is copying an article in Spanish or specifically memorizing an article in Spanish that you have not written. In addition, do not have another person who is more advanced in Spanish than you extensively review/re-write your oral and/or written work. This often results in work that is not your own.

    A (Matrícula de honor) 10 ? 9.0 A- (Sobresaliente) 8.99 ? 8.75 B+ (Notable alto) 8.74 ? 8.25
    B (Notable bajo) 8.24 ? 7.5 B- (Bien alto) 7.49 ? 7.0 C+ (Bien bajo) 6.99 ? 6.0
    C (Suficiente alto) 5.99 ? 5.0 D (Deficiente) 4.99 ? 4.0 F (Muy deficiente) 3.99 - 0

    3 Oral presentations 45%
    Midterm paper (11th March) 20%
    Final paper (6th May) 35%
    * 3 Oral presentations (15% each): On a topic related to the course content (20 minutes, minimum; 30 minutes, maximum). It has to include bibliography to show that some research on the topic has been done. Interaction with the other students will be highly valued. No grade above B will be granted to a presentation with no research and bibliography. Wikipedia and the like are NOT considered ?academic?.
    * Midterm paper: a 1500 word + bibliography, one sided, Times New Roman 12, 1.5-spaced
    academic paper on a topic related to the course content. This paper needs to be authorized by the
    professor. No grade above B will be granted to a paper with less than 1500 words and the necessary academic sources.
    * Final paper: a 2500 word + bibliography, one sided, Times New Roman 12, 1.5-spaced
    academic paper on a topic related to the course content. This paper needs to be authorized by the
    professor. No grade above B will be granted without the use of academic resources. No grade above
    B will be granted to a paper with less than 2500 words and the necessary academic sources.
    **No grade above B will be granted without the use of a minimum of 4 academic resources.
    Interviews, Wikipedia and the like are not considered ?academic?. Students should use resources from sites such as JStor, NYConnect, OCLC First Search, ArticlesFirst, EBSCO, etc.
    ** Citation information:
    **Extra credit: Students can receive extra credit by writing an academic paper = 1200 words +
    bibliography, one sided, Times New Roman 12, 1.5-spaced academic paper on a topic related to the
    course content. This paper needs to be authorized by the professor.
    **Official dates: Presentation / paper submission dates will not be modified unless an officially justified emergency comes up.

    Carr, Raymond. Spain: A History. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.
    Gies, David T. The Cambridge Companion to Modern Spanish Culture. Cambridge: Cambridge
    University Press, 1999.
    Hooper, John. The New Spaniards. London: Penguin, 2006.
    Jordan, Barry & Rikki Morgan-Tamosunas, eds. Contemporary Spanish Cultural Studies. London:
    Arnold, 2000.
    Phillips, William D. & Carla Rahn Phillips. A Concise History of Spain. New York: Cambridge
    University Press, 2010.
    Rodgers, Eammon, ed. Encyclopedia of Contemporary Spanish Culture. New York: Routledge,
    Ross, Christopher J. et alt. Contemporary Spain. Great Britain: Hodder Education, 2008.
    Smith, Paul Julian. Contemporary Spanish Culture: Television, Fashion, Art and Film. Cambridge:
    Polity Press, 2003.

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.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.


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