Santiago Courses Taught in English: Academic Information

The following courses are open only to students accepted to the spring-only Santiago Center (courses in English) program. Syllabi are available on request. All courses are subject to change and may not be offered every spring.

* Course prefixes and numbers to be confirmed.

Required Courses

All Syracuse students must take the Signature Seminar and one of the following Spanish classes:

Signature Seminar: Contemporary Issues in Chile and Latin America

HST406/IRP/LAS334/PSC428 (3 credits)

Traveling seminar; classroom work at Syracuse Santiago Center. This course examines political, economic and environmental development in Latin America, with a focus on Argentina and Chile as case studies for contrast and comparison. Emphasis will be placed on the countries’ respective dictatorships and the economic models imposed by each one, and common and differing historical legacies and expressions of social justice and welfare. The field seminar includes travel to Argentina (Buenos Aires) and Chile (Patagonia and Valparaiso). Classes consist of lectures and field work and engagement with local NGOs, scholars and communities.

Beginning Spanish

SPA 180 (4 credits)

This is an introductory proficiency-based course for students with limited Spanish language experience. It seeks to develop the five language skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and culture. It prepares you to communicate effectively in written and spoken Spanish on a variety of topics related to yourself, your personal experiences, and everyday situations you might encounter in a Spanish-speaking environment. Communicative objectives include: socializing and greeting, giving and getting autobiographical information, expressing interest and surprise, talking about present and future plans, expressing likes and dislikes, making and understanding simple descriptions, recounting a series of events or recent experiences, discussing daily activities, giving advice and instructions, making requests, and handling simple survival situations. All class activities are in Spanish.

Upon successful completion of this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Describe people, places, and things
  • Give and get information, directions and advice
  • Tell anecdotes and stories
  • Express doubts and opinions about a variety of topics and situations
  • Talk about the future.

Intermediate Spanish

SPA 280 (4 credits)

This is an intermediate level course designed for students who have successfully completed at least two semesters of college-level Spanish (SPA 101 and 102 or the equivalent). SPA280 is a proficiency-based course that reviews understanding of the formal structures of language, refines previously acquired linguistic skills, and builds cultural awareness. Authentic cultural and literary texts are introduced. The course fosters the development of an intermediate level of oral proficiency through the use of authentic readings (both literary and cultural), as well as film and conversation. Class activities and writing tasks will guide you to narrate, describe, report, express personal opinions, and analyze abstract topics. The class is conducted entirely in Spanish.

Your objectives in this course are to develop the abilities to:

  • Give and get information
  • Survive predictable and complicated situations
  • Narrate and describe in present, past, and future time
  • Give subjective and objective opinions
  • Hypothesize about different topics.

Note for Syracuse University students: SPA180 and 280 are not direct equivalents to the courses offered on main campus. If you intend to continue your Spanish language studies when you return to campus, you will need to take a placement test to determine the appropriate SU SPA course level. (Subsequent Spanish courses taken on the main campus may repeat prior study.)

Optional Courses

In addition to the required courses above, students choose 2 to 3 of the following optional courses for a total of 13-16 credits:

Topics in Media Diversity and Inclusion: Diversity in Contemporary Chilean Film

COM 380 (3 credits)

Taught at U Católica. This course examines Chile’s renascent film industry and how film production has been impacted by diversity issues, with particular emphasis on productions from the past 20 years. You will analyze selected topics that have acquired greater visibility in recent years: immigration, poverty, old age, the experience of the queer community; marginalized political voices silenced by official discourse. These topics will serve as entry points into a broader analysis of the evolution of Chilean society, which, as it becomes more inclusive and open to diversity, registers its transformation through the visual medium of film. 

Syracuse students: This course is equivalent to COM 350; therefore, you may not receive credit for more than one of the following: COM 346, 348, 350, 380.

Syracuse Newhouse students: this course fulfills your Newhouse diversity requirement within your major.

Pre-req: COM 107/equivalent introduction to mass media course or permission of instructor.

