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 will be held in San Jose, California from June 25- July 9, 2017.

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.

Institute faculty include:
  • Maxine Hong Kingston (Author of Woman Warrior)
  • Luis Valdez (Author of Zoot Suit)
  • Khaled Hosseini (Author of The Kite Runner)
  • Ping Chong (Theatre Artist)
  • Kinan Valdez (El Teatro Campesino)
  • Sara Zatz (Ping Chong & Company)
  • Glen Gendzel (Professor of History, SJSU)
  • Persis Karim (Associate Professor of English, SJSU)
  • Andrew Lam (Author of Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora)
  • Erika Lee (Director of the Immigration History Research Center, University of Minnesota)
  • Judy Yung  (Professor of American Studies, U.C. Santa Cruz)
  • Noah Novogrodsky (Professor of Law, University of Wyoming)
  • Luis Alfaro (MacArthur Fellow and Associate Professor of Dramatic Writing, University of Southern California)
  • David Kahn (Professor of Theatre Arts, SJSU)

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 Director:

  • Dr. Matthew Spangler (Professor of Performance Studies, 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.