The departments of Theatre Arts and Communication Studies at San José State University are delighted to host “The Immigrant Experience in California through Literature and Theatre,” a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute for School Teachers. The institute is held in San José, California.

The institute examines how the experience of transnational immigration has been represented through literary and theatrical texts. Institute faculty are nationally and internationally renowned for their scholarship and artistic work at the intersection of immigration and the literary or theatrical arts.

Previous institute faculty include:
  • Maxine Hong Kingston (author of Woman Warrior)
  • Luis Valdez (author of Zoot Suit)
  • Ping Chong (theatre artist)
  • Donna Gabaccia (professor, University of Minnesota)
  • Judy Yung (professor, University of California, Santa Cruz)
  • Kelly Lytle Hernandez (associate professor, University of California, Los Angeles)
  • Sharon Ott (professor Savannah College of Art and Design)
  • Kinan Valdez (El Teatro Campesino)
  • Sara Zatz (Ping Chong & Company)
  • Glen Gendzel (associate professor, San José State University)
  • Persis Karim (associate professor, San José State University)
  • Aditi Brennan Kapil (writer, actress, director)

This website provides institute details on the readings, field trips around the San Francisco Bay Area, and the application process.

Note: a stipend exists for individuals selected to participate in this institute. Stipends are intended to help cover travel expenses to and from the project location, books, other research expenses, and ordinary living expenses. Stipends are taxable.

For additional information, please contact Maria Judnick at

Institute Co-directors:

  • Dr. Matthew Spangler (Associate Professor of Performance Studies, San José State University)
  • Dr. David Kahn (Professor of Theatre Arts, San José State University)

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.