Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Cuba in Revolution
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 10 x 1 Hour Lectures
Seminar 10 x 1 Hour Seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 3000-word essay  40%
Semester Assessment 1 x 3000-word essay  40%
Semester Assessment Student presentation  20%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmit or resit failed elements and/or make good any missing elements  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Understand the complex of factors underlying modern and contemporary society, culture and politics.
2. Understand, in a given case, the meaning of radical change.
3. Develop oral presentation skills, critical thinking and written argument.
4. Develop research ability.
5. Develop research ability in the Spanish language.


This module aims to deepen students' understanding of the trajectory of political, social and cultural change in Cuba since 1959, to examine critically the dynamic of the factors determining both change and continuity within the four decades of 'revolution', and to understand the complexities and contradictions of contemporary Cuban society, culture and politics, and the continuities from and ruptures with the past.

Brief description

It examines the history of revolutionary change in Cuba since 1959, seen through the double prism of the continuing cycles of radicalisation, debate and crisis which have characterised the whole process. Adopting both a chronological and a thematic approach, the module will focus on the critical factors which determined the original rebellion and subsequent revolution (factors such as nationalism, dependency, radicalism and leadership), the permanent and underlying tendency towards crisis, the often surprising patterns of debate and reassessment which have been discernible throughout, and the elements of continuity (as well as rupture) over the four and a half decades of sometimes seemingly erratic transformation. Critical questions such as the processes of social and cultural revolution, the process of ideological definition and redefinition, the extent and nature of political participation and dissent, and the continuing significance of Cuba's external environment (vis a vis the United States, the Soviet Union and the Third World) will all be addressed within a module whose discipline framework and approach is both cultural and historical.


This module is structured around 5 topics:

1. The roots of revolution (weeks 1 and 2).
This topic discusses the history leading up to the Cuban Revolution of 1959, the fall of Batista, the rise of the guerrillas led by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara and the final push to oust Batista and set in place the new revolutionary government.

2. The new Revolution: 1959-60 - nature, changes and evolving conflicts (weeks 3 and 4).
This topic debates the nature of the Cuban Revolution (socialism/communism/Marxism etc) and how the changes and conflicts within the revolutionary government affected the course of the Revolution in the early years.

3. Radicalisation, debate and crisis in Cuban culture (weeks 5 and 6).
This topic considers one of the Revolution's most important aspects - the role of culture in the new Cuba. It discusses how the Revolution approached the dissemination of Cuban culture in an attempt to foster a specific Cuban national identity.

4. Cuban cinema (week 7)
The creation of a national film industry at the onset of Revolution was one of the most important aspects of the new Cuban culture and so a brief study of Cuban revolutionary cinema will be made to illustrate the importance of cinema to the Revolution.

5. Women in Cuba (week 8)
A significant proposal of the Cuban Revolution was to eradicate the inequalities between men and women (particularly at work). This topic discusses the way in which the Revolution created a forum for debate around the subject of women and how they tackled ingrained sexist culture in Cuban society.

Weeks 9 and 10 will be taken up with student presentations

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication Students will develop oral communication in seminars and presentation skills in individual student presentations; written communication will be developed in assessments and exam, in English.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will be able to assess their own progress week by week through their increased understanding of the issues raised and the skills developed.
Information Technology Students will use on-line journals and source collections; delivery of course materials and information via e-learning system.
Personal Development and Career planning Students will acquire transferable skills (analysis, research, investigation, writing, presentation); in-depth acquaintance with historical analysis as an academic subject; language skills in the research in the Spanish language.
Problem solving Students will select appropriate reading material; developing evaluative analysis and critical skills and formulating a detailed argument.
Research skills Students will analyse historical information and cinematic representations in their political/historical contexts and synthesize information in an evaluative argument.
Subject Specific Skills Knowledge of Cuba and Revolution in the wider context of Latin American historical development. Knowledge of Cuban Spanish idioms.
Team work Students will participate in debates and group presentations in seminars.


This module is at CQFW Level 6