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Word and Image: Constructing the Other in the Hispanic World (Level 5)


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 5
  • Convenor: Professor Carmen Fracchia
  • Assessment: a 2500-word linguistic analysis or essay (50%) and 2500-word essay (50%)

Module description

In this module we introduce you to the historical origins of otherisation in the Hispanic world and analyse the linguistic means employed in its construction in present-day contexts.

You will learn about key concepts and approaches to the study of stereotyping from two different perspectives - visual analysis and pragmatics - equipping you with the relevant critical and analytical skills.

In the visual analysis, we will consider the cases of the sixteenth-century miracle of the black leg in Castile by a group of sculptors who moved in the circle of Cardinal Cisneros, involved in the transatlantic slave trade, and of the seventeenth-century legal battles against the black brotherhood in Seville, promoted by the archbishop of the economic capital of the Spanish empire.

From a pragmatics perspective, the focus will be on selected social media contexts from the Spanish-speaking world.

Indicative syllabus

Word in the construction of the Other:

  • Studying discursive racism: perspectives
  • Im/politeness theory, with a focus on impoliteness: key concepts and approaches
  • Analysing racial insults and slurs
  • Some features of digital discourse and social media
  • Methodology and methodological issues in the study of discursive racism

Image in the construction of the Other:

  • Studying the different concepts of humanity/race in the Hispanic early modern period, with a focus on policies of purity of blood; Mediterranean and Transatlantic slave trades
  • Analysing the visual articulation of race in the early modern Hispanic world
  • Hispanic visual conventions and discourses of exclusion/inclusion of others
  • Hispanic visual culture and the articulation of stereotypical/non-stereotypical figures

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will:

  • understand key concepts and approaches to the study of otherisation in the Hispanic world
  • be able to analyse images and social media discourse in a systematic way, with reference to the perspectives studied on the module
  • have awareness of methodological issues in the study of images and digital discourse.