The Department of Communication Studies and the College of Social Sciences at San José State University are delighted to host “The Immigrant Experience in California through Literature and History,” a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute for School Teachers.

The institute will be held in San José, California from July 17 to July 31, 2022.

Please note: due to Covid-19, this institute was postponed from original dates of July 12-26, 2020.

Applications will open in the fall of 2021 >>

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

Institute faculty include:
  • Maxine Hong Kingston (Author of The Woman Warrior)
  • Luis Valdez (Author of Zoot Suit)
  • Khaled Hosseini (Author of The Kite Runner)
  • Ping Chong (Author of Undesirable Elements)
  • Kinan Valdez (El Teatro Campesino)
  • Andrew Lam (Author of Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora)
  • Judy Yung  (Professor of American Studies, U.C. Santa Cruz)
  • Jasmin Darznik (Associate Professor of English, California College of the Arts)
  • Alberto Garcia (Assistant Professor of History, San José State University)
  • Melissa Koh (Curriculum Consultant, San Francisco Unified School District)
  • Daniel Tkach (English Teacher, Cupertino High School)
  • Sara Zatz (Ping Chong & Company)
  • Glen Gendzel (Professor of History, San José State University)
  • Persis Karim (Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies, San Francisco State University)
  • Maria Judnick (Lecturer in English, Santa Clara University)
  • Matthew Spangler (Professor of Performance Studies, San José State University, Institute Director)

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

Note: a $2100 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

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