SLL10060 Culture shock: cross-cultural encounters beyond Europe

Academic Year 2020/2021

The history of the Europe as we know it today incorporates centuries of travel, movement , migration, fuelled diversely by cultural, economic, scientific motivations among others. This module examines some of the ways in which European encounters with different cultures were described, analysed, experienced and articulated.

How did the Spanish experience their arrival in South America in the sixteenth century and what can we learn of those Latin Americans like el Inca Garcilaso de la Vega who went to Spain? What were the Portuguese interactions in Africa and in the 'Orient' in the sixteenth century and beyond? What can we learn about the European "scramble for Africa" - and the beginnings of European colonization and following on from that, about the transatlantic slave trade and Creole cultures of New Orleans and the Caribbean in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Within the limits of the twelve weeks available, these are some of the areas that we will focus on for 2020 / 21.

Show/hide contentOpenClose All

Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

Describe the context of different key moment of European travel.
Analyse a number of recurrent key themes in the travel literature examined.
Analyse how the encounter with cultural difference and 'the other' is articulated and the diverse forms of literary expression that it gives rise to.

Indicative Module Content:

A range of travel accounts and émigré accounts from French, Spanish and Portuguese sources from the C16-C20.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Seminar (or Webinar)


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Lectures, seminar discussions, critical writing, group work. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Assignment: Essay / commentary Week 8 n/a Graded No


Essay: Comparative final essay Week 12 n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

Extracts from 'Colombus's Diaries' (to be provided)

Extracts from Las Casas: 'A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies' (provided)

Extracts from letters between Sor Juana and Sor Filotea (provided)

Extracts from El Inca Garcilaso de la Vega: 'Royal Commentaries of the Incas and the General History of Peru' (provided and available online at the library).

Extracts from Gomes Eanes Azorara's The Chronicle of the Discovery and Conquest of Guinea

Extracts from Pero Vaz de Caminha's The Letter

Extracts from Fernão Mendes Pinto's The Travels, Voyages, and Adventures of Ferdinand Mendez Pinto (all provided)

All other text extracts will be provided.
Name Role
Dr Pascale Baker Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Assoc Professor Derval Conroy Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Romeu Foz Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Michael Wiedorn Lecturer / Co-Lecturer