Fiction in Post-War Spain: Voices of Conformity and Subversion (MLS2160)

StaffDr Katharine Murphy - Convenor
Credit Value15
ECTS Value7.5
NQF Level5
Pre-requisitesMLS1001, MLS1056 or equivalent
Duration of Module Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

The module aims to:

  • Explore the ways in which Spanish fiction following the Civil War responded to social, political and cultural contexts
  • Trace the development of the Spanish novel from the 1940s to the 1960s, with particular attention given to literary trends such as tremendismo, Objectivism, Social Realism, and the New Novel
  • Examine the extent to which the literary texts of the period express conformity or resistance to dominant ideologies, as well as socio-political factors that influenced the fiction produced during the post-war period
  • Assess the scholarly emphasis on political and national contexts, and consider alternative readings within a European literary and philosophical framework

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Demonstrate a sound general understanding of the chosen texts, including reference to their place in the historical / literary / cultural context of their time

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 2. With some guidance from the course tutor, evaluate and apply a range of critical approaches to the material covered
  • 3. Mount a detailed argument in the appropriate register of English, mustering a range of textual or other evidence in its support
  • 4. Understand and use a range of literary-critical terms

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 5. Adopt a critical approach to the selection and organisation of material in order to produce, to a deadline, a written or oral argument
  • 6. Using course material provided, research, plan and write an essay on a chosen aspect of the subject, to a specified length and deadline
  • 7. Present information and arguments on a defined topic

Syllabus plan

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that it will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • Introduction: Post-war Spanish fiction and the Franco dictatorship
  • La familia de Pascual Duarte (1942)
  • El balneario (1953)
  • Los bravos (1954)
  • Historical and Cultural contexts; the New Novel
  • Conclusions and revision

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching10Lectures. Weekly lecture provides framework for independent study and assessment, and includes time for group discussion and interactive materials
Scheduled Learning and Teaching5Seminars. Guided discussion and presentation by students in pairs
Scheduled Learning and Teaching1Conclusion. Revision
Guided Independent Study134Private study

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Written assignment500 words1-7Written feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay1002500 words1-7Written feedback sheet

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
EssayEssay1-7Referral/Deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Set texts (to be purchased by the student). Students are expected to read some of the set texts before the start of the module:

  • Cela, C J, La familia de Pascual Duarte (Destino)
  • Fernández Santos, Jesús, Los bravos (Destino)
  • Martín Gaite, Carmen, El Balneario (Siruela)

Secondary reading:

  • Graham, H. and J. Labanyi, Spanish Cultural Studies: An Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press,1995)
  • Jones, Margaret E. W., The Contemporary Spanish Novel, 1939-1975 (Boston, Mass.: Twayne, 1985)
  • Jordan, Barry, Writing and Politics in Franco’s Spain (London: Routledge, 1990)
  • Labanyi, Jo, Myth and History in the Contemporary Spanish Novel (Cambridge University Press, 1989)
  • Leggott, Sarah and Ross Woods (eds.), Memory and Trauma in the Postwar Spanish Novel: Revisiting the Past (Bucknell University Press, 2014)
  • Murphy, K and M. Hurcombe (eds), The Spanish Civil War, Journal of War and Culture Studies, vol.2, no. 3, 2009, 241-358
  • Perriam, C., M. Thompson, S. Frenk, V. Knights, A New History of Spanish Writing 1930 to the 1990s (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000)

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Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

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Key words search

Post-war Spain, dictatorship, literary fiction, political symbolism, narrative