Information for Participants

Important Dates

April 3: RSVP deadline. If you received notification of acceptance to the seminar, you must accept or decline this invitation by Friday, April 3 by replying to the email you received.

April 6 – 30: Waitlist notification. If you received notification that you were placed on the waitlist, you will receive a follow-up email sometime between April 6 and 30, updating you on your status. If you are unable to attend or are no longer interested in attending, please notify us by replying to your email so that we can remove you from the waitlist.

May 1: Confirmation details. We will be sending finalized information about the seminar curriculum, schedule, and stipend by mail on May 1. Readings for the seminar will also be mailed at this time.

July 5: Seminar begins. The seminar begins with a welcome dinner on July 5, at 6:00pm. If you plan to stay in the Brookdale housing and arrive in New York before July 5, you will need to make separate housing arrangements prior to check-in at Brookdale on the 5th.

July 17: Seminar ends. The seminar will conclude following the morning session on July 17. If you plan to stay in New York beyond the end of the seminar, you will need to check out of the Brookdale housing by 5:30pm on July 17th.

Transportation To New York

Participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to and from the seminar location, which for many participants will mean booking travel to New York City. Due to the expense and inconvenience of parking in Manhattan, we advise against driving to the seminar. Trains and inexpensive buses (such as Peter Pan, Megabus, and Greyhound) provide regular service to Manhattan’s Penn Station, often for a fraction of the price of airfare. If traveling by air, LaGuardia (LGA), John F. Kennedy (JFK), and Newark (EWR) airports all provide convenient transportation options to Manhattan.

When booking travel, please try to be at the Brookdale lobby by 5:30pm on July 5, or at the welcome dinner restaurant (location TBA) by 6:00pm. Be sure to take into consideration the travel times between the airports and Manhattan.

From LaGuardia Airport (Interactive Map):

  • Taxi: 20 minutes, metered rate between $30-50+tip+tolls.
  • Car service/Uber/Lyft: 20+ minutes, fixed (negotiated) rate, comparable to taxis.
  • Public Transit: 1-1.5 hr, $2.75+$1 for new metrocard (purchased at the airport by the bus stop)
    • M60 bus to Manhattan, exit at Hoyt Ave/31st St., transfer to Manhattan-bound N train at Astoria Blvd/Ditmars, exit at 23rd St./Broadway
    • M60 bus to Manhattan, exit at 125th St./Lex Av., transfer to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall 6 train, exit at 23rd St.
  • Shuttle Bus: NYC Airporter, 1-1.5 hr, $26 round-trip/$14 one-way to Grand Central Station, transfer to 6 train ($2.75 + $1 metrocard) at Grand Central/42nd St., Southbound to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall, exit at 23rd St.

From JFK Airport (Interactive Map):

  • Taxi: 30-45 min, fixed rate $52+tip+tolls.
  • Car service/Uber/Lyft: 30-45+ minutes, fixed (negotiated) rate, comparable to taxis.
  • Public Transit: AirTrain ($5) + Subway ($2.75 + $1 metrocard)
    • AirTrain toward Howard Beach, transfer at Howard Beach to Manhattan/Inwood bound A train, transfer at Fulton St. to North/Bronx bound 4 or 5 trains (labeled Woodlawn or Eastchester, respectively), transfer at 14th St./Union Sq. to North/Bronx bound 6 train (labeled Pelham Bay Pkwy), exit at 23rd St.
    • AirTrain toward Jamaica Station/Sutphin Blvd., transfer to Manhattan/World Trade Center bound E train, transfer at 53rd St./Lexington Ave. to Southbound/Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall 6 train, exit at 23rd St.
  • Shuttle Bus: NYC Airporter, 1-1.5 hr, $30 round-trip/$16 one-way to Grand Central Station, transfer to 6 train ($2.75 + $1 metrocard) at Grand Central/42nd St., Southbound to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall, exit at 23rd St.

From Newark Airport (Interactive Map):

  • Taxi: 40 min – 1 hr, metered rate, $55+tip+tolls, including $17.50 surcharge.
  • Car service/Uber/Lyft: 40 min – 1+ hr, fixed (negotiated) rate, comparable to taxis.
  • Public Transit: AirTrain + NJ Transit ($12.50) +Bus ($2.75 + $1 metrocard)
    • AirTrain to Newark Railroad Station, NJ Transit toward Manhattan Penn Station, walk to 34th St/8 Ave, take the M34A-SBS (not M34-SBS) bus to 23 St/2 Ave. For bus, you must pay at the terminal before boarding the bus; we suggest purchasing a metrocard in Penn Station before exiting the station.
  • Shuttle Bus: Coach, 1 hr, $28 round-trip/$16 one-way to Grand Central Station, transfer to 6 train ($2.75 + $1 metrocard) at Grand Central/42nd St., Southbound to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall, exit at 23rd St.

