ФОНДАЦИЯ “УНИВЕРСИТЕТСКА АНГЛИЦИСТИКА И АМЕРИКАНИСТИКА” /ФУАА/ насърчава и подпомага научните изследвания в областта на англицистиката и американистиката в България като съдейства за провеждането на научни конференции и семинари и осигурява частична подкрепа при отпускане на стипендии за студенти.
Тя координира усилията на специалистите по английски език, английска и американска литература и култура в страната. ФУАА провежда заедно с някои от водещите издателства в страната и ежегоден конкурс за млади преводачи-англицисти и американисти. Образователният център на ФУУА съдейства за качествено обучение по английски език.
The Academic Foundation for English and American Studies (AFEAS) is an NGO, which comprises only tenured academic staff from the Department of English and American Studies (DEAS) at St. Kliment Ohrdiski University of Sofia. It was founded in 1997 as a non-profit legal person – Foundation, under the difficult financial conditions in Bulgarian academia to stimulate the development of the respective academic fields; to assist the Department in its efforts to provide better education; to further academic research and to facilitate cross-cultural dialogues.
The aims of the organization are as follows: providing an institutional platform for collaboration among specialists in different fields related to English and American Studies; providing access to specialized information from the field to professionals; encouraging various forms of research in the field; fostering the development of research and teaching methodologies and innovation at all academic levels in the field; providing encouragement and support to researchers and educators in the field; providing financial targeted grants, scholarships, prizes for competitions, as well as managing targeted donations; providing support and collaboration for the publication of various kinds of academic works in the field of English and American Studies; providing financial support for the educational center for professional training, foreign language education and applied research at the Department; providing funding for organizing conferences, summer schools and other cultural activities at the national and international level; providing financial and coordination support to visiting scholars as well as to Bulgarian scholars travelling abroad. AFEAS derives its revenue mainly from donations and selling the expertise of its members.
For over 20 years now, the Foundation has organized and supported many academic conferences and workshops; has held annual students’ contests for poetry and translation; has awarded students’ grants for creative and academic projects.
AFEAS has participated in a series of educational projects, most notably, the project “Introducing Innovative Methods and Technologies for Improving the Quality of Teaching English and American Studies at St. Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia”, realized in conjunction with and with the main financial support of the America for Bulgaria Foundation, under grant agreement EDU. 0086.20130412 (Sept. 2013 – Sept. 2015). The major outcomes of this particular agreement were: 1. the serious renovation of lecture hall 243 – the major room where lectures and seminars of English and American studies are held – so that it became a more efficient and multifunctional space, providing better conditions for gaining knowledge and professional skills, and for organizing transatlantic courses and forums; 2. the development and introduction of 40 new electronic courses, textbooks and teaching resources in online platforms alongside the training of staff for online distance education.
In addition, AFEAS has assisted with the reconstruction and maintenance of the British and American Studies Resource Centre and still makes financial donations for it every academic year.
Since its inauguration, AFEAS has offered various courses in English for candidate students, retraining teachers, and various professionals – all taught by the faculty of the Department.
In 2019 AFEAS completed the project Transcultural Dialogues: American Studies in Bulgaria in the Beginning of the 21st Century, funded through the small grants program of the US Embassy in Bulgaria. The project’s main aim was to provide opportunities for continuing and intensifying the transatlantic dialogue between Bulgaria and the U.S.A. Two major activities were carried out to fulfill this goal. Firstly, the international conference Traditions and Transitions, which was held on September 28-29, 2018 at Sofia University. The conference was dedicated to the 90th anniversary of the Department of English and American Studies at Sofia University and the 130th anniversary of St. Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia. The 85 participants in this forum focused among other issues on intercultural communication, on the complex relationships between East and West in order to enrich the teaching, research and practice in the area of American Studies. Secondly, a significant increase in the quality of education in the area of American studies at the Department of English and American Studies at Sofia University is expected as an outcome of the addition of new educational resources and tools in the British and American Studies Resource Center (BASRC) http://www.basrc-su.com/. The depository of BASRC was enriched with essential recent academic publications in the fields of American Studies, US history, culture and literature; transcultural studies and intercultural communication; the digital humanities, reading and cognitive science, language studies, science fiction studies, as well as with many award-winning fiction books by contemporary American writers. The purchase of these over 250 new titles with the grant money will prove to be an invaluable contribution to the development of American Studies at DEAS and at Sofia University.