2022 Approximate Schedule

(Subject to change)

Please note the following:

– specific details of this schedule may change between now and the start of the institute;

– reading should be done for the day on which it will be discussed;

– it is expected that summer scholars will attend all of the events listed below.


greensquare  DAY ONE

Sunday, July 17: Welcome

5:00 pm: Welcome reception hosted by institute facilitators and faculty: Matthew Spangler (Institute Director), Persis Karim, Glen Gendzel, Sara Zatz, Ping Chong, and Maria Judnick. 

6:00 pm: Dinner provided by San José State University

greensquare  DAY TWO

Monday, July 18: Literary and Historical Overviews of Immigration to California

9:00 am: The literature of immigration to California, led by Dr. Matthew Spangler (Professor of Performance Studies, SJSU). Introduction to the institute’s three organizing themes: (1) using literature to understand history, (2) the representation of family, and (3) the representation of gender within immigrant communities.  

  • Primary Reading: Matthew Spangler, “Winds of Change: Immigration, Bloomsday, and ‘Aeolus’ in Dublin Street Theatre,” The James Joyce Quarterly 45.1 (Fall 2007): 47-68.
  • Primary Reading: Matthew Spangler, “Literature as Method: Text, Politics, and the Ethics of Representation in The Kite Runner” in The Routledge Handbook of Performance Studies Research Methods, edited by Craig Gingrich-Philbrook and Jake Simmons, New York: Routledge, 2019. 

10:15 am: Break 

10:15 am: Changing racial dynamics in California after the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, led by Dr. Glen Gendzel (Professor of History and Department Chair, SJSU)

  • Primary Reading: Larry Gerston, “Immigration in California: Conflict, Confluence, and Controversy,” Mediterranean Quarterly (Fall 2004). 
  • Primary Reading: Omar Valerio-Jimenez, “Race and Immigration in the Nineteenth Century,” in A Companion to California History (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2008).
  • Primary Reading: Kevin Allen Leonard, “Making Multiculturalism: Immigration, Race and the Twentieth Century,” in A Companion to California History (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2008).
  • Primary Reading: Bill Ong Hing, “Immigration and Race in the Twenty-First Century,” in A Companion to California History (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2008).  

12:00 pm: Lunch

1:15 pm: Discussion on working with students and immigrant communities, led by Ping Chong and Sara Zatz (Associate Director, Ping Chong & Company)

  • Primary Reading: “Methodology” from Ping Chong’s Undesirable Elements (New York: Theatre Communications Group, 2012).

3:00 pm: Break

3:15 pm: Discussion about Iranian immigration to California, led by Dr. Persis Karim (Director of the Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies, San Francisco State University) and Dr. Jasmin Darznik (Assistant Professor of Creative Writing, California College of the Arts).   

5:00 pm: Break

7:00 pm: Performance of Jasmin Darznik’s short story “Masquerade” by SJSU students (20 minutes), with discussion to follow. 

  • Primary Reading: Jasmin Darznik, “Masquerade” (Washington Post, Oct 28, 2007).


greensquare  DAY THREE

Tuesday, July 19: Immigration from Mexico and Migrant Agricultural Workers in California

9:00 am: The history of Mexican immigration to California, led by Dr. Alberto Garcia (Assistant Professor of History, San José State University)

  • Primary Reading: Kelly Lytle Hernandez, “Mexico’s Labor Emigrants, America’s Illegal Immigrants,” in MIGRA!: A History of the U.S. Border Patrol (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010). 
  • Primary Reading: Kelly Lytle Hernandez, Mexican Immigration to the United States, 1900 – 1999: A Unit of Study for Grades 7-12 (The National Center for History in the Schools, Fall 2002).
  • Primary Reading: Timothy J. Henderson, “The Bracero Era: 1942-1964,” in Beyond Borders: A History of Mexican Immigration to the United States (Hoboken NJ: Blackwell, 2011).
  • Primary Reading: Manuel G. Gonzales, “The Chicano Movement: 1965-1975,” in Mexicanos: A History of Mexicans in the United States (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2009).

10:30 am: Break

10:45 am: Small group discussions of Francisco Jiménez’s The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child, led by Garcia, Spangler, Karim, and Zatz

  • Primary Reading: Francisco Jiménez, The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1997).

12:00 pm: Lunch

1:00 pm: Discussion of Luis Alfaro’s Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles, led by Drs. Garcia and 


  • Primary Reading: Luis Alfaro, Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles (pdf).

