These institutes last for six weeks beginning in June annually and each is hosted by a U.S. college or university that is determined through a grant competition by the U.S. Department of State. The State Department covers all participation costs, including insurance coverage. Candidates should be mid-career, typically between the ages of 30-50, highly-motivated and experienced faculty and specialists. 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 are listed below:
American Politics and Political Thought
The U.S. Department of State organizes a summer Study of the United States Institute on American Politics and Political Thought. This institute provides a multinational group of foreign university faculty with a deeper understanding of U.S. political institutions and major currents in American political thought, and provides the participants insight into how intellectual and political movements have influenced modern American political institutions. It also provides 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 includes the electoral system, political parties and interest groups, the civil service system, media and think tanks, and the welfare/regulatory state. The institute addresses modern political and cultural issues in the U.S. (including but not limited to civil rights, women’s rights, immigration, etc.) and the significance of public discourse in the formulation of public policy.
Contemporary American Literature
The U.S. Department of State organizes a summer Study of the United States Institute on Contemporary American Literature. This institute provides a multinational group of 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 two-fold: 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 explores 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 exposes participants to writers who represent a departure from that tradition and who are establishing new directions for American literature.
Journalism and Media
The U.S. Department of State organizes a summer Study of the United States Institute on Journalism and Media. This institute provides a multinational group of journalism faculty and other related specialists with a deeper understanding of the role of journalism and the media 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 is incorporated into every aspect of the institute. It covers strategies for teaching students of journalism the basics of the trade-craft: researching, reporting, writing, and editing and highlights 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.
Religious Pluralism in the United States
The U.S. Department of State organizes a summer Study of the United States Institute on Religious Pluralism in the United States. This institute provides 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 examine 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.
U.S. Culture and Society
The U.S. Department of State organizes a summer Study of the United States Institute on U.S. Culture and Society. This institute provides a multinational group of experienced and highly-motivated foreign university faculty and other specialists with a deeper understanding of U.S. society, culture, values, and institutions. The program examines 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 draws from a diverse disciplinary base and provides a model of how a foreign university might approach the study of U.S. culture and society.
U.S. Foreign Policy
The U.S. Department of State organizes a summer Study of the United States Institute on U.S. Foreign Policy. This institute provides 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 begins 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 explains 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.
Summer Study of the United States Institute for Secondary School Educators
The U.S. Department of State organizes a summer Study of the United States Institute for Secondary School Educators. This institute provides multinational groups of secondary educators, for example, classroom teachers, teacher trainers, curriculum developers, textbook writers, Ministry of education officials, etc., with a deeper understanding of U.S. society, education, and culture, past and present. It is organized around a central theme or themes in U.S. civilization and has a strong contemporary component. Through a combination of traditional, multi-disciplinary, and interdisciplinary approaches, the program will elucidate the history and evolution of U.S. educational institutions and values. The program will also serve to illuminate contemporary political, social, and economic debates in American society. The ultimate goal is to strengthen curricula and to improve the quality of teaching about the United States in secondary schools and other academic institutions broad. Candidates should be mid-career, typically between the ages of 25 to 50, highly-motivated and experienced secondary school educators. The ideal candidate will also be an experienced professional with little or no prior experience in the U.S., 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 education professionals in U.S. studies. Candidates should be willing and able to fully take part in an intensive post-graduate level academic program and study tour.
PAS announces these institutes in early September with a late October deadline for submission of applications by e-mail to KingstonExchanges@state.gov.