Realities and Fictions in Argentina

Subject SPAN20025 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2016.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: In Argentina: twenty site visits and twenty lectures in San Luis and Buenos Aires;
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours


Admission requirements: Spanish 2 (or equivalent) minimum and Coordinator’s approval. A limited number of students will be selected for this subject (20) on the basis of academic merit, subject to meeting the prerequisites, or to demonstrating other appropriate qualifications for selection. The subject coordinator will advise you in writing of the outcome of your application in the 2nd or 3rd week of Semester one.

The application process and other details are available from the subject coordinator.

Itinerary and travel arrangements available from the School of Languages and Linguistics. The subject dates and HECS/course fee census date for this subject change each year. Check your enrolment record for the correct census date for this subject.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Spanish 4 or equivalent

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 2
Semester 2
Semester 2
Non Allowed Subjects:
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:



Subject Overview:

This study abroad subject will be taught in two places in Argentina over three weeks from 19th November to 10th December 2016.

The dichotomy Civilisation vs Barbarism has been, since Sarmiento’s foundational essay entitled Facundo: Civilisation and Barbarism (1845), one of the guiding fictions of Argentine cultural history. Written at a time of cultural crisis, this founding binary would then rule the rest of Argentina’s history until today. This course will highlight these opposing sides, revisiting forgotten and forbidden stories, exploring ideas through immersion in real Argentina: a two-sided country, a place of contradictions. In the countryside, we will get to see the “barbaric” Argentina, the gaucho land, while learning about local legends, eating traditional food, and visiting places unknown to tourists. On the other side, in the “civilised” cosmopolitan city of Buenos Aires, we will learn about its vibrant cultural life, architecture, music, politics, astonishing stories of censorship during the dirty war and the struggles in democratic times.

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this subject, students should:

  • have enriched their linguistic and cultural experience;
  • have gained an understanding of different cultural forces shaping Argentine society;
  • have examined the history and culture of Argentina through on-site experience and research;
  • be able to understand the relationship between fact-based history in Argentina and its myths, legends and fictions;
  • be able to identify the cultural differences between life in the country and life in the city in Argentina;
  • be able to understand and research the cultures and histories of Argentina;
  • be able to self-reflect on the social, political, historical and cultural realities and fictions shaping Argentine society.
  • Participation in online discussion board (equivalent to 1500 words) due at the end of semester [35%]
  • A research essay of 2500 words which include the use of secondary sources(MLA style, including a minimum of two academic references) due 2 weeks after the intensive [65%]

Hurdle requirement: Students must attend a minimum of 75% of tutorials in order to pass this subject. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Note: Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per working day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked.

Prescribed Texts:

A Subject Reader will be made available

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students who successfully complete this subject should:

  • understand social, political, historical and cultural contexts and international awareness/openness to the world through the contextualisation of judgements and knowledge, developing a critical self-awareness, being open to new ideas and new aspects of Argentine culture, and by formulating arguments;
  • develop analytic skills in the close reading of argumentative strategies, concepts, and institutional bases of postcolonial and anti-globalization debates, and explanatory skills to deal with the complexity of the social and political issues raised by such debates;
  • be able to communicate knowledge intelligibly and economically through essay and assignment writing, tutorial discussions and class presentations;
  • be able to speak publicly with increasing confidence in self expression through tutorial participation and class presentations.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Graduate Diploma in Arts - Spanish and Latin American Studies
Spanish Major
Spanish and Latin American Studies
Spanish and Latin American Studies

Download PDF version.