4:00 pm: Break

Evening free


greensquare  DAY FOUR

Wednesday, July 20: Immigration to California from the Spanish Missions to the Present Day / The Work of El Teatro Campesino

8:00 am: Bus trip to San Juan Bautista

9:30 am: An overview of California immigration history, from the Spanish Missions to the present day, led by Dr. Gendzel 

  • Primary Reading: Iris H.W. Engstrand, “How Cruel Were the Spaniards?” OAH Magazine of History (Summer 2000), pp. 12-15.
  • Primary Reading: Amy Turner Bushnell, “Mission and Moral Judgment,” OAH Magazine of History (Summer 2000), pp. 20-22.

10:30 am: Tour of San Juan Bautista Mission

12:00 pm: Lunch in San Juan Bautista Historic District

1:30  pm: The history of El Teatro Campesino, discussion with Luis Valdez (playwright and founder of El Teatro Campesino)

  • Primary Reading: Luis Valdez, Zoot Suit (Houston: Arte Publico Press, 1992)
  • Primary Reading: Luis Valdez, Valley of the Heart (2016, pdf) Valley of the Heart, Luis Valdez’ newest play, and as yet unpublished, is set in the 1940s in Santa Clara County (what is now known as Silicon Valley) and tells the story of two families, one of Japanese heritage and the other of Mexican heritage, as their lives are upended by WWII and Japanese internment. 

3:30 pm: Break

4:00 pm: Tour of El Teatro Campesino with Kinan Valdez (Artistic Director)

4:45 pm: Break

5:00 pm: Return to San José

Evening Free


greensquare  DAY FIVE

Thursday, July 21: Immigration from Asia to California since 1850

9:00 am: “The Making of Asian America,” group discussion with Dr. Erika Lee (Rudolph J. Vecoli Chair in Immigration History and Director of the Immigration Research Center, University of Minnesota.)

Primary Reading:  From Erika Lee’s The Making of Asian America: A History (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2015):

  • “Chinese Immigration in Search of Gold Mountain” (Chapter Three)
  • “‘The Chinese Must Go!’: The Anti-Chinese Movement” (Chapter Four)
  • “Making a New Asian American Through Immigration and Activism” (Chapter Thirteen)
  • “In Search of Refuge: Southeast Asians in the United States” (Chapter Fourteen)
  • “The ‘Rise of Asian Americans’? Myths and Realities” (Chapter Seventeen)
  • “Epilogue: Redefining America in the Twenty-first Century”

10:00 am: Break

10:15 am: The Woman Warrior, discussion with Maxine Hong Kingston (Emeritus Faculty in English, University of California, Berkeley, National Book Award and Presidential Medal of the Arts Recipient) 

  • Primary Reading: Maxine Hong Kingston, The Woman Warrior (New York: Vintage International Edition, 1998).

12:45 pm: Break 

1:00 pm: Lunch with Maxine Hong Kingston 

Afternoon free

greensquare  DAY SIX

Friday, July 22: Immigration to California through Poetry and Historical Remembrance, Angel Island 1910-1940

7:00 am: Bus journey from San José to Angel Island with stop at the Golden Gate Bridge

10:00 am: Ferry from Tiburon to Angel Island

11:00 am: Angel Island through poetry and historical remembrance, led by Dr. Judy Yung  (Professor Emerita of American Studies, University of California Santa Cruz and  Association for Asian American Studies’ Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient)

  • Primary Reading: Him Mark Lai, Genny Lim, Judy Yung, Island: Poetry and History of  Chinese Immigrants on Angel Island, 1910-1940, 2nd ed. (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2014). 
  • Primary Reading: Judy Yung, “‘A Bowlful of Tears’ Revisited: The Full Story of Lee Puey You’s Immigration Experience at Angel Island,” Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies, vol. 25, no. 1 (2004), pp. 1-22.
  • Primary Reading: “The Life and Business of the Immigration Station” (chapter 1) and “Chinese Immigration” (chapter 2) in Erika Lee and Judy Yung, Angel Island: Immigrant Gateway to America (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010).
  • Supplementary Reading: Judy Yung, The Chinese Exclusion Act and Angel Island: A Brief History with Documents (Boston: Bedford St. Martin’s Press, 2019). 
  • Supplementary Reading: Roger Daniels, “No Lamps Were Lit for Them: Angel Island and the Historiography of Asian American Immigration,” Journal of American Ethnic History, vol. 17, no. 1 (Fall 1997), pp. 3-18. 
  • Supplementary Reading: Judy Yung, Unbound Feet: A Social History of Chinese Women in San Francisco (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995). 
  • Supplementary Reading: Judy Yung, Chinese American Voices: From the Gold Rush to the Present (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006).  

