SPAN121-21SU2 (C) Summer Nov 2021 start

From Fiesta to Siesta: the Magical Culture of the Spanish-speaking World

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 15 November 2021
End Date: Sunday, 19 December 2021
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 21 November 2021
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 3 December 2021


This course is an introduction to the fascinating world of the Hispanic cultures covering Spain, Mexico, Central America, most of South America and much of the Caribbean. Topics covered will revolve around a general approach to the main cultural features of the Spanish-speaking world. The magic and colours of its lands and people will guide students through a pathway of cultural varieties that even sharing the Spanish language they still preserve their indigenous languages and cultural legacy. Ko te toa I a tiki, I a mano o te takatao. [It is the bravery of a multitude, of thousands of people]. The passion and mixture of its music and dances, gastronomy and customs that have always walked hand in hand with the folklore and the festivals, will provide students with stories of unique roots, belief-systems, myths and traditions. A brief historical overview will finally allow students to understand the fine arts’ conglomerate in the Hispanic world as for painting, architecture, literature as well as performing arts and film that draw on very diverse influences. No previous knowledge of the Spanish language is required as it is taught in English.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course students will...
1. Have a general overview and understanding of the cultures of the Hispanic world.
2. Have acquired useful critical-thinking tools when evaluating topics and issues related to the Spanish-speaking world.
3. Understand the multifaceted nature of the people who inhabit Spain and Latin America today alongside the nature of biculturalism in Aotearoa New Zealand.
4. Be familiar with key events in the historical evolution of the Spanish-speaking world from earlier times to the present day.
5. Have established differences and similarities between the processes of colonization of Hispanic America and Aotearoa New Zealand.
6. Have acquired an understanding of cultural belief-systems, lifestyles and the importance of intangible culture relevant to the Spanish-speaking world, as well as many other cultures including those in Aotearoa New Zealand.
7. Have general knowledge of the awakening of subcultures and countercultures, including 21st century
social and cultural movements in the Hispanic world.
8. Have engaged with the Spanish-speaking community in Christchurch and have reflected on their own experience in comparison to, or within, that community.
9. Have acquired the critical thinking and argumentative skills to conduct research and write an analytical essay on a relevant topic pertaining to the Hispanic world.
10. Have acquired the necessary skills to deliver an oral presentation on a relevant topic related to the Hispanic world.
11. Have broadened their knowledge of Hispanic culture including major art forms such as: painting, architecture, the performing arts, literature and cinema.
12. Have been briefly introduced to the Spanish language through useful idiomatic expressions that will pique students’ interest in the language, or improve their existing knowledge.

University Graduate Attributes

This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

Employable, innovative and enterprising

Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.

Engaged with the community

Students will have observed and understood a culture within a community by reflecting on their own performance and experiences within that community.

Globally aware

Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Carla Fernandez


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Online quizzes (4) 20% See weekly schedule
Oral Presentation 15% As scheduled from week 3
Analytical Essay - 1,500 - 2,000 words 25% Due week 4
Forum discussion 10% Weekly from week 1
Final test 30%

Textbooks / Resources

There is a Learn (Moodle) component to this course.

Other material, which may be helpful, can be found in the Library Subject Guides

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $785.00

International fee $3,500.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Language, Social and Political Sciences .

All SPAN121 Occurrences

  • SPAN121-21SU2 (C) Summer Nov 2021 start
  • SPAN121-21SU2 (D) Summer Nov 2021 start (Distance)