PhD in

Critical Theory and Current Society

The Doctoral Program in Critical Theory and Current Society is a multidisciplinary initiative of a group of researchers from different disciplines (History, Philosophy, Literature, Psychology, Sociology) in the Faculty of Education and Social Sciences at Andrés Bello University. The program’s creation stems from the faculty members’ commitment to the advanced training of students and to research in their specific areas of the Humanities and the Social Sciences related the critical study of the individual, corporality, and culture and social and political processes in today’s society.

Welcome to

Critical Theory and Current Society

We invite you to be part of a program that trains independent researchers and professors.

Brochure 2022

Specific Objectives

  • Construct a space for highly and academically rigorous critical reflection and dialogue between theories and methodologies from different disciplines about issues of substantive relevance to contemporary societies.
  • Institutionalize practices that encourage and support students in the process of developing an original research topic, objectives, and methodology, and assuming a critical perspective with respect to practices and institutions of contemporary societies.
  • Facilitate spaces for collective reflection for students to develop and apply a creative approach to the most recent theoretical and methodological debates in the Humanities and Social Sciences that is geared towards the development of their own synthesis of disciplines, theories, methods, research areas and themes that make up the TECSA doctoral program.
  • Provide opportunities to develop the skills and tools to communicate cutting-edge work in a clear, objective, and precise manner, while considering the different registers of their audiences and respecting ethical norms of their area of study, and in particular via articles of a publishable standard, both nationally and internationally, that enrich our understanding of contemporary societies.

Graduate Profile

Graduates of the Critical Theory and Contemporary Society Doctoral Program at Andrés Bello University are researchers who, from a starting point of a problematization of the accumulated and cutting-edge knowledge in the Humanities and Social Sciences, at a theoretical, methodological and practical level, are capable of critically problematizing and analyzing key phenomena of contemporary society from the relevant disciplines to generate original knowledge in their fields of study, which fall within one or more of the following research areas: Politics of the Body; Social and Political Processes; Culture, Image, and Representation; y Contemporary Critical Theory.

In addition, graduates have the skills to work autonomously, ethically, responsibly, and at a high level of academic excellence, in social contexts -such as universities, NGOs, and international organizations- where they can carry out research characterized by a critical perspective that is concerned with fundamental issues of contemporary society and is framed by a complex approach to these issues.

On completion of the program, graduates will be able to:

  • Integrate knowledge from the disciplines of the Humanities and Social Sciences when examining key problems in contemporary society.
  • Generate original knowledge in the areas of the Humanities and Social Sciences that results from research carried out in an autonomous manner according to the scientific community’s ethical norms and based on theories and methods specific to the following research areas: Politics of the Body; Social and Political Processes; Culture, Image, and Representation; and Contemporary Critical Theory.
  • Communicate the results of research to both specialists in the field and general audiences, both verbally and in written form, and respecting the academic registers of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Areas of Research

The Doctoral Program in Critical Theory and Current Society is framed within four main areas of research, which encompass the research interests of the Academic Faculty: Politics of the Body; Social and Political Processes; Culture, Image and Representation; and Current Critical Theory. The Current Critical Theory research area has a special status, as it serves to link the remaining three areas.

This area is oriented towards identifying and analyzing processes that shape communication and entertainment in our society, explaining their transformations with the rise of modernity and during the digital era. It also pays special attention to the impact of these processes both on the individual as well as society and how they modify our behavior and how we conceive of our relationships with others.

This research area examines the main sociopolitical processes that characterize the contemporary world, analyzing the social structures and the actors that configure them. The area places a special emphasis on the issue of the construction and deconstruction of the state, and the role of political actors, whether they are conventional or not. It also seeks to recognize and evaluate the phenomena of equality and inequality, as well as conflict, social cohesion, and violence from sociological, political, economic, territorial and gender perspectives, and using an interdisciplinary approach.

This research area examines the place and status of the body in modernity, particularly considering its meaning and function. It analyzes, in the context of contemporary society, the central debates around the body and its functions and practices, placing special attention on issues related to its characterization and socialization, as well as its meanings and representations. It aims to examine, from a critical point of view, the possibilities and limitations of the body, inscribed in the tension left from disciplinary wisdom developed through imperative knowledge on one hand, and the practices associated with its construction and management on the other.

In the TECSA program, the research area of contemporary critical theory is important for two main reasons:


i) First, it runs parallel to the other research areas. Based on a presentation and analysis of the contemporary perspectives on critical theory, this area will discuss the main epistemological debates that allow for a dialogue between the disciplines of the Humanities and Social Sciences. This area also familiarizes students with the methods used in different disciplines, with the aim of reflecting on, enriching, and conceptualizing methodologies that allow for intersecting critical perspectives on general and specific problems of contemporary society.


ii) Second, this research area is the spine of the program, providing it with its internal coherence. The transversal nature of this research area means for all of the research areas there is a requirement and particular focus on being reflexive and open about how to critically address issues relating to the body, social processes, culture, and communication in contemporary societies.

Decree and Regulations

Program Director

Mauro Basaure

PhD in Philosophy. University Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Frankfurt, Germany.


Academic Faculty

Stéphanie Alenda

PhD in Sociology. University of Lille I, France. Stéphanie is interested in political sociology, the sociology of the elite, political parties and the left. Since 2018, she has sat on the committee for Political Sociology Research, which is affiliated with the International Sociological Association (ISA) and the International Political Science Association (IPSA).