Chilean Identity in Concrete Images: From Indigenous Groups to Contemporary Architecture

CRS/ARC/GEO/SOC 380* (3 credits)

Taught at U Católica. This course will explore buildings, squares, and monuments around the city of Santiago as representations of identity as well as sources of collective identity. Students will analyze the tension that can be identified between the traditional narrative installed in 1810 at the time of the nation’s founding, and more diverse perspectives that began emerging publicly in the 1960s. In parallel, Santiago’s architecture will be studied as a primary source that relates the main sociological characteristics of santiaguinos and their social class structure, in a city infamous for its social segmentation.

Latin American Economics

ECN380.9 (3 credits)

Taught at Universidad Diego Portales. This course is primarily designed for undergraduate students with basic knowledge of micro and macroeconomics, but no previous exposition to empirical or theoretical approaches to Latin American countries, economic growth models, or the economics of emerging and less developed economies. The course starts with some historical and current facts about growth and development in Latin America, setting the stage for asking relevant theoretical and policy questions. After that, an interplay between mainstream, universalist growth theories on one hand and locally-focused structuralist models on the other, will shed light on how to productively approach those questions. Texts from David Weil, Ocampo and Ros, and Cimoli and Porcile serve as the basis for this course, supplemented by other readings.

Syracuse students: You may not earn credit for both this course and ECN 310, Latin America Economic Development.

Prerequisite: [ECN 101 AND ECN 102] OR ECN 203, or equivalent background in microeconomics and macroeconomics.

Sustainability and Development in Chile

GEO/IRP 380* (3 credits)

Taught at U Católica. Like many developing countries, Chile faces a dilemma: reconciling environmental protections with its traditional economic model. This course explores the challenges Chile faces on its path toward economic development, as recent efforts to strengthen sustainable development and environmental protections clash with the country’s entrenched economic model, based on resource extraction. The struggle is framed within the larger context of recent social and environmental activism and the legacy of the Pinochet dictatorship, which consolidated the extractive model as part of its neoliberal project. Case studies in mining, forestry, and fishing will be analyzed. 

Dictatorships, Human Rights and Historical Memory in Chile and the Southern Cone

HST/IRP/LAS/PSC424 (3 credits)

Taught at Syracuse Santiago Center. This course focuses on the military coup of 1973 and the systematic implementation of violence and fear as a method of control over society and as a formula for stability during the military government of Augusto Pinochet. Within this context, the course evaluates the significance of this period to the configuration of social, political, and economic aspects of Chile today. We’ll pay particular attention to the role of U.S. foreign policy in the installation of the Pinochet government as well as the impact the U.S. has had on human rights in Chile.

Music of Latin America

HOM 380.4 (3 credits)

Taught at Universidad Diego Portales. The course will focus on developing an understanding of the history, cultural connotations, and sonic traits of Latin American music, aiming to enrich a listening experience devoted to diverse types of popular rhythms and genres that have flourished throughout the continent while enabling discussions around the topic of Latin American identity. In the first stage, we will point out common characteristics of the music of Latin America as a whole, establishing a ground over which we may analyze the detailed particularities of musical expressions from Mexico, Cuba, Colombia, Brazil, the Andes (a cross-border cultural area ranging from Colombia to Chile, with special prominence in Peru and Bolivia), Argentina and Chile, in a sort of musical journey across the territory. Once in Chile, and having attained a continental perspective, we will study characteristic types of local music, in an effort to understand their genesis, significance, and projections.

Comparative Latin American Politics

PSC 380.29 (3 credits)

Taught at Universidad Diego Portales. This course aims to provide a general introduction to Comparative Political Economy through an in-depth analysis of one case study (Chile). There will be regional (Latin American) and global (East Asian, North American, and European) comparisons brought in, to illuminate our understanding of the politics and economics of Chile. Using this study of Chile, we will address the “big questions” in the field of Comparative Political Economy of Development: Why are some countries so rich while others are so poor? What kind of policies can reduce poverty and inequality in a country? How does democracy affect the struggle to reduce absolute and relative poverty and improve living standards for ordinary people?

