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2023/24 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

SPPO3800 Icons and Stars: Celebrity and Revolution in Spain and Latin America

20 creditsClass Size: 32

Module manager: Peter Watson

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

Year running 2023/24

Pre-requisite qualifications

Completion of either SPPO2010, SPPO2011, SPPO2220 or SPPO2221


SPPO2010Practical Lang Skill Spanish 2
SPPO2011Pract Lang Skills in Spanish 2
SPPO2220Spanish Language Skills B1/B2
SPPO2221Practical Skills in Spanish B1/B2

Module replaces

SPPO3035: From Bolivar to Chávez: Revolutionary Icons in Contemporary Latin American CultureSPPO3050: Things Can Only Get Better

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module explores representations of icons and stars of Spain and Latin America in film, visual art, music and literature, with a view to addressing issues such as their role in social, political and cultural change during and after their lifetimes. Using the lens of cultural studies, it examines the lives, ideas and legacies of notable political leaders, artists, and figures from popular culture while deconstructing their representation in cultural production in the Spanish-speaking world and beyond. You will be called on to reflect how the icons’ and stars’ heritage plays out on the political, social and cultural platforms of today, especially in communicating the different, and often contradictory, meanings and ideals with which they were originally attached. You will be assessed by a pre-recorded presentation in which you work collaboratively to think critically about the phenomena of celebrity and revolution, and by an individual essay in which you reflect on a particular social, political, historical and/or cultural issue with reference to one of the icons and stars studied.


To explore some of the icons and stars of Spain and Latin America; their role in social, political and cultural change; and representations in film, visual art, music and literature during and after their lifetimes.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should:
1. Possess a rigorous and nuanced knowledge of the social, political and cultural significance of a variety of figures in the histories of Spain and Latin America, and of the different forms that significance takes
2. Possess an understanding of the ways the images of icons and stars can acquire different meanings in a variety of media during and after their lifetimes
3. Be able to demonstrate the capacity for critical thought and the skills necessary to describe and analyse different periods of development in history with reference to key case studies
4. Be able to produce sophisticated and well-organised podcasts and written work, using knowledge acquired in lectures and seminars and through independent research, addressing issues with reference to their specific contexts.


The syllabus will cover a variety of revolutionary political leaders and figures of cultural significance from Spain and Latin America, as well as representations of these in a variety of media. Such icons and stars may include:
• Augusta La Torre
• Abimael Guzmán
• Dolores Ibárruri
• Pablo Picasso
• Marisol
• Diego Maradona
• Hugo Chávez

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Group learning22.004.00
Private study hours176.00
Total Contact hours24.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Students will be expected to prepare for each lecture and seminar by undertaking private study of set texts and appropriate secondary material. More in-depth reading and other forms of preparation will be necessary for the assessment tasks.
Preparation for lectures and seminars = 80 hours
Preparation of pre-recorded presentation = 50 hours
Preparation and writing of essay = 46 hours

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

In-class formative feedback on seminar participation

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay or Dissertation2500 words40.00
PresentationPre-recorded presentation60.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

The pre-recorded presentation may be, for example, a podcast, a mini documentary or a narrated Powerpoint. Students re-sitting the pre-recorded presentation will be required to complete a 2000-word written piece of work instead.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 26/06/2023


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