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2008/09 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

HIST3350 Before Columbus: Conquest, Culture and Exploration in Late Medieval Spain and Portugal

40 creditsClass Size: 14

Module manager: Dr Iona McCleery
Email: i.mccleery@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2008/09

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

Spain and Portugal led the way in the exploration of Africa, the New World and the Far East but too often this process is seen to have begun in 1492 when Columbus 'discovered' America. In this course the economy, politics and culture of late medieval Iberia before and at the time of Columbus will be examined in order to consider how and why people began to explore the Atlantic. The first half of the course looks at how the Iberian kingdoms developed, how over time they interacted with other European and Mediterranean peoples, and how they dealt with religious and ethnic minorities within their own borders. The second half of the course will focus on the voyages of discovery and on the cultures encountered by the Spanish and Portuguese in Africa, Asia and the Americas.

Objectives

The aim of this course is to explore the economy, politics and culture of late medieval Iberia before and at the time of Columbus, to consider how and why people began to explore the Atlantic, and to look at the impact this had on Iberian society. It is also the intention to study the cultures of Africa, Asia and the Americas with which the Spanish and Portuguese came into contact.

Skills outcomes
Students will gain the skills to interpret both visual and textual evidence and evaluate different approaches to a subject. They will gain the ability to convey knowledge in written and oral form in a group context.


Syllabus

Topics will include:
The Concept of Convivencia
Crusade and Reconquista
Between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic
Pogrom and plague in the late Middle Ages
The 14th and 15th Century Expansion
Columbus and Vasco da Gama
`Medieval' Africa, Asia and America
1492 and all that

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Seminar222.0044.00
Private study hours356.00
Total Contact hours44.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)400.00

Private study

Exam preparation; researching, preparing, and writing assignments; undertaking set reading; and self-directed reading around the topic.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Contributions to class discussions, two assessed essays, an oral presentation worth 10% of module marks.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay3,000 words to be handed in by noon on the Friday of the second week of the January examination period20.00
Essay3,000 words to be handed in by noon on Monday of the May revision week20.00
Oral PresentationPresentation (oral presentation is redone with 'an equivalent written exercise')10.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

10% oral presentation is redone with 'an equivalent written exercise'


Exams
Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)3 hr 50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/04/2009

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