Areas of Expertise
- Comparative Literature
- Cultural Studies
- Cultural Semiotics
- Iberian Peninsula Comparative Studies
- Latin American Studies
- Translation theory
This module focuses on Brazilian history, popular culture, politics, society, and economic development. Major topics to be considered from an interdisciplinary perspective include nation building, identity, racism, and popular culture (from soap-operas to football). Our starting point is the Portuguese conquest/colonization of Brazil, the oppression and decimation of its indigenous peoples, the rise of its slave-worked plantations and mines, `race relations¿, and the much-debated nature and consequences of Portuguese Catholic attitudes to `non-whites¿ and miscegenation, compared to those of the mainly Spanish or Anglophone colonizers of other parts of the Americas. The module then moves on to consider Brazilian politics, society, economic thinking, and economic development, from independence (1822) and the abolition of slavery (1888), to the 1930s depression, to the 1940s-1970s and 1993-2011 economic booms, to its current economic, political and social convulsions. The module also assesses the ideas and perspectives of some of Brazil¿s most influential political-economic and social thinkers and writers, including Celso Furtado, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Theotonio dos Santos Júnior, Luiz Carlos Bresser Pereira, Gilberto Freyre, Paolo Freire, Euclides da Cunha, and Leonardo Boff.
This module introduces you to the practice of research and dissertation writing in the field of Modern Languages and will guide you in the first part of your dissertation preparation. Areas covered include: selecting a relevant topic, asking relevant research questions, preparing and writing up a literature review, preparing and writing up a research proposal, research methods and library research tools, making use of foreign-language sources, structuring your dissertation, analysis and argumentation, compiling a bibliography. In addition to lectures and seminars, you will have three meetings with your supervisor. By the end of the module you will have developed your dissertation topic, know what methodology you will use and have acquired knowledge of how to organise and lay out your dissertation. Assessment for the module consists of a literature review, a research proposal and a presentation.
This module provides students with the opportunity to research one aspect of French, German, Italian or Hispanic culture in detail, and to present the findings of their research in a dissertation of 8000 words. The module will be taught by means of four practical seminars on research and writing skills, and through three formal supervision sessions with a dissertation supervisor. Your supervisor will help you to find a topic, suggest research strategies, agree a suitable title, discuss the structure of your dissertation, and will read closely and comment on one draft chapter. The topic may relate to a module you are doing at Level 3, provided that this does not involve a duplication of material and is agreed with the module coordinator in advance. The dissertations may be written in English, in your target language, or in Welsh (where Welsh-medium provision is available).
This module will provide students of Hispanic Studies with an insight into some of the main historical, political and cultural developments in Spain the 20th century (our focus will be on the Franco regime and the Transition to Democracy). It examines important examples of texts and film against the historical background in which they were produced. The module provides students with the skills and foundation knowledge which they need to pursue other academic modules in Hispanic Studies in more detail.
This module will provide all students of Hispanic Studies with practice and development of skills in translation from English to Spanish. Writing and oral classes will focus on specific exercises and topics and will be supported by grammar workshops that will reinforce and extend current knowledge. The workshops will cover the subjunctive, compound tenses, infinitives, gerund, participles and uses of `se¿.
The question of how to evaluate a translation has occupied linguists since antiquity. In this module, some of the main issues from the rich history of this discussion will be presented. One of the oldest issues is how literal or free a translation can or should be. An example of a more modern question is: what is the right unit of translation (why not word-for-word?, what type of larger units?). We will also consider cultural and philosophical aspects of translation, and the question to what extent the translator is (and should be) visible or invisible.
Professional translation involves much more than replacing expressions in one language by expressions in another one. In this module, you will work on a translation with the techniques of a professional translator. Together with your supervisor you will agree on a text to be translated and you will be given a translation brief specifying the practical context of the translation. Depending on the subject, you might want to use computer tools and/or do some terminological research as part of your translation work. The assessment does not only consist of the translation you produce, but also takes into account your commentary. The commentary will describe the problems you encountered in the translation and your approach to these problems.
This module will be initially available in English<>Mandarin and English<>Spanish only. It will develop strategies and techniques to perform bi-directional Simultaneous Conference Interpreting (SCI) from Language A (English) to Language B (Mandarin or Spanish) and vice versa. It involves the advanced development of multilingual skills, as well as interpersonal/intercultural communication skills (active listening, memory retention, time lag, anticipation, reformulation, delivery). Students will be exposed to authentic talks, lectures, conference papers, debates and speeches delivered by United Nations delegates, European Parliamentarians, TED.com Presenters, the UK's Political Speech Archive, BBC World Debate programmes, YouTube The Why Channel, and other countries' politicians, lecturers and experts in various fields. The contexts are Current Affairs and topics of political, socio-cultural, economic, scientific, technological and environmental impact in both cultures and their corresponding terminologies. Students will also be encouraged to research and read parallel texts for confidence building and knowledge expansion. Training will take place in a fully-equipped Interpreting Suite (delegate units and booths). The Assessment will take the form of two fifteen-minute recorded SCI oral examinations, as follows: one from Language A to Language B (50%) and the other from Language B to Language A (50%). A wide range of material will be available on Blackboard for in-class and extra practice. All students will be required to purchase the textbook Conference Interpreting - A Student¿s Practice Book, by Andrew Gillies (2013 edition). Students will be encouraged to attend lectures and symposia to widen their knowledge and practise their skills. They will also have the opportunity to participate in a couple of conferences to practise SCI. Successful candidates will be well prepared to apply for placement opportunities at the European Commission Directorate-General for Interpretation and/or The Internship Programme at the United Nations Offices either in Geneva or in New York. Students are expected to do extensive guided private study, which should include mental agility exercises, bi-directional clozing, numerical contextualization and simplification tasks, reformulation and improvisation exercises, as well as tasks for mnemonic activation (to activate and automatize linguistic reflexes through the use of synonyms, antonyms, definitions, paraphrasing, hypernyms etc.).