Academic Profile

Mauro Basaure

Phd in Philosophy. University Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Frankfurt, Germany. Mauro has developed projects and published works in the areas of social and critical theory, recognition studies, philosophy and sociology of time and political violence.

Academic Profile

Solène Bergot

PhD in History. University of Paris 1 Panthéon La Sorbonne and the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Solène’s research interests include Chile’s sociocultural history in the 19th and 20th centuries, with an emphasis on the study of certain social groups (for example, elites and domestic servants) and visual culture (for example, the production and circulation of art and systems of representation).

Academic Profile

Niklas Bornhauser

PhD in Philosophy. Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain. Niklas is a researcher in the fields of psychoanalysis, philosophy and language sciences, with a particular focus on translation. He is also interested in critical theory and the relationship between images, body and representation.

Academic Profile

Borja Castro

PhD in Philosophy. Universidad de Murcia, Spain. Borja is interested in the philosophy of alterity and the relationships between ethics and politics in French thought (Lévinas, Abensour and Deleuze) and reception of French thought in Latin America.

Academic Profile

María José Correa

PhD in History. University College London, UK. María José’s work examines the history of science and medicine during the 19th and 20th centuries, with a focus on mental illnesses, therapeutic medicine and scientific expertise.

Academic Profile

María Alejandra Energici Sprovera

PhD in Sociology, Universidad Alberto Hurtado, Chile.

Academic Profile

Tomás Errázuriz Infante

PhD in Architecture and Urban Studies, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.

Academic Profile

Carla Fardella Cisternas

PhD in Social Psychology, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, España.

Academic Profile

Stéfanie Massmann

PhD in Literature. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile. Stéfanie is interested in cultural phenomena that are in dialogue with critical perspectives based in post-colonial and decolonial theory, in line with the Current Critical Theory research area.

Academic Profile

Rodrigo Miguel Medel Sierralta

PhD in Political Science, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.

Academic Profile

Fernanda Moraga

PhD in Literature. Universidad de Chile, Chile. Fernanda’s research interests include literature by Latin American and Indigenous Women, Current Critical Theory, the Politics of the Body, feminism, gender and the frontier.

Academic Profile

Leith Passmore

PhD in History. University of Western Australia (UWA). Leith’s research interests include the cultural history of the 20th century, political violence and protest, terrorism, the history of the body, hunger, gender and memory.

Academic Profile

Mariano Ruperthuz

Doctor of psychology (Universidad de Chile) and doctor of history (Universidad de Santiago de Chile). Mariano specializes in the history of psychoanalysis in Chile and Latin America, the evolution of mental hygiene, psychiatry in Latin America and the mental consequences of modernization processes.

Paula Tesche Roa

PhD in Human Sciences, mention in speech and culture. Universidad Austral de Chile.

Academic Profile

Sebastián Rojas Navarro

PhD in Sociology from King's College London, United Kingdom.

Academic Profile

Fernando Valenzuela

PhD in Sociology, University of Luzern, Sweden. Fernando works on the social studies of health, science and art, with an emphasis on the development and implementation of technologies of representation and body intervention.

Academic Profile

Luis Valenzuela

PhD in Literature. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile. Luis’ projects and publications examine Chilean narratives of the 20th and 21st centuries, film and literature, and representations of the image and residue.

Academic Profile

Collaborating Professors

Natalia Urra

PhD in Modern History, Centuries XVI-XVIII, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain.

Academic Profile

Marco Ceballos

PhD in Sociology, Development Sociology. Universidad París 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, France.

Academic Profile

Francisco Orrego

PhD in Modern European History. Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain.

Academic Profile

Javiera Errázuriz

PhD in Contemporary History. Universidad Autónoma de Madrid y Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.

Academic Profile


Scholarships and Financing

Andrés Bello University has different scholarships for its doctoral students, to learn more we invite you to visit the Doctorates home where you will find Scholarships and Financing Opportunities.


Requirements and Application

To begin the application process, you must send a completed digital copy of the Application Form to the program’s office, along with the following documents:

  • A letter describing your interests and the reasons why you wish to apply to the program.
  • Notarized photocopies of your academic degrees.
  • An academic transcript from the last degree you were awarded.
  • A graduate ranking from your undergraduate degree.
  • A birth certificate.
  • A curriculum vitae.
  • Two letters of recommendation in PDF format, sent by the people giving the recommendation to the program director, Mauro Basaure ([email protected]).
  • Examples of written work that have been published or accepted to be published (optional).
  • A certificate of English competency (reading comprehension). Certification of overall English level (desirable)
  • A preliminary proposal for the doctoral thesis (maximum 6,000 characters).
  • Two photos with your ID number included.
  • A photocopy of your ID or passport.


Shortlisted applicants will be invited to a personal interview with the Admissions Committee.

The evaluation criteria for applications are listed in the document “Current Regulations” in articles 14, 15 and 16. The document is available in the Decree and Regulations section.

Application and admission process 2024

Aplication Close

Notification via email of results of initial review


Notification of final results

august 16th to october 20th 2023

october 21st 2023

october 23th 2023

november 3rd 2023

The application process will be online. Documents must be sent to the following email address: 

Dr. Mauro Basaure

Director of the Critical Theory and Current Society doctoral program

[email protected]