The Departments of Communication Studies and Film & Theatre 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.

Apply here for the 2022 Institute >>

Information on the Application Process >> 

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)
  • Jasmin Darznik (Associate Professor of English, California College of the Arts)
  • Ricco Villanueva Siasoco (Author and Educator, Urban School of San Francisco)
  • 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.


  • A $2200 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.
  • Depending on public-health guidelines related to COVID-19, plans for a residential offering are subject to change.
  • Participants will be required to show proof of Covid vaccination and follow San Jose State masking policies, which currently state that masks must be worn at all times on campus. Participants will also be required to follow the masking policies in place at our field trip locations.

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.