American Studies in Romania: Vulnerabilities and Working Solutions

This topic addresses several relevant current issues in the Romanian educational system, the institutional future of American Studies in Romania, as well as best forms of cooperation between the Fulbright Commission, American Studies Programs and American Corners.

The needs
The short and, especially, the long term impact of introducing American topics in the curriculum at the level of both secondary and higher education is self-evident.
At present, the institutionalization of American Studies in Romania has reached a point where a number of administrative constraints and bureaucratic difficulties have forced one program to be discontinued, while making it difficult for some of the authorized programs to receive accreditation and threatening the attractively of the programs as a whole. The obvious reason: the specialization Studii Culturale, under which these programs now function, does not offer too many opportunities on the job market.
Both the Fulbright Commission and the U.S. Embassy have played a major role in the institutionalization of American Studies in Romania and we consider that our support is needed once again, especially in bringing together the coordinators of American Studies programs from across the country and creating a common platform of discussion and a national network. This has been successfully done in the past. For instance, in 1999, following the initiative of the Fulbright Commission to bring together Americanists from across Romania, the Romanian Association for American Studies was founded.

Workshop Agenda
The workshop agenda includes presentations of the American Studies programs at the state universities of Iasi, Cluj, Bucharest, Brasov, Constanta and Timisoara where there are programs at the undergraduate or/and graduate levels, as well as presentations of emergent programs by universities which offer only occasional courses on American topics, such as: Sibiu, Craiova, Oradea, Targu Mures, Galati and Suceava. The presentations will be followed by discussions and initiatives for the further development of American Studies programs and their institutional future in Romania.
The workshop agenda is available here.

Apart from American Studies coordinators from the Romanian universities in Iasi, Cluj, Bucharest, Brasov, Constanta, Timisoara, Sibiu, Craiova, Oradea, Targu Mures, Galati and Suceava we invited representatives of the Public Diplomacy Office, of the Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ARACIS) - the institution in charge with the accreditation process, the Ministry of Education, the Romanian Association for American Studies (RAAS), and the coordinator of American Corners in Romania from the U.S. Embassy and Fulbright Ambassadors.