The Moving Image in Spain and Latin America

Course lecturer: Dr. A. Ouweneel
Period: 1 April - 27 May
Schedule: Monday and Thursday 13.00-15.00
Course load: 6 EC
Course ID: 134221106Y

This course explores moving images like fiction films, documentaries, television series, or YouTube clips, made in Spain and Latin America from one particular format: cognitive simulation theory. Over the past decades, the cognitive sciences have gained considerable ground in the study of moving images. Instead of identifying “discourses” or “texts,” it proved more fruitful to investigate cognitive simulations encoded in memory. This means that performances, conduct and narratives “learned” from moving images could work in human minds as simulations for finding solutions to particular problems.

The moving images function as a kind of the mind’s flight simulator. Gaining insights in the human condition requires “mindreading,” or interpreting behavior of others in terms of their assumed states of mind; a skill that is also active when watching films or clips, for example. In short, the moving images we see are encoded as simulations in our brains, ready to be used in real life, for example to get a grip of complex realities. Students are invited to identify what simulations they recognize in a series of films and clips discussed in the course. To enhance cohesion, this study of the moving images follows Hatfield & Rapson, Love and Sex: Cross-Cultural Perspectives (2005).

Teaching method
The course consists of seven lectures (hoorcolleges), six seminars (werkcolleges), and one general seminar for group presentations. The lectures are meant to contextualize the moving images to be studied that week. In preparing the seminar, the students fill in two assignment forms a week (one on the literature and one on a given film or series of clips) and discuss them during the seminars. Participants are required to watch the films or clips for this course on their own. The lectures are in English, but students are allowed to hand in their assignments in English, Spanish and Dutch.

Study materials
Syllabus, indicating the list of literature to be read and moving images to be studied, will be ready 8 weeks before the first class. One book that will be discussed chapter by chapter is: Elaine Hatfield & Richard L. Rapson, Love and Sex. Cross-Cultural Perspectives. Lanham, MA: University Press of America, 2005.

Assessment and testing
The course load of 6 ECs is based on a ratio of 28 hours of study per week (168 hours in all). These include:
- seven lectures and six seminars, 4 hours a week (28 hours in all),
- reading of literature (60 hours)
- the presentation and writing of a chapter of the group paper of about 2500 words (80 hours).

The grades will be based on:
- six written assignments based on the week’s literature (40%),
- the final paper based on additional 250 pages literature (60%) (literature to be approved by lecturer beforehand). Paper due: May 30, 2019.

For the examination dates please consult the timetable on
Click here for the course description in the UvA Studiegids.

Registration and Participation

UvA Students

Students registered at the University of Amsterdam can register for the CEDLA courses through SIS.

Students registered at other Dutch universities
BA students that are registered at another Dutch university can register as a guest student Spanish Language and Culture (‘bijvakstudent Spaanse Taal en Cultuur’) at the University of Amsterdam in Studielink.

MA students that are registered at another Dutch university can register through our digital registration form.

Persons who are interested in our courses, but are not registered as students at a university, may participate in some courses under certain provisions. Those interested, should provide the secretariat with some information on their background, their background knowledge and their special interest in taking the course. Non-students can register for the courses through our digital registration form

If you have any questions, feel free to contact the CEDLA secretariat. We are open on weekdays from 9.00 to 17.00 hours.

Telephone: +31 20 525 3498

Picture: Jonas Schleske (CC BY-SA 2.0)