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Institute 2016 - Essentials

The information below is intended to assist participants in travel planning and preparations for the Institute. If you any have questions that are not addressed here, please email Eric Mora, Institute Coordinator, at or one of us (Susan: or Gilly: and we will get an answer to you shortly.


Each NEH Summer Scholar will receive a $2700 stipend from the NEH which is meant to be used for transportation, hotel, food and books. We will give you a check at the beginning of your stay and another near the end of the Institute.

Travel Arrangements

You may fly into one of several airports—San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, or Monterey—and you’ll want to check prices for each. If you fly into San Francisco or San Jose, there is an easy connection to the Monterey area via the Monterey Airbus (for least expensive rates. Or call 831-373-7777). The cost is $45 one way from San Francisco and $35 one way from San Jose, although they will add $10 to that cost for drop off at the hotel. Please make a reservation for this service before you arrive and call the same number upon arrival for instructions on where the bus will meet you. Buses leave both airports every hour and a half, eleven per day; the earliest at 6:45 AM and the last at 10:00 PM from San Francisco and 7:30 AM to 10:45 PM in San Jose. It’s a two hour and 15 minute trip by van from San Francisco to Monterey and an hour and a quarter trip from San Jose—traffic allowing, of course. It’s usually more expensive to fly into Monterey, but not always, so check on availability of flights.

Local Transportation

You may use local buses to get around on the Peninsula (when on your own) or walk easily to downtown Monterey or Pacific Grove (a very safe and pleasant stroll on a bike/walking path along the ocean, the former railroad line.). You may look at local maps and schedules at Monterey-Salinas transit. Local buses will take you to Carmel, to the local shopping center, to Big Sur. And of course we will have field trips to other locations—Salinas, King City, places around Monterey—and vans will transport the group to scheduled locations.

Accommodation at the Olympia Lodge

Important: All questions concerning rooms and all requests must be made through Directors, not the hotel.

By now, most of you must have looked at the Olympia Lodge's website, which gives you a good idea of these superb accommodations near the Pacific. You will be sharing rooms at the rate of $89.00 + tax a night for a double queen bed for each person unless you have a very strong preference or need for a single. We can accommodate some singles but not many and the cost is, of course, the full rate for the room: $89 + tax rather than $44.50 + tax per night if the rooms are shared. Roommate assignments based on a form each participant submits, will be provided via email before you arrive. Let us add that all the rooming the assignments for the 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013 Institutes were remarkably successful!

Hopkins is a mile and 1/2 walk from the hotel. The Olympia Lodge has internet

Coursework and Discussions

Daily sessions will be held near the hotel. Some afternoons will be free, with evening sessions scheduled at Hopkins Marine Station for films and group dinners. Hopkins is a short walk from the hotel. NEH Summer Scholars may work at the Hopkins’ library or at local libraries—Pacific Grove, Monterey, Carmel, all of which have excellent collections of secondary and primary materials on Steinbeck as well as local information. But we will also have key texts available for your use at the Victorian Inn—biographies, letters, secondary texts—as well as Xerox copies of important articles.


There are a number of great restaurants in Pacific Grove and Monterey—some of the best on the Peninsula (Passionfish, Fandango, The Red House, and Peppers are Susan’s favorites in Pacific Grove); in the welcome pack you’ll receive in a May mailing we’ll include a full a list of choices in the Monterey/Cannery Row/Pacific Grove area. There is a good selection of inexpensive restaurants near Cannery Row. Some group meals will be during field trips--at Hopkins, at the Steinbeck House ($20) and another local restaurant ($15). Most often you will be on your own for lunch and dinner. There will be an opening reception at the Clement Hotel on Cannery Row and a banquet at Ed Ricketts’ lab sponsored by San Jose State and Stanford University.

Equipment and Internet Access

The Olympia Lodge has wireless Internet access available in rooms. Internet is also available at Hopkins Marine Station.

Participant Profiles

Please take a look at the Participant Biographies on this website prior to your arrival so that you can begin to gain a sense of our community. If yours is not listed or if you need to make any changes in your bio, please email Susan as soon as possible.

University Credits

You may earn up to 4 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) from San Jose State University. Participation is voluntary. Please note that refund requests must be made in writing and received before the course begins; $20 is withheld as a processing fee. In addition, all NEH Summer Scholars may request a letter from the Directors detailing the course work and hours spent in discussion.

Reading List

Below is a list of essential titles that we will be discussing during the Institute. Please read all Steinbeck texts before your arrival in California. The Shillinglaw book will be provided for you and will arrive in June via media mail. For the Steinbeck texts, we recommend the Penguin 20th Century Classics Editions. A few articles will also be provided for you in advance of the institute. Essential titles:

  • Of Mice and Men
  • The Long Valley
  • The Grapes of Wrath
  • Cannery Row
  • East of Eden
  • The Log from the Sea of Cortez
  • A Journey Into Steinbeck’s California (Susan Shillinglaw—provided in welcome pack)

Highly Recommended

Steinbeck: A Life in Letters; John Steinbeck by Jackson Benson

America and Americans and Selected Nonfiction, edited by Shillinglaw and Benson

Working Days editors R. DeMott and E. Steinbeck

Journal of a Novel: the East of Eden Letters


Please see Institute Highlights for a synopsis of the main presentations.





Stanford University


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