Opportunities in American Studies

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American Studies awards (also called Study of the U.S. awards) are open to American scholars and professionals who have a thorough knowledge of some aspect of the rich tapestry of organizations, traditions, norms and other institutions that constitute life in the U.S. Every year, there are over 70 awards for scholars to engage students and conduct research in American Studies, American History and American Literature around the globe.  Host institutions overseas recognize the value of having an American scholar bring a first hand perspective of American history, literature, society and more to their students. Scholars themselves return with a fresh perspective on American history and cultural and are able to globalize their teaching and research to reflect their diverse experiences.

(Video Caption)
Jessica Hooten Wilson, Associate Professor of John Brown University in Arkansas. Host: Charles University, Prague, 2014. Video Courtesy of U.S. Embassy Prague.





Bulgaria: American Studies or American Literature - Award #7166
Scholars specializing in American culture and American Studies are encouraged to affiliate with the University of Plovdic, Veliko Turnovo University or University of Shumen to teach and conduct research. English is sufficient for teaching as students are eager to learn from an American academic or professional in the field.

China: Fulbright-Terra Foundation Award in the History of American Art - Award #7090  
This opportunity is available to scholars who are interested in teaching or pursuing a combination of teaching and research in the field of American art history prior to 1980 for either one or two semesters. Academics with a terminal degree at the assistant professor level or higher with a minimum of five years of university-level teaching experience are eligible to apply. At the institutions where they teach and guest lecture, the exposure scholars provide is expected to inspire an expansion of interest among university administrators, faculty and students to build their institutional capacity for curriculum and research mentoring on American art history. Courses and methodology demonstrated by Fulbright U.S. Scholars will add awareness about American art to the next generation of art history teachers and scholars they instruct. Special features include the East Asia and the Pacific (EAP) Fulbright Regional Travel Grant, which allows Fulbright Scholars in the EAP region to travel to give lectures in other eligible countries.

Jordan: Study of the United States - Award #7402
The University of Jordan provides a welcoming place for up to two U.S. scholars to teach on the Study of the United States. Though all apprpriate disciplines are welcome, scholars who specialize in the American economy, foreign policy and culture and society are preferred. Recent scholars have taught courses ranging from American social problems and pressure groups in the United States to American Indian literature.

Kazakhstan: All Disciplines - Award #7432  
Scholars with a Ph.D. or relevant master’s degrees are invited to teach, conduct research, or a combination of both in the culturally rich and ethnically diverse country of Kazakhstan. Special features include the South and Central Asia (SCA) Fulbright Regional Travel Grant, which allows Fulbright Scholars in the SCA region to travel to give lectures in other eligible countries.

Mexico: U.S. Studies - Award #7495   
Awards are available to teach in undegraduate courses in English at Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM),  Universidad Veracruzana (UV), and Universidad de las Américas Puebla (UDLAP). Grantees will generate knowledge about U.S. history, politics and other topics as well as build bi-national collaborations between U.S. and Mexican scholars, and mentor Mexican students.

Niger: All Disciplines - Award #7047
Scholars with a Ph.D. and a minimum of two years of university teaching experience are encouraged to apply to teach and research at any appropriate university listed in the award description. Specializations of interest include American Literature and American Studies.



Quotes from Scholars



Fulbright Bicentennial Chair Grantee Mark Miller lectures on the 2014 Senate elections at the University of Helsinki

Africa, Sub-Saharan
"I learned to value even more deeply the way "outside eyes" can read and interpret American stories. My grad students, from their community-minded perspective as Africans, wondered after reading Walden if Henry David Thoreau was mentally ill. They will never forget the "problem-solving" energy of Ben Franklin, or the cultural confrontation experienced by Mary Rowlandson, a Puritan woman who wrote about her captivity experiences. I learned from this teaching experience how much one's own cultural context shapes one's interpretations, or even the questions one brings to a text. As I develop World Literature courses for my home institution, I will pay more attention to collecting critical perspectives from outside a western context to help my students "see" from inside another's experience and worldview, if possible." (Teaching and Research, Uganda, 2012-13)

East Asia and the Pacific
"This has been an amazing experience, one that I will never forget and that will certainly have a transformative effect on my career and my family. I have already begun planning a further collaborative grant with Universitas Islamis Indonesia in Yogyakarta to provide writing workshops for faculty in the international programs there, and I am confident that this will be expanded into further programs there and in other Indonesian universities. In addition, I have gained important insights into the globalization of English which will change the way I do my scholarship and teaching in the United States, and the process of learning Indonesian and living in one of the world's most linguistically diverse places will forever change how I teach linguistics." (Teaching, Indonesia, 2010-11)