In answering these questions, we take as our starting point the complex interlocking governmental and economic systems that generate and distribute wealth in a nation. You will analyze the different theoretical interpretations of the functioning of said systems and examine their evolution across Chilean history. This analysis will clarify how, at different times and in different contexts, the policy outcomes (e.g., living standards improvements) of the dominant political and economic systems have differed. By the end of the course, you will have a clearer idea of the debates in this field, regarding the supposed “best practices” for government and economic policy-makers seeking to improve development and welfare outcomes.

Comparative Political Economy: Chile in World Perspective

PSC380.30 (3 credits)

Taught at Universidad Diego Portales. During the last forty years, there have been extraordinary changes in the political systems of the world, especially in countries outside Western Europe and North America. The peaceful collapse of the communist regimes of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union is among the most dramatic. However, profound changes, though less noticed, have also occurred in Latin America, Africa and Asia. In these regions, democracy seems to be emerging as the preferred type of political system. Paradoxically, at the same time citizens in long-established democracies in Western Europe and the United States have expressed dissatisfaction with the way democracy is functioning. We are currently experienced a resurgence of right-wing populism across the world.

Political systems throughout the world face a number of similar challenges in establishing and maintaining democracy. This course is based on the premise that through comparison of these challenges we can begin to make some generalizations concerning the variables that affect the relative success or failure of distinct countries in balancing the dual challenges of representation and stability inherent in all democratic systems.

The course is divided into four sections. The first deals with theoretical and methodological issues in the field of comparative politics. We will begin by briefly defining comparative politics and outlining the historical development of approaches to its study. The second section of the course focuses on differentiating political regimes, and the actual mechanics of the wide variety of democracies that exist in the world. Particular attention will be given to the institutional arrangements which affect the governability and potential longevity of democratic systems. The third section of the course combines the fist two by applying what we have learned to a variety of case studies, including industrialized democracies (Great Britain), post-communist and communist societies (China), and the so-called developing areas (Mexico). The course concludes with an in-depth analysis of the Chilean case applying what we have learned both from the theoretical literature and other cases.

Research Seminar: Politics of Chile

PSC380.31 (3 credits)

Taught at Universidad Diego Portales. The aim of this course is for students to produce the best piece of original research in political science that they have up until now in their respective careers. The major goal of the course is for you to take advantage of your presence in Chile to undertake research that engages Chile, its socio-political context, and its people. Students will work under the close supervision and support of the professor to produce a piece of work that provides an original contribution to knowledge that goes beyond the existing literature. This means you must either extend existing studies (for example with an updated analysis of recent events uncovered in current bibliographies) or by providing a novel interpretation of events that have already been researched. This latter option could be achieved by, for example, bringing in a different theoretical approach to an established field.

The workshops that make up this course are designed to help you achieve this ambitious goal, by dividing up the preparation of the final report into simple, discrete stages and providing detailed feedback and support as each is attempted. There is an emphasis on the use of social sciences methodology (particularly mixed-methods qualitative studies using documentary analysis, interviewing and survey data). While we will be meeting as a class to review and understand methods and research in the social sciences, the bulk of the intellectual work will take place in one-to-one meetings with the professor. This is an independent research project. Though the professor will be available to help, advise, mentor, and console, it is ultimately your responsibility to devise, undertake, and complete the research. Though there are concrete dates established for each of the stages of the project (topic proposal, bibliography, outline, draft, final paper, etc…), it is your responsibility to contact the professor to set up consultative meetings as the project progresses. We will meet often as a class to discuss progress, challenges, and to share ideas regarding each student’s research project.

Other Opportunities and Courses

Any special course request must be made by the published deadline. Please note that enrollment is not guaranteed in classes outside of the Santiago Center (courses in English) program offerings above.

Internships and volunteer work opportunities may be available for certain students starting in mid-March. Placements will depend on interviews and students’ backgrounds, as well as the availability of sites willing to accept non-Spanish speakers. Students may opt to add on 1 credit to an internship by completing an independent study in addition to their on-site work, comprising a research project with a faculty sponsor.