Exceptional Chance for Scholars to Get Acquainted with American Society and Culture


U.S. Embassy Vilnius is pleased to invite candidate nominations for the Summer Study of the United States Institutes (SUSI).

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 June 2010.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to visit the website to obtain general information about the Institutes at: http://exchanges.state.gov/academicexchanges/scholars.html

A total of six institutes will be offered for university-level faculty:
1. SUSI on U.S. Culture and Society
2. SUSI on American Politics and Political Thought
3. SUSI on Contemporary American Literature
4. SUSI on U.S. Foreign Policy
5. SUSI on Journalism and Media
6. SUSI on Religious Pluralism in the United States

1. SUSI on U.S. Culture and Society will provide a multinational group of 18 foreign university faculty and scholars with a deeper understanding of U.S. society, culture, values and institutions. The program examines some of the critical historical epochs, movements, issues and conflicts that have influenced the development of the U.S. nation and its people and includes a strong contemporary component, particularly current political, social, and economic issues and debates. The complexity and heterogeneous nature of American society is highlighted, as well as the institutions and values that have enabled the nation to accommodate that diversity.

2. SUSI on American Politics and Political Thought will provide a multinational group of 18 foreign university faculty with a deeper understanding of U.S. political institutions and major currents in American political thought. The institute will provide the participants insight into how intellectual and political movements have influenced modern American political institutions. The institute will provide an overview of political thought during the founding period (constitutional foundations), and the development and current functioning of the American presidency, Congress and the federal judiciary. The examination of political institutions should be expanded to include the electoral system, political parties and interest groups, the civil service system, media and think tanks, or the welfare/regulatory state. The institute will address modern political and cultural issues in the United States (including but not limited to civil rights, women’s rights, immigration, etc.), and the significance of public discourse in the formulation of public policy

3. SUSI 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 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 American 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.

4. SUSI on 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 with an emphasis on the post Cold War period. This institute will begin with a review of the historical development of U.S. foreign policy and cover significant events, individuals, and philosophies that have dominated U.S. foreign policy. In addition, the institute will explain the role of key players in the field of foreign policy including the executive and legislative branches, the media, public opinion, think-tanks, non-governmental and international organizations and how these players debate, cooperate, influence policy, and are held accountable. Regional sessions, for the entire group, highlighting salient topics such as energy security and environmental policy in Europe; trade and human rights issues in Asia; foreign aid and humanitarian assistance in Africa; drug trafficking and immigration issues for the Western Hemisphere; and combating terrorism in the Near East and South Asia are among the relevant issues that might be explored. In addition, sessions focusing on current issues such nuclear disarmament, the Middle East peace process, or U.S. military actions would be appropriate.

5. SUSI on Journalism and Media will provide a multinational group of 18 journalism faculty and other related specialists with a deeper understanding of journalism’s and the media’s roles in U.S. society. It will examine major topics in journalism, including the concept of a "free press," First Amendment rights, and the media’s relationship to the public interest. The legal and ethical questions posed by journalism will be incorporated into every aspect of the institute. 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.

6. SUSI 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, 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; examine the ways in which religious thought and practice have influenced, and been influenced by, the development of American-style democracy; examine the intersections of religion and politics in the United States in such areas as elections, public policy, and foreign policy; and explore 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.

 Nomination deadline: February 1, 2010.

Program Funding: all participant costs, including: program administration, domestic travel and ground transportation, book, cultural, mailing and incidental allowances, housing and subsistence, will be covered.

Housing and Meal Arrangements: Typically, participants will have a private room with a shared bathroom during the residency portion (four weeks) of the institute, and will have to share a hotel room during the study tour (up to two weeks). Housing will typically be in college or university owned housing. Most meals will be provided at campus facilities, though participants may have access to a kitchen to cook some meals on their own. It is important that these arrangements be clear to nominees and that they be comfortable with such housing arrangements, particularly sharing a hotel room with another participant for up to two weeks.

Health Benefits: All participants will receive the Department of State’s coverage of $50,000 with a $25 deductible for the duration of the program. Pre- existing conditions are not covered.

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 made aware that this is 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.

Each nomination e-mail should be submitted to Rasa Baukuviene no later than February 1, 2010. Applicants will be notified regarding selection or non-selection by mid-March. Nominations must be submitted in the format provided above.

All communications and questions regarding the Institutes should be addressed to Rasa Baukuviene, Educational Affairs Specialist, telephone: 370-5-266-5430 or e-mail: BaukuvieneR@state.gov

Please see the attached file for more information.

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