LOUISVILLE, Ky. (June 12, 2013) — Sixteen teachers from all over the world are coming to America to deepen their literary knowledge during a UofL-organized summer institute.
Participants will attend the June 14-July 27 Institute on Contemporary American Literature presented by the Commonwealth Center for the Humanities and Society at UofL. The U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs funds the institute as part of a broader initiative to help promote a better understanding of the United States abroad by improving the quality of teaching and curricula used in academic institutions overseas.
The scholars are from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Burma, Cameroon, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Namibia, Pakistan, People’s Republic of China, Peru, Romania, Russia, Syria, Tunisia and Zambia.
The institute includes seminars, tours and events in Louisville, as well as trips to Santa Fe, San Francisco, Cincinnati and Washington, D.C. Highlights include meetings with several prominent writers whose works the scholars study during the institute.
Louisville activities include visits to dramatic performances, cultural attractions, bookstores and social events to supplement many seminars with authors, teachers and publishers. Topics will span Asian American, African American, European American, Latino and American Indian literature in fiction, nonfiction, poetry and drama.
Their schedule is designed to add context to their studies. For example, the Cincinnati trip includes the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, linked to the scholars’ study of literature about slavery. The Washington visit includes the National Museum of the American Indian, relating to American Indian literature.
Institute scholars are among 40,000 people participating each year in U.S. Department of State exchange programs that seek to promote mutual understanding and respect between people of the United States and other countries. During the 12 years UofL has been its host, the institute has brought more than $3 million in federal grant funds to the university.