12:00 pm: Lunch

1:00 pm: Tour of Angel Island with Dr. Judy Yung

3:30 pm: Ferry from Angel Island to Tiburon

4:30 pm: Bus to hotel in San Francisco

Optional: After we check into the hotel, Dr. Gendzel will lead a walking tour of San Francisco’s Mission District murals.  Summer scholars will explore representations of the history of the Latino presence in the heart of the city through these murals.  Dinner in the Mission District to follow. 

Evening free


greensquare  DAY SEVEN

Saturday, July 23: A Walking Tour of Immigrant San Francisco, 1848 to the Present Day

10:00 am: Walking tour of immigration-specific historic sites in San Francisco with Dr. Gendzel.  

This tour will provide a survey of Spanish, Mexican, Irish, Italian, Filipino, Vietnamese, and Chinese immigration to San Francisco by taking summer scholars through portions of the Mission District, South of Market, Union Square, the Financial District, “Chinatown,” and North Beach.  Selected locations include: St. Patrick’s Church, the Contemporary Jewish Museum, the Old Mint, Market Street, the Flood Building, the Theatre District, Grant Avenue and Stockton Street, a fortune cookie factory, a former Chinese mission, Old St. Mary’s Church, Portsmouth Square, Columbus Avenue, Saints Peter & Paul Church, the Shrine of St. Francis, and the International Hotel – all within easy walking distance.  Participants will have the option of attending the morning tour (10:00 am to 1:00 pm), or afternoon tour (2:00 pm to 5:00 pm), or both.  

4:00 pm: The tour ends at City Lights Bookstore (co-founded by poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti).

Dinner in North Beach, San Francisco.  Summer scholars have the option to spend the night at the hotel in San Francisco or return to the dorms in San José.


greensquare  DAY EIGHT

Sunday, July 24: Free Day


greensquare  DAY NINE

Monday, July 25: Filipino Immigration and San Francisco’s International Hotel

9:00 am: The history of Filipino immigration to California, led by Dr. Gendzel

10:00 am: Break

10:15 am: Discussion of Lysley Tenorio’s collection of stories Monstress with a special focus on the story “Remember the I-Hotel,” led by Dr. Spangler and Dr. Karim 

  • Primary Reading: Lysley Tenorio, “Remember the I-Hotel,” in Monstress (New York: Ecco Press, 2012). 
  • Primary Reading: Anthony Christian Ocampo, “The Puzzling Case of Filipino Americans,” from The Latinos of Asia: How Filipino Americans Break Rules of Race (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2016).

12:00 pm: Lunch

1:30 pm: Walking tour of downtown San José led by Dr. Gendzel

The San Jose walking tour introduces participants to downtown San José sites relevant to the rich history of immigration in America’s tenth largest city.  The tour begins at the former location of San Jose’s “Chinatown,” destroyed by fire in 1887, and includes the Ernest Galarza Memorial, César Chávez Plaza, the Alcantara Building (founded by a French immigrant), the Bank of America building (founded by the son of Italian immigrants), and the site of the former Hart Department Store (founded by German Jewish immigrants).  The tour ends at the Peralta Adobe, the oldest house in San José, where Spanish immigrant Luís María Peralta lived in the early nineteenth century.

4:00 pm: Return to SJSU dorms

Evening free


greensquare  DAY TEN

Tuesday, July 26: A Vietnamese Refugee Experience

9:00 am: The history of Vietnamese immigration to California, led by Dr. Gendzel

10:00 am: Break

10:15 am: Discussion of Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora with Andrew Lam (PEN Open Book Award Recipient and former Visiting Faculty in Creative Writing at San José State University)

  • Primary Reading: Andrew Lam, Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora (Berkeley: Heyday Press, 2005).

12:00 pm: Lunch with Andrew Lam

1:00 pm: Fieldtrip to San José’s “Little Saigon” led by Andrew Lam 

  • Primary Reading: Willow Lung-Amam, “Malls of Meaning: Building Asian America in Silicon Valley Suburbia,” Journal of American Ethnic History, 34.2 (Winter 2015): 18-51. 

