Catalan Language and Culture II

Module code: SP3151

Module co-ordinator: Dr Anna Vives

Module Aims

This module explores the artistic production and cultural activity in the Catalan-speaking lands throughout the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. It also focuses on language skills, which will be developed through reading, writing, speaking and listening activities about a number of content texts in Catalan.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module, you will be able to discuss knowledgeably and critically a range of different materials on Catalan culture. You will also gain a solid knowledge of the historical evolution of both the Catalan culture and language and be able to present informed opinions in written and oral forms. You will gain a solid reading knowledge of Catalan as well as foundational grasp of spoken Catalan.

Teaching and Learning Methods

Language classes will focus on both oral and written skills through comprehension, translation and thematic discussion. Cultural lessons will combine short lectures on a specific topic and seminars based on different content texts set for discussion beforehand. The cultural topics will be introduced by following the chronological narrative of Mercè Rodoreda’s novel La plaça del Diamant (we will use the translation into English by David H Rosenthal), which will be compulsory reading. One-hour lessons will be devoted to language skills and two-hour lessons will have a component of culture and a component of language.

Assessment Method

  • Language coursework (50%)
  • Essay of 2,500-3,000 words (50%)

Key texts

Recommended for purchase:

  • Mercè Rodoreda, The Time of the Doves, trans. David H Rosenthal (Graywolf Press, 1989)
  • Josep Miquel Sobrer, Catalonia: a Self-Portrait (Indiana UP, 1992)
  • Catalan dictionary: English-Catalan, Catalan-English (Routledge, 1994)

And these are recommended for reference:

  • Antoni Ferrando and Miquel Nicolàs, Panorama d’història de la llengua (Tàndem edicions, 1993)
  • Robert Hughes, Barcelona (Harvill Press, 2001)
  • Dominic Keown (ed.), A Companion to Catalan Culture (Támesis, 2011)
  • Kenneth McRoberts, Catalonia: Nation Building without a State (Oxford UP, 2001)
  • Anna Poch and Alan Yates, Teach yourself Catalan (Hodder & Stoughton, 2004)
  • Arthur Terry, Catalan Literature (Ernest Benn, 1972)
  • A Companion to Catalan Literature (Támesis, 2003)