"Over the past three and a half months, I have been forced to continually reexamine my understanding of U.S. culture and the role of the U.S. both historically and at present. I owe this to the thoughtful and probing questions of my students who again and again pushed me to move beyond common assumptions about the U.S." (Teaching, Slovak Republic, 2014-15)

Middle East and North Africa
"...Not only were students in my American literature course not familiar with African American and women writers such as Langston Hughes and Naomi Shihab Nye but that they were especially interested in the questions of ethnicity, nation, and migration/immigration that such writers raise. Even the very traditional early British literature course I taught allowed me to raise questions of attitudes toward Europe's others in "Othello" and (carefully) compare Milton's Adam and Eve with their counterparts in Islam. I hope that this interaction has worked both ways, that my students have learned that American and British literature are not simply "great works" imposed on them from another culture that have to be taken in without question but opportunities for dialogue and new ways of reading that I will take away with me also." (Teaching, Oman, 2013-14)

South and Central Asia
"As a professional learner, I found the award a perfect opportunity to teach and research outside of my field, expand my notion of students, pedagogy, and universities, and turn every day across five months into an adventure. Just as my application proposed, I found a culture on the other side of the planet to get me away from my own so as to see both cultures more clearly. I was able to be a student once again. For five months, I was vulnerable, illiterate (I couldn't speak the local language), regarded as daft, unable to know the manners and read the signs. All this made me hyper-alert, gave me new eyes, made me re-do my default settings, showed me an alternative existence if I had been born here, taught me to trust difference, practice alternate modes of living, practice having a different system of values, etc. As a result, I learned in a compact series of months in a mode I hadn't since the days of my first two decades on this planet. It was wild and wonderful [and] it simply helped fire my imagination, which will burn on with a hard, gem-like flame."  (Teaching, India, 2014-15)

Western Hemisphere Region
"A significant outcome of my Fulbright experience is the insight and "insider's perspective" I gained about Canadian society and culture from staying as a tenant in the home of a native Canadian for my four months in Halifax and interacting--sharing meals, conversations, and local excursions--with other Canadians who were tenants there. I already have incorporated the new scholarship I encountered in Canada in my advanced undergraduate class on early African American women writers that I am teaching..." (Teaching/Research, Canada 2012-13)

  • Complete information on past Fulbright recipients in American Studies can be found in the Scholar Directory.


Examples of Successful Projects


Cassandra Falke spent the 2013-14 academic year as a guest Professor of American Literature at the University of Bergen.
Story Courtesy of Fulbright Norway

American Studies; Elkader in Algeria: The Discourse of America in the Maghreb
ALGERIA, University of Algiers, Algeiers

Gendering Spaces: Men, Women, and Industrial Work in the North American Wests
CANADA, University of Alberta, Edmonton 

Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century United States History and the Early Chinese Experience in America
CHINA, Northeast Normal University, Changchun

Communities of Difference: Tribal Cultures in the United States and India
INDIA, Ravenshaw University, Cuttack

Giant's Causeway: Frederic Douglass's Irish Odyssey and the Shaping of American Freedom
IRELAND, University College Cork-National University of Ireland, Cork

Charting African Diaspora: Untangling the Interlaced Ambiguities of the Blues
NIGERIA, University of Calabar, Calabar

  • Complete information on past Fulbright recipients in American Studies can be found in the Scholar Directory.




CIES offers a series of resources providing detailed information on many aspects of the Fulbright Scholar Program opportunities. Depending on your interests, you can find a wealth of answers to your specific questions in our upcoming and archived webinars.

  • Webinar - Fulbright Opportunities in American Studies (April 05, 2016 - 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm EDT)
  • Opportunities in American Studies Flyer (.PDF)
  • Skole Roving Blog: One Fulbrighter’s Travels & Reflections in Norway
  • Presentation and Workshop Schedule - CIES program staff continue to visit university and college campuses countrywide, as well as participate in a range of conferences in the sciences. Please check the schedule to find out when program staff will be at an event near you. If you are interested in having CIES staff visit your campus and speak with department faculty about opportunities in your field, contact us at outreach@iie.org.


Contact Us


Bill McShane, Program Officer, Europe/Eurasia, wmcshane@iie.org


Regional staff listed in the Catalog of Awards

If you are not available to apply for the Fulbright U.S. Scholar program this year, please consider becoming a Peer Review Committee Member.