Signature Seminar

Group in Montevideo
Photo by Nick Townsend

Program Description

This class provides a contemporary overview of the historical, political and social development of three Southern Cone countries – Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay – using Chile as a continuous comparative reference. Two main aspects will be described and studied in depth: the dictatorships and diverse processes of transition to democracy in these Southern Cone countries during the past 40 years, and the shared and differing historical legacies, national identities and cultural expressions of the three countries selected.

Program Dates & Itinerary

In a fall semester, this seminar runs from mid to late July, and in a spring semester from mid to late February.

This seminar involves travel from Santiago, Chile to Argentina and Uruguay. Program includes walking tours of Buenos Aires and Montevideo, a tango class, and immersive museums and lectures in each city.

Course Information

This seminar carries three credits listed in History, Political Science, Latin American Studies, International Relations, and Spanish. Designed to provide a broad overview of culture within the Southern Cone, the seminar introduces you to important political, sociological, and environmental issues in the region—themes that you will pursue through various courses during the semester.

The seminar consists of field study, lectures, site visits, and guest speakers both before and during the regular semester. The 11-day seminar (eight days of travel and three days of classroom instruction) includes travel to urban and rural areas in Uruguay, Chile, and Argentina. The seminar is broken into two parts:

  • Part 1: 8-day field seminar, broken down as follows:
    • 1 day in Chile (Santiago)
    • 4 days in Argentina (Buenos Aires)
    • 3 days in Uruguay (Montevideo)
  • Part 2: Classes in Santiago


Dr. Mauricio Paredes is the Director of the Syracuse University Santiago Center and a scholar on Chilean internment camps, nationalism, and U.S. involvement in Chilean politics. His teaching focuses on human rights, political memory, and Latin American dictatorships.

Eligibility & Admissions

All undergraduate students accepted for a semester in the Santiago Center programs will participate in this required seminar. PAIA graduate students might be eligible to petition for credit through the Maxwell School.