2019 Study of the United States Institutes For Scholars

The U.S. Embassy in Beirut is pleased to announce the 2019 Study of the United States Institutes for Scholars (SUSI).  SUSI programs are intensive post-graduate level academic programs with integrated study tours whose purpose is to provide university faculty and other scholars with the opportunity to deepen their understanding of U.S. society, culture, and institutions.  The ultimate goal is to strengthen curricula and to enhance 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 during or after June 2019. The institutes for 2019 are:

1- American Culture and Values will promote American culture, leadership, and values by providing a multinational group experienced and highly motivated foreign university faculty and other specialists with a deeper understanding of U.S. society, civil society institutions, democratic principles, human rights, and the rule of law.  The Institute will examine the concepts of American exceptionalism and American resilience through social, economic, political, and religious contexts in which, historically, various cultures have manifested and shaped contemporary U.S. culture, values, and society.  The program will draw from a diverse disciplinary base and should itself provide a model of how a foreign university might approach the study of U.S. culture and values.

2- American Politics and Political Thought will provide a multinational group of 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 will conclude with an integrated two-week study tour to New York City; Philadelphia and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Shepherdstown, West Virginia; Charlottesville, Virginia; and Washington, D.C.

3- Contemporary American Literature will provide a multinational group of up to 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.

4- Journalism and Media will provide a multinational group of experienced and highly motivated foreign 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 role of journalists in recognizing and preventing disinformation and will explore strategies for media and information literacy to counter disinformation.  Additionally, the Institute will examine best practices in journalism by discussing the rights and responsibilities of the media in a democratic society, including editorial independence, journalistic ethics, legal constraints, and international journalism.  Also, the Institute will examine pedagogical strategies for teaching students of journalism the basics of the tradecraft: researching, critical thinking, reporting, interviewing, writing, and editing.  The program will also highlight the impact of technology in journalism, including the influence of the Internet, globalization of the news media, and other changes that are transforming the profession.

5- Religious Freedom and Pluralism will provide a multinational group of 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 first amendment to the U.S. 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.

6- U.S. Foreign Policy will provide a multinational group of experienced foreign university faculty and practitioners with a deeper understanding of new approaches to U.S. foreign policy and 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.  The program will also examine the current U.S. foreign policymaking and the new trends that are shaping policy.  Topics such as the concept of American sovereignty, shifting attitudes towards globalism, U.S. foreign aid, the monitoring of foreign investment in the United States, the efforts to combat terrorism and radicalization, new trade policies and agreements, immigration and border safety, and cybersecurity will be included.  The program will also discuss the reorganization of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the new U.S. approaches to international organizations such as the United Nations (UN), the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

7- Youth, Workforce Development, and Closing the Skills Gap will provide a multinational group of experienced foreign faculty and practitioners with a deeper understanding of how new socioeconomic trends have changed the concept of work, workforce development, and career paths in the United States.  The academic program will include a thorough discussion of the role of U.S. educational institutions, particularly community colleges, in preparing Americans with the skills needed to succeed in multiple industries including business, technology, science, the creative arts, and other emerging fields.  Topics such as urbanization, globalization, economic development, and advances in technology such as automation, robotics, and artificial intelligence will also be included.  The Institute will offer opportunities for participants to research new ideas, in conjunction with American peers, to better understand the evolution of work, the changing demand for skills, and the advancements in workforce development through retraining, reskilling, and closing the skills gap.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Candidates should be Lebanese or long-term Palestinian residents. American citizens or green card holders are not eligible to apply.
  • Candidates should be mid-career, typically between the ages of 30-50.
  • Candidates should be university-level faculty or professionals from research focused organizations (non-profits, think tanks, etc.)
  • Candidates should be holders of at least a graduate (Masters) degree and have substantial knowledge of the thematic area of the institute.
  • Candidates should be fluent in English.
  • Ideal candidates will also be experienced professionals 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.
  • Comfortable with campus life, shared accommodation and an active program schedule.

Applications:

  • Applications are due to the U.S. Embassy by Monday January 7, 2019 – late submissions will not be considered.
  • Click here to download the Microsoft Word application form (45KB)
  • Applications should be e-mailed to BeirutPD@state.gov.

As with all U.S. Embassy-sponsored programs, the U.S. Government pays for all major expenses, including roundtrip airfare, shared accommodation during the program, meals and health insurance.  Competition is merit-based and Lebanese and long-term Palestinian residents in Lebanon from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Applicants will be considered without regard to race, religion, sex, age, and/or physical impairment.