Introduction to Contemporary Latin America

The details
Interdisciplinary Studies Centre (ISC)
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 4
Monday 13 January 2020
Friday 20 March 2020
04 October 2018


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA T711 Latin American Studies (Including Year Abroad),
BA T721 Latin American Studies (Including Placement Year),
BA T731 Latin American Studies,
BA T7N3 Latin American Studies (Including Foundation Year),
BA T7N2 Latin American Studies with Business Management,
BA T7N4 Latin American studies with Business Management (Including Foundation Year),
BA T7M8 Latin American studies with Human Rights (Including Foundation Year),
BA T7M9 Latin American Studies with Human Rights

Module description

This first-year half-module provides an introduction to life in contemporary Latin America, offering insights into major trends and processes that have shaped realities in the region from the second half of the 20th century up to the present day. Taught by academics who are experts in different fields, the module brings Latin America into focus through an interdisciplinary lens. As such, you will gain perspectives and methodologies from a broad range of studies and concepts, drawn from economics, politics, art history, literature, as well as sociology, contemporary history, and human rights.

Each week's lecture and seminar provide an opportunity to explore and discuss a specific core topic. These topics will span diverse issues, such as the impact of globalisation and neoliberalism; the struggle for democratisation; the shifting trends of migration; conflicts over extraction and the environment; among others. As well as engaging with scholarly texts, we will also examine ways that the rich cultural production of Latin America and the Caribbean addresses the topics explored in the module, by engaging with films, documentaries, literature and artworks, including those held at Essex's unique on campus resource, the Essex Collection of Art from Latin America (ESCALA), which is the largest collection outside Latin America.

You do not need to know anything about Latin America to do this half-module. All you need is an interest in learning more about recent trends and processes that have shaped contemporary Latin American life.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:
• To introduce students to some of the broad social, cultural, economic, and political processes and trends that have shaped contemporary Latin America;
• To introduce students to the ways that artists, writers and film-makers have engaged with these trends and processes;
• To foster understanding about the links between micro-and macro processes and the similarities and differences in the ways they are lived in different Latin American countries;
• To encourage students to think in an interdisciplinary way, drawing on core concepts from relevant disciplines.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module the student should have:
* An interdisciplinary understanding of core trends and processes that have shaped contemporary Latin America, as well as knowledge of some recent works of art, literature, and film that cast light on the these;
* A preliminary grasp of comparative reasoning and of the links between macro- and micro-processes.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

No information available.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework Reading Summary (300 words) 30/01/2020 10%
Coursework Essay 1 (1500 words) 13/02/2020 30%
Coursework Reading Summary (500 words) 05/03/2020 20%
Coursework Essay 2 (2500 words) 23/04/2020 40%

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Various teaching staff throughout the University.
Email: istudies@essex.ac.uk Office: 6.130 (Academic Support Hours are displayed on office doors)



External examiner

Dr James Scorer
Senior Lecturer in Latin American Cultural Studies
Available via Moodle
Of 20 hours, 20 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

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