The John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies (JFKI) is an interdisciplinary institute for teaching and research at the Freie Universität Berlin. It has been founded to facilitate specialized area studies on the United States and Canada.
As an institute oriented to interdisciplinary area studies the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies is a member of the Center for Area Studies (CAS) of the Freie Universität Berlin. The John F. Kennedy Institute has established a considerable number of partnerships with international partner universities and the liaison office of the Freie Universität in New York.
The JFKI houses six scientific disciplines: history, cultural studies, literature studies, political science, sociology and economics. In its combination of humanities and social sciences in the study of North America the institute has achieved an exceptional and unique position in Germany.
The institute is one of the outstanding centers for North American Studies in Europe and of excellent repute internationally as well. It has achieved a leading position in teaching and research in North American Studies, for which its international network and the large number of guest professors and research grants provide evidence. The faculty of the institute is involved in many inter- and transdisciplinary research projects.
In the competition of the Excellence Initiative of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the German Research Foundation between German universities the John F. Kennedy Institute has been successfully bidding to establish the Graduate School of North American Studies in 2006 and again in 2012. In thereby adding a structured PhD-curriculum to its curricula the JKFI has established a system of consecutive curricula – of interdisciplinary Bachelor-, Master- and PhD-programs – under one roof.
The research library of the JFKI offers students and scientists from all over Europe an excellent selection of literature, source materials and media related to the United States and Canada. Today the library has a collection of about 750,000 items (books, magazines and newspapers, microfilm- and microfiche collections, videos, slide collections and digital media) which are stored user-friendly in open stacks. This collection and the library’s program of awarding research grants to students and scholars from Europe mark it as a unique place for North American Studies in Continental Europe.