4:00 pm: Return to SJSU dorms

Evening free


greensquare  DAY ELEVEN

Wednesday, July 27:  A Father-Son Relationship within an Afghan Refugee Experience

9:00 am: Afghan refugee immigration to the United States, led by Dr. Spangler

10:00 am: Discussion of Khaled Hosseini’s novel The Kite Runner, led by Matthew Spangler; also a consideration of literary representations of refugees in the United States and globally.  

  • Primary Reading: Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner (New York: Riverhead Books, 2003). 
  • Primary Reading: Matthew Spangler, The Kite Runner (New York: Penguin Books, 2018) [stage play].
  • Primary Reading: San José Repertory Theatre, The Kite Runner Study Guide.
  • Primary Reading: Khaled Hosseini, Sea Prayer (New York: Riverhead Books, 2018).

10:45 am: Break

11:00 am: Session continues 

12:00 pm: Lunch 

2:00 pm: Literary representations of immigrant students in the classroom, session led by Sara Zatz and Dr. Persis Karim

  • Primary Reading: Janine Joseph, Driving without a License (Farmington, ME: Alice James Books, 2016).  

5:00 pm: Break


greensquare  DAY TWELVE

Thursday, July 28: The Stories of Children Refugees / A Mother-Daughter Relationship in an Iranian Immigration Experience

9:00 am: Discussion of Ping Chong’s play Children of War, led by Sara Zatz (Associate Director, Ping Chong & Company)

  • Primary Reading: Ping Chong, Children of War, from the collection Undesirable Elements (New York: Theatre Communications Group, 2012).

Undesirable Elements is an ongoing series of community-specific, oral history performances by playwright Ping Chong examining the lives of people born in one culture and currently living in another, either by choice or circumstance. The play Children of War focuses on the experiences of child refugees living in the United States. 

10:30 am: Break

10:45 am: Session continues

12:00 pm: Lunch

1:00 pm: Using institute material in the classroom, Sara Zatz, Melissa Koh (instructional coach and curriculum consultant, San Francisco Unified School District; former institute summer scholar in 2014), and Daniel Tkach (Cupertino High School English teacher and former institute summer scholar in 2014)

2:30 pm: Break

3:00 pm: Session continues with Sara Zatz, Melissa Koh, and Daniel Tkach

5:00 pm: Break 


greensquare  DAY THIRTEEN

Friday, July 29: California in the 1990s and Prop 187

9:00 am: Immigration and nativism in California, led by Dr. Gendzel 

  • Primary Reading: Glen Gendzel,“Tortilla Curtain and California’s Nativist Heritage,” Text and Performance Quarterly 2 (2013): 175-183.
  • Primary Reading: Kelly Lytle Hernandez, “The Crimes and Consequences of Illegal Immigration: A Cross-Border Examination of Operation Wetback, 1943-1954,” Western Historical Quarterly (Winter 2006), pp. 421-444.

10:30 am: Break

10:45 am: T.C. Boyle’s The Tortilla Curtain, discussion of the novel and stage play with Dr. Matthew Spangler

  • Primary Reading: T.C. Boyle, The Tortilla Curtain (New York: Penguin Books, 1995) and Matthew Spangler, Tortilla Curtain (play) 

12:00 pm: Lunch

1:00 pm: Preparation for presentations in the evening. With institute facilitators (Spangler, Gendzel, Karim, Zatz) and high school teachers (Melissa Koh, Daniel Tkach, and Maria Judnick). 

5:00 pm: Break

7:00 pm: Participant (NEH Summer Scholars) presentations of historical, literary, or otherwise creative works on the theme of immigration.   


greensquare  DAY FOURTEEN

Saturday, July 30: Summer Scholars’ Presentations

9:00 am: Open office hours continued for summer scholars to meet with Spangler, Karim, Gendzel, Zatz, Judnick to discuss their implementation plans.

10:00 am: Summer scholars’ presentations of their implementation plans, which should take the form of a classroom lesson plan on a topic related to the literature and/or history of immigration. Summer scholars are encouraged to focus their lesson plans on immigrant experiences in their respective parts of the country.  

12:00 pm: Lunch

1:00 pm: Presentations continue 

3:00 pm: Break

6:00 pm: Farewell dinner in “Japantown” neighborhood of San José



By August 25 summer scholars will be expected to submit their revised implementation plans to the institute director.  These implementation plans will later be uploaded to the institute website. For examples of previous years work, see the “Teacher Resources” page on this website.