We are pleased to introduce the BLSE Summer Institute in Global Humanities, a learning option for new and returning students: a three-week residential session, to run from July 18 to August 7, 2022, at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS) in Monterey, California.

BLSE Summer Institute in Global Humanities

The Summer Institute in Global Humanities provides students with a uniquely concentrated opportunity to explore global cultures and concepts from an interdisciplinary point of view, using literature and other humanities as a base. Supported by a wealth of local and MIIS resources, its aim is to catalyze dynamic approaches to globally oriented thinking, writing, teaching, and problem solving; to interrogate influential vocabularies, histories, questions, and constructs that have shaped the world; and to work toward solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.

The academic experience is structured around small-group tutorials as well as full-community explorations, all anchored on innovative critical, creative, and pedagogical projects that students pursue across the session and present at a final symposium. The Institute community is relatively small (45 students and 8 faculty) and provides exceptional opportunities for mentoring from faculty and peers as well as for shared residential and cultural experiences.

Academic Program

The Summer Institute is uniquely intensive and immersive. Students take one two-unit tutorial, the equivalent of six semester-hours of graduate credit, which will fulfill one or more distributional groups. Tutorials meet daily for two hours, Monday through Saturday, and are complemented both by students’ own independent study and by additional communal sessions, field trips, and other events centered on global themes.  

BLSE students have access to the MIIS library and computer lab in addition to local environmental and cultural resources.

Lodging/Meals

Students are housed in double or single rooms in the newly renovated Munras dorm, which has a number of study, meeting, and common spaces, including an outdoor patio. Each floor has a shared kitchen and shared but individual-occupancy bathrooms. As one of its community-building features, the Summer Institute uses meals—communal cooking and eating—to explore global food cultures and conversation.

There is no common dining hall or board plan. Students do have access, however, to innumerable cafes on and off the MIIS campus. The Munras dorm is a 10-minute walk from the MIIS campus and a short walk to grocery stores, restaurants, and the Del Monte shopping center.

We do encourage (though not require) students to live on campus to take advantage of the immersive community experience. The Munras dorm cannot accommodate families; students coming with families will have to secure their own off-campus housing.

Location and Activities

Monterey is marked by a dramatic California coastline, offering abundant opportunities for hiking, biking, swimming, kayaking, and other outdoor activities. MIIS is located in the downtown area, near galleries, beaches, parks, and attractions like Cannery Row, Fisherman’s Wharf, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and Lovers Point Park and Beach. Though MIIS does not have its own fitness facility, students can buy day passes to the nearby community sports center.