The Immigrant Experience in California through Literature and History


San José, CA



July 12 - July 26, 2020 Length: 2 Weeks


Summer Program

Summer Program Type

Summer Program Audience




This institute explores the history of immigration to California through a collection of pioneering literary texts: Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior, Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner, Andrew Lam’s Perfume Dreams, poetry written by detainees at the Angel Island Immigration Station as collected in Judy Yung’s book Island, Jasmin Darznik’s Song of a Captive Bird, Lysley Tenorio’s Monstress, and Luis Valdez’s Valley of the Heart and Zoot Suit. Authors Kingston, Valdez, Lam, Yung, and Darznik are institute faculty members and will lead sessions on their respective works. Participants will take field trips to sites around the San Francisco Bay Area, including the Spanish Mission in San Juan Bautista, Angel Island, downtown San Francisco, and San José’s “Little Saigon” and “Japantown.”

Project Director(s)

Matthew Spangler

Lecturers and Visiting Faculty

Ping Chong, Jasmin Darznik, Alberto Garcia, Glen Gendzel, Maria Judnick, Persis Karim, Maxine Hong Kingston, Melissa Koh, Andrew Lam, Daniel Tkach, Kinan Valdez, Luis Valdez, Judy Yung, Sara Zatz

Grantee Institution

San Jose State University