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Unit information: The Novels of Carmen Laforet in 2021/22

Unit name The Novels of Carmen Laforet
Unit code HISP31026
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Wells
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American Studies
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This unit provides a detailed analysis of the major novels of one of Spain's most important post-war women writers Carmen Laforet. Laforet's famous first novel Nada (1944) launched her literary career and marked the beginning of the recovery of the Spanish novel following the end of the Spanish civil war. This unit examines the social, political and cultural background to Laforet's writing and, through a close reading of her major novels, it explores the themes of female development, freedom and the importance of aesthetics to her writing.

Students should read all of the set texts before commencing this unit.


  • Students will analyse the four novels in depth. They will consider the historical context in which Laforet wrote her novels and explore the major themes that present themselves across these texts. Students will be encouraged to engage critically with key questions, such as:
  • How was female artistic vocation compromised or enhanced by writing under dictatorship conditions?
  • How do the texts reflect the writer's personal life experiences and what might we gain from approaching texts through the perspective of life-writing?
  • What broader philosophical and moral issues are raised in Laforet's fiction?

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of the unit, students will be able to:

  1. critically engage with the narrative techniques, themes and relationship between literature and life-writing across the key texts.
  2. demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the life and work of one of twentieth-century Spain's most important female writers. Students will be encouraged to present their views (about the texts and relevant debates on life- writing) orally to the class in a concise and coherent form and they will work on developing their essay writing skills - namely the ability to present a clear, well-argued, well-structured and well-researched piece of written work.
  3. formulate a research topic independently
  4. develop their autonomy as a learner by creating their own essay titles

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous sessions and asynchronous activities, including seminars, lectures, and collaborative as well as self-directed learning opportunities supported by tutor consultation

Assessment Information

2 x 2500 word essays (50% each)(second title created by students), testing all ILOs.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. HISP31026).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.