Travel Essentials



NEH Summer Scholars selected to the institute will receive a $2,100 stipend from the NEH disbursed in two checks: one at the beginning of their stay in San José and one towards the end of the two weeks. Please note: stipends are taxable.

Summer Scholars are required to attend all meetings and to engage fully as professionals in the work of the project. During their tenure with the project, they may not undertake teaching assignments or any other professional activities unrelated to their participation in the project. Summer Scholars who, for any reason, do not complete the full tenure of the project must refund a pro-rata portion of the stipend.


Summer Scholars are encouraged to fly into Norman Y. Mineta San José International Airport, conveniently located close to downtown San José. However, if cheaper flights are available for arrival in either Oakland or San Francisco, Scholars will need to provide their own transportation down to San José. BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) can help with getting around the East Bay or San Francisco, but Caltrain or a rental car would be necessary for getting to San José from these other airports.



Please note: All questions about accommodations should be directed to Maria Judnick or to one of the institute directors. Please do not contact the hotel directly.

fairmontsj2Housing for NEH Summer Scholars has been secured at the nearby Fairmont Hotel at a special rate of $150 for a single room and $75 for a shared double room (plus tax). While this may seem high, it is a actually a great rate by California standards. The Fairmont is a “destination” hotel, only three blocks from the SJSU campus and right in the hub of San José’s civis, business and cultural life. (Should you need assitance getting from the hotel to the campus, please contact the institute director or coordinator).

We will take a two day fieldtrip to San Francisco and will be staying in a hotel there for the nights of June 30 and July 1, 2017. The cost of lodging in San Francisco will be in addition to the cost of lodging in San José. Note that your stipend ($2100) is intended to cover much of the housing and airfare.

See the website for the Fairmont Hotel.

The Fairmont offers complimentary WIFI with enrollment in their President’s Club. Enrollment is free. To enroll, click here.

The Fairmont also offers a laundry service, including dry cleaning.

Scholars will have a wonderful time walking through downtown San José, “the heart of Silicon Valley.” Whether you dine in San Pedro Square, take a peek at the Museum of Art, learn about the many technology marvels at the Tech Museum, San José offers a myriad of attractions.

Note: while the hotel rooms do not include kitchens, there are many dinning options near by.

Please remember that NEH does not allow spouses or family members to attend institute events or courses. Exceptions, of course, are the public events, such as the theatre performance on the second to last night of the institute (July 7).


California is the land of diversity, and that includes temperatures. San José is generally temperate in the summer – hovering between the 70s and 80s most days with mild nights. However, for field trips to other locations, such as San Francisco, Scholars should pack long pants, layers, and even a light jacket or fleece. As the old saying often (inaccurately) attributed to Mark Twain goes, “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”

Gatherings for the institute will not require formal attire.


Daily discussions and courses will take place at San José State University unless otherwise noted. Scholars will have free internet access at both the hotel and the university and should consider bringing a laptop, tablet, and camera to help record their experiences in the Bay Area and to begin working on implementation plans.

Key texts and handouts will be provided in electronic or paper formats, as appropriate.


NEH Summer Scholars may earn up to 7 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) from the Open University program offered through San José State University. Participation in this program is voluntary. Scholars could choose to have undergraduate or graduate level credit in either Theatre Arts or Communication Studies. The cost is $60 per unit.
Further details about signing up for this program will be available after acceptance into the summer institute.

In addition, all NEH Summer Scholars may request a letter from the directors detailing the coursework and hours spent in discussion.


The Institute will abide by the NEH Principles of Civility. Institute presentations and discussions should be:

  1. grounded in rigorous scholarship and thoughtful analysis;
  2. conducted without partisan advocacy;
  3. respectful of divergent views;
  4. free of ad hominem commentary; and
  5. devoid of ethnic, religious, gender or racial bias.