Seattle University to Host Program on American Literature for International Scholars

Written by Karen L. Bystrom
May 16, 2017

This summer, Seattle University will host the Study of the U.S. Institute for Scholars (SUSI) on Contemporary American Literature, a program of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.  Charles M. Tung, PhD, associate professor of English, who played a key role in bringing this program to the university, will serve as Director of the Institute with Ken Allan, PhD, associate professor of Art and Art History, serving as the Associate Director.

Charles Tung, PhD, Associate Professor, English and Ken Allan, PhD, Associate Professor, Art History

The SUSI program at Seattle University will host 18 scholars and educators, who specialize in U.S. literature and culture from 18 different countries with the aim of deepening participants’ understanding of the history of U.S. society, institutions, culture, and values.  In SUSI seminars, participants will encounter a diverse set of contemporary American authors and artists, different kinds of cultural expression, and a variety of U.S. faculty members who represent a range of disciplinary approaches to literature. 

The Institute will take place in the summer of 2017 and will include four weeks of academic residency at Seattle University and educational visits to sites of historic, cultural, and intellectual interest in San Francisco/Berkeley, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C.  The academic seminars will feature not only Seattle University colleagues, but also faculty members from University of Washington, UC Berkeley, Loyola Marymount, Scripps College, Hamilton College, Rice University, and Georgetown University. Through these seminars and other program components, faculty will have the opportunity to enrich their networks and build lasting connections with the visiting scholars.

Institute goals include fostering a more diverse and complex understanding of U.S. literature and culture, an enhanced set of pedagogies for teaching such complexity, stronger research and curriculum development in participants’ home countries, and facilitating further opportunities for meaningful exchange of ideas and experiences.