What is the program about?
Study of the U.S. Institutes for Scholars (SUSIs) are intensive post-graduate level academic programs with integrated study tours whose purpose is to provide foreign university faculty and other scholars the opportunity to deepen their understanding of U.S. society, culture, values, and institutions. The ultimate goal of the Institutes is to strengthen curricula and to enhance the quality of teaching about the United States in academic institutions abroad.
Prospective applicants are encouraged to visit our website page to obtain general information about the Institutes. The address is: http://exchanges.state.gov/susi.
What will the program look like? When will it take place?
Study of the U.S. Institutes for Scholars will take place at various colleges, universities, and institutions throughout the United States over the course of six weeks beginning in or after June 2017 and are fully funded. Each Institute includes a four week academic residency component and up to two weeks of an integrated study tour.
What are the 2017 Institute Themes?
The Institute on American Politics and Political Thought will provide a multinational group of 18 experienced foreign university faculty and practitioners insight into how intellectual and political movements have influenced modern American political institutions and a deeper understanding of major currents in U.S. political thought from the colonial period to the present. It will explore the shaping of American identity and the intersection and interplay between that identity and U.S. history and politics. It will cover a broad range of American experiences that have shaped and been shaped by our national identity including, but not limited to, the colonial period, the constitutional founding, the Civil War, industrialization, the Great Depression, the Cold War, and the Civil Rights movement. The Institute will also use this lens to explore contemporary U.S. political and social debates and public policy, relating them back to the formation and development of U.S. political thought and American identity.
The Institute on Contemporary American Literature will provide a multinational group of up to 18 foreign university faculty and scholars with a deeper understanding of U.S. society and culture, past and present, through an examination of contemporary American (U.S.) literature. Its purpose is twofold: to explore contemporary American writers and writing in a variety of genres; and to suggest how the themes explored in those works reflect larger currents within contemporary U.S. society and culture. The program will explore the diversity of the American literary landscape, examining how major contemporary writers, schools, and movements reflect the traditions of the U.S. literary canon. At the same time, the program will expose participants to writers who represent a departure from that tradition, and who are establishing new directions for American literature.
The Institute on Journalism and Media will provide a multinational group of 18 journalism instructors and other related specialists with a deeper understanding of the roles that journalism and the media play in U.S. society. The Institute will examine the rights and responsibilities of the media in a democratic society, including editorial independence, journalistic ethics, legal constraints, international journalism, and media business models. The Institute will examine pedagogical strategies for teaching students of journalism the basics of the tradecraft: researching, reporting, writing, and editing. The program will also highlight the impact of technology on journalism, such as the influence of the Internet, the globalization of the news media, the growth of satellite television and radio networks, and other changes that are transforming the profession.
The Institute on Religious Pluralism in the United States will provide a multinational group of up to 18 foreign university faculty and practitioners with a deeper understanding of U.S. society and culture, past and present, through an examination of religious pluralism in the United States and its intersection with American democracy. Employing a multi-disciplinary approach and drawing on fields such as history, political science, sociology, anthropology, law, and others, the program will explore both the historical and contemporary relationship between church and state in the United States. Participants will examine the following aspects of religious pluralism in the United States: the ways in which religious thought and practice have influenced, and been influenced by, the development of American-style democracy; the intersections of religion and politics in the United States in such areas as elections, public policy, and foreign policy; and the sociology and demography of religion in the United States today, including a survey of the diversity of contemporary religious beliefs and its impact on American politics and society.
The Institute on U.S. Culture and Society will provide a multinational group of 18 experienced and highly-motivated foreign university faculty and other specialists with a deeper understanding of U.S. society, culture, values, and institutions. The Institute will examine the ethnic, racial, social, economic, political, and religious contexts in which various cultures have manifested in U.S. society while focusing on the ways in which these cultures have influenced social movements and American identity throughout U.S. history. The program will draw from a diverse disciplinary base, and will itself provide a model of how a foreign university might approach the study of U.S. culture and society.
The Institute on U.S. Foreign Policy will provide a multinational group of 18 experienced foreign university faculty and practitioners with a deeper understanding of how contemporary U.S. foreign policy is formulated and implemented. The Institute will include a historical review of significant events, individuals, and philosophies that have shaped U.S. foreign policy. The Institute will explain the role of key players in U.S. foreign policy including the executive and legislative branches of government, the media, the U.S. public, think-tanks, non-governmental organizations, and multilateral institutions.
Who is the ideal candidate?
Study of the U.S. Institutes for Scholars are highly competitive. Priority will be given to candidates who have firm plans to enhance, update or develop courses and/or educational materials with a U.S. studies focus or component; who have no prior or limited experience in the United States; and who have special interest in the program subject areas as demonstrated through past scholarship, accomplishments, and professional duties.
Candidates should be mid-career, typically between the ages of 30-50, highly-motivated, experienced scholars and professionals generally from institutions of higher education or research focused organizations (not-for-profits, think tanks, etc.). While the educational level of participants will likely vary, most should have graduate degrees and have substantial knowledge of the thematic area of the Institute or a related field.
Ideal candidates are individuals whose home institution is seeking to introduce aspects of U.S. studies into its curricula, to develop new courses in the subject of the Institute, to enhance and update existing courses on the United States, or to offer specialized seminars/workshops for professionals in U.S. studies areas related to the program theme. While the nominee’s scholarly and professional credentials are an important consideration, the potential impact and multiplier effect of the Institute is equally important. Ideal candidates will have little or no prior experience in the United States.