Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSI) for Scholars 2018

The United States Embassy in Minsk invites Belarusian Scholars to participate in the Study of the U.S. Summer Institutes (SUSI) Program in the following thematic areas: American Politics and Political Thought, Contemporary American Literature, Journalism and Media, Religious Pluralism in the United States, U.S. Culture and Society, and U.S. Foreign Policy. Deadline for applications is December 17, 2017.

Study of the U.S. Summer Institutes (SUSI) are sponsored by the State Department’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs. Summer Institutes are six-week academic programs for multinational groups of university faculty from outside the United States. Institutes are held at university campuses throughout the U.S. and focus on a particular theme or topic in American studies. 18-30 foreign educators participate in each Institute.

The purpose of these institutes is to strengthen curricula and improve the quality of teaching about the United States in academic institutions overseas. Each program includes two components: an intensive, four-week academic seminar and a study tour of up to two weeks designed to reinforce the academic content of the seminar.

The U.S. Summer Institutes is a highly competitive program and the U.S. Embassy will nominate only one candidate per institute. The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. State Department pays all costs.

Participants should be highly-motivated and experienced university faculty and professionals from institutions of higher learning, with little or no recent study experience in the United States. Additional, they should be affiliated with institutions seeking to introduce aspects of U.S. studies into the curriculum, develop new courses in the subject field of the institute, or enhance and update existing courses on the United States. In this respect, while the nominee’s scholarly and professional credentials are an important consideration in determining suitability for acceptance, how participation in the institute will enhance course offerings in the U.S. studies at the nominee’s home institution is equally or even more important. First consideration will be given to younger and mid-career faculty, and to persons who are likely to be comfortable with campus life, including campus-style accommodations, and an active program schedule. All participants must be proficient in written and spoken English, with good English comprehension skills.

Participants are expected to attend all institute working sessions and non-optional organized activities and to complete assigned readings. Family members and/or friends may not accompany participants on any part of the program. The institute is very intensive and there will be little time for personal pursuits unrelated to the program. The institutes will take place at various colleges and universities throughout the United States over the course of six weeks beginning in June 2017.

The 2017 Summer Program includes six (6) Institutes for university faculty:

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.  Drawing upon the American Political Development approach, the Institute will provide a full and diverse understanding of U.S. political thought and its connection to U.S. politics, public policy, and institutions by linking contemporary issues with historical and social debates.  The Institute will explore particular themes including self-rule and limited government, liberty and freedom, individualism and identity, equality and inequality, and the American Dream.

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, anthropology and sociology, law, and others, the program will explore both the historical and contemporary relationship between religion and state in the United States.  Participants will examine the ways in which religious thought and practice have influenced, and been influenced by the development of American-style democracy. Study will also include a survey of the diversity of contemporary religious beliefs in relation to the 1st amendment to the US constitution, elections, public policy, and the demography of the United States.  Interfaith dialogue in the American context will be practiced in the context of the group itself as well as site visits to a diversity of religious communities.

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.

The deadline for submitting applications for one of these programs is December 17, 2017.

Please send your application form by email to no later than December 17, 2017.

The Application Form can be found here.

Should you have any questions, please write to