StatusNot Offered in 2018

Human Rights and Democracy in Chile


Michael Lazzara
Michael Lazzara


I have been a professor in the Spanish department at UCD since 2004 and regularly teach courses on contemporary Latin American literature, culture, and film. Summer Abroad has offered me the opportunity to make the world my classroom, and the experience has been unforgettable. I love sharing with my students the knowledge and contacts I have gained during more than 20 years of traveling to Chile for study.

Department Profile

Faculty Profile

A Message to Students and Parents

I discovered Chile as a study abroad student when I was a college undergraduate and was hooked from the start. It's a beautiful country with an amazing and diverse geography, a fascinating history, and a rich culture. After living there for several lengthy periods of time, I have traveled back every year to do research on literature, politics, and culture and have published several books on Chilean topics. Teaching in Chile is rewarding because it allows a glimpse into the successes and failures of diverse social, political, and economic experiments that have taken place there during the 20th and 21st centuries. Chile is a perfect case study through which to examine ongoing legacies of authoritarianism, human rights violations, and the contradictions of neoliberal globalization. It is also an ideal case for reflecting on the rocky historical relationship between the United States and Latin America. Now that Chile projects itself to the rest of the world as a thriving democracy and a model economy, I enjoy leading students toward the discovery of how democratic culture and practices can be deepened both in Chile and at home. Ultimately, this course is about the importance of equality, opportunity, and a basic respect for human dignity.

Comments from Past Participants
  • "This program allowed me to appreciate a culture and history that before I knew nothing about."
  • "The instructor had a profound understanding of Chilean history and challenged students to think beyond what they are used to."
  • "This program has helped me become more aware of social justice, helped me understand what I should try to pursue."