Undergraduate Special Paper in Latin American Film wins Teaching Excellence Award 2014

Tutors: Dr María del Pilar Blanco, Dr Ben Bollig, Dr María Donapetry, and Dr Claire Williams

Our nomination for a Teaching Excellence Award has been approved by the Humanities Division. This award is made in recognition of the high quality of our teaching and the important contribution which we make to the teaching of Latin American Studies in general and Latin American Film Studies in particular.

Film is an integral part of a number of undergraduate modern languages courses at Oxford and has also been one of the most important emerging areas in Latin American studies in recent years. We have worked together to develop a shared paper on Latin American cinema. The option proposed an innovative format that took into account the mixed level of expertise in film amongst potential students and the different areas of expertise of the teaching team.

The course thus gives students the opportunity to discover and explore major movements in the history of cinema in Latin America, from the radical experiments and manifestos of the 1950s and 60s to the slick blockbusters and internationally successful co-productions of the twenty-first century, including documentaries. The course encourages comparisons between directors, movements and films from different countries, through the lens of issues such as national identity, social criticism, ecology, landscape, gender, class and race. Students may also choose to focus on specific directors, from little known auteurs or film collectives to internationally renowned cineastes.

We feel that this new paper demonstrates excellent research-led teaching and innovative methods and structures, as well as productive collaboration within the Faculty, and has thus become a popular and successful course option for students of Spanish and Portuguese.

An official awards ceremony, organised by the Learning Institute, will take place in Michaelmas Term 2014; more details will follow in due course.

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