Study of the U.S. Institutes for University Faculty and Researchers (SUSI For Scholars)

Program Despcriptions – 2018

The U.S. Department of State through the American Embassy in Managua is pleased to invite candidate nominations for the Summer2018 Study of the United States Institutes for Scholars (SUSI for Scholars). A total of six institutes will be offered for university-level faculty.

Institute Description: Study of the United States Institutes 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 American society, culture, and institutions. The ultimate goal is to strengthen curricula and to improve the quality of teaching about the United States in academic institutions abroad.

The institutes will take place at various colleges and universities throughout the United States over the course of six weeks beginning in late June or July 2018. Deadline for all applications is January 12, 2018. The recipients will be announced in early May of 2018.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to visit the SUSI’s website to obtain general information about the program. The website address is: http://exchanges.state.gov/susi

A. 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, economic, political, and religious contexts in which various cultures have manifested themselves in U.S. society, and the ways in which these cultures have influenced both social movements and historical epochs 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.

B. 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.  This Institute is currently being openly competed; the recipient will be known in April 2017.

C. 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 American 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 will be hosted by the University of Louisville, located in Louisville, KY.

D. U.S. Foreign Policy

Will provide a multinational group of 18 foreign university faculty and scholars with a deeper understanding of how 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.

E. Journalism and Media

Will provide a multinational group of 18 journalism faculty and other related specialists with a deeper understanding of the role of 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 cover strategies for teaching students of journalism the basics of the tradecraft: researching, reporting, writing, and editing. The program will also highlight technology’s impact on journalism, addressing the influence of the internet, the globalization of the news media, the growth of satellite television and radio networks, and other advances in media that are transforming the profession.

F. 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, drawing on fields such as history, political science, sociology, anthropology, law and others where appropriate, 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 will be hosted by the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Program Information

1. Program Funding

All participant costs are funded, to include program administration; domestic/international travel and ground transportation; book, cultural visits, housing and subsistence, mailing materials to their respective countries, and incidental allowances.

2. Housing and Meal Arrangements

Typically, participants will have a private room with a shared bathroom at the college or university owned facility, during the residency portion (four weeks) of the institute. During the study tour (up to two weeks), participants will likely share a hotel room with another participant of the same gender. Most meals will be provided at campus facilities, though participants may have access to a kitchen to cook some meals on their own.

3. Health Benefits

All participants will receive the Department of State’s coverage of $100,000 with a $25 co-pay per medical visit and $75 co-pay per emergency room visit, for the duration of the program. Pre-existing conditions are not covered.

4. Program Requirements and Restrictions

Participants are expected to participate fully in the program. They are expected to attend all lectures and organized activities, and complete assigned readings. Family members and/or friends cannot accompany participants on any part of the program. Please note that teaching methodology and pedagogical methods will not be addressed formally in the institute. Candidates should be aware that they are applying for an intensive institute and there will be little time for personal pursuits unrelated to the program. The institute should not be viewed as a research program.

Candidate Descriptions and Qualifications

  1. Candidates should be mid-career, typically between the ages of 30-50, highly-motivated and experienced professionals 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.
  2. The ideal candidate will also be an experienced professional with little or no prior experience in the United States, 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. In this respect, while the nominee’s scholarly and professional credentials are an important consideration, an equally important factor is how participation in the institute will enhance course offerings in U.S. studies at the nominee’s home institution.
  3. Candidates should be willing and able to fully take part in an intensive post-graduate level academic program and study tour. The program will give special consideration to younger and mid-career professionals, and to persons who are likely to be comfortable with campus life and an active program schedule.
  4. Candidate Statement: In order to get a better sense of potential participant’s motivations and goals, the program requests that each candidate provide a short personal statement (one page) indicating why he or she is interested in participating in the program and what he or she expects to get out of the experience. The candidates should describe how their participation would contribute to their general professional development and their teaching of U.S. Studies (for example: enhanced knowledge/expertise, new curriculum ideas, career advancement, publications, networking opportunities). How might they share their experience with others at home both in their institution and community? What else should we know about them? (please get the application in the website).
  5. English Language Ability: It is imperative that all candidates demonstrate English language fluency. Institutes are rigorous and demanding programs; participants will be expected to handle substantial reading assignments in English and to be full and active participants in all seminar and panel discussions. English fluency is vital to a successful experience in the Institute, both for your participant and participants from other countries.