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Electronic Teaching Archives in U.S. Studies


For Immediate Release:

The US Information Agency is undertaking a new American Studies Initiative in connection with its WEB/Gopher page, to place the latest curricular information at the finger tips of scholars, teachers, and students worldwide.

Five years ago, the Division for the Study of the U.S. within the USIA organized a syllabus project in American Studies, directed by Professor Alan Davis of Temple University. Scholars from all over the U.S. were asked to donate their American Studies syllabi to the project, and the office received hundreds of responses. These materials have recently been made available to the Salzburg Seminar, in Austria, for use in American Studies workshops, but the original intent was to make the material available to Fulbrighters going overseas who were being asked to teach courses outside their routine teaching duties. The materials would function as a teaching resource for those who could not otherwise get such materials on short notice.

Now these syllabi are out of date, and we are hereby calling for the academic community to respond again to this "call for materials." With the new technology available, we have the capability to expand our reach even further, making available world-wide materials that would otherwise simply not exist. These materials will be available to anyone with Internet/e-mail access. Users without access to Gopher or the web will be able to acquire the syllabi easily by sending simple commands via e-mail to a file storage facility.

With this project we are looking to expand our reach in another way: we'd like to have scholars of American Studies contribute their materials from wherever they teach, whether in the U.S. or outside. We are especially keen to see materials from all regions of the world, where ever there is an interest in the study of the U.S. We particularly encourage materials that call for a comparative approach, either between the U.S. and one other country, or placing the U.S. in a context among several countries or within a region.

By American Studies, or the Study of the U.S., we mean all disciplines that have a major U.S. component, including political science, history, literature, economics, business, cultural studies, women's studies, African American studies, music, law, architecture, geography, urban history, material culture, interdisciplinary American studies, ethnic studies, immigration, among many others. The idea is for this resource to be both inclusive and expansive.

At the present time the plan is to place the raw files on a file server associated with H-AMSTDY. All contributors to the archive will receive notice at an appropriate time about where the files are and how one can get access to them. Please forward this message to your colleagues who might also have an interest in contributing to this project.

If you would like to contribute material to this archive, please follow the steps listed below.

  1. Submit a cover page indicating name, address, institution, position, phone, fax, and e-mail address, and a list of academic specialties and interests.
  2. Submit a syllabus (with any collateral material, including exams, bibliography, position papers, lecture notes, definitions, annotations--whatever you use in class that either exists in electronic format, or can be scanned into such a format), one that includes a descriptive title, name of instructor, date of course, and a paragraph placing the course within the context of the departmental or interdepartmental curriculum. Remember that the more useful syllabus will be the one that is clear and specific to audiences beyond your classroom.
  3. If possible, submit these materials on disk (WP5.1 is the preferred format) as well as in hard copy format. Or, you can send them to me over the Internet.

Send materials to:

Dr. Andrew M. Lakritz, Scholar-In-Residence Division for the Study of the U.S.
United States Information Agency
301 Fourth Street SE, Room 252
Washington, D.C. 20547
(Telephone) 202-619-5951
(FAX) 202-619-6790

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