Getting around New York

New York is a walking city. Please bring shoes you feel comfortable walking in and/or going up and down stairs in. Please contact Program Manager Melissa Phruksachart at if you have disabilities or require special accommodations to get around the city.

 Mass transit is the recommended means of getting to and from the various seminar locations.

  • The Brookdale housing facility is located at 425 E. 25th St., between 1st Ave. and FDR Drive. It is a 5-10 minute walk to the 6 train or an additional 1-2 minutes to the N and R trains at 23rd St.
  • None of the N/R nor 6 train stations near Brookdale are wheelchair accessible; the closest station with elevators is 34th St/Herald Square.
  • The M23 bus (wheelchair accessible) also runs along 23rd St. and is a free transfer to the subway.
  • Hunter College is located at 68th St./Lexington Ave on the 6 train. The station is not wheelchair accessible; however, the 63rd St. F train station is wheelchair accessible.
  • NYC buses are generally wheelchair accessible and can be used for transportation between the Brookdale dorms and Hunter College; for more info, please visit the MTA accessibility site.
  • Metrocards can be purchased or refilled at most subway stations. There is a one-time fee of $1 to purchase a new metrocard (so don’t lose it!), and you can fill it with either time or value. 7-day unlimited cards cost $31, pay-per-ride cards cost $2.75 per ride and can be filled with any value you like, with an 11% bonus added. Vending machines accept cash and credit/debit cards.
  • All MTA buses and subways (except certain express buses) accept Metrocards. Local buses accept coins upon boarding, but do not accept bills nor give change. Transfers are free within 2 hours when transferring from local bus to local bus, local bus to subway, or subway to local bus (but not subway to subway except in connecting stations). Unlimited cards can be swiped as many times as you like as long as they’re valid, but not at the same station within 15 minutes of the previous swipe.
  • Trains run 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, although service frequency is reduced during off-peak times, from approximately every 5 minutes to as much as 20+ minutes.

 The city has a bicycle share program (Citi Bike), with pick-up and drop-off locations across the city. There is a modest fee involved, but a 7-day membership with unlimited 30-minute rides is only $25+tax.

Taxis/Uber/Lyft are relatively convenient, but can be quite expensive, especially during peak travel times. The cost to travel between the Brookdale housing facility and Hunter College ranges from $10 – $30 + tip. Tipping is recommended; 20% is the standard tipping rate.

Brookdale to Hunter Directions


Participants have two housing options for the duration of the seminar: the Hunter Brookdale housing facility, or finding your own place to stay.

tumblr_m580a7wG4s1qjpd3ao1_1280Brookdale Housing Facility

We have arranged lodging at Hunter College’s Brookdale Dormitory, located at 425 East 25th Street, between 1st Avenue and FDR Drive.

Brookdale offers dorm-style single occupancy rooms with shared bathrooms, laundry, kitchen and communal spaces. The rooms all include a bed, desk and bookshelf.

Note: There are multiple air-conditioned common spaces at Brookdale, but individual rooms are not provided with A/C, and it is not possible to install window A/C units nor bring in portable A/C units. In other words, only fans may be used for cooling your dorm room. Summer in New York can be very hot and humid; if you require A/C we recommend exploring alternative housing options (below).

The Brookdale housing option is low-frills, functional and low-cost. We are very aware of the high cost of housing in NYC, and in choosing Brookdale our intention is for you to not exhaust your stipend on having a place to sleep. The total housing fees will fit well within your seminar stipend. The costs are: The costs are: $45/night, and a refundable $100 security deposit. The Brookdale dorms are also in convenient subway proximity to the Hunter College campus where the seminar sessions will be held.

Participants will unfortunately not be able to stay at Brookdale beyond the end of the seminar, and will therefore need to check out by 5:30pm, Friday, July 17.

Housing On Your Own

Participants are free to locate their own housing as well. A preliminary search of AirBnB room rentals in Manhattan indicates an average starting point of about $80/night. We will create a Google group for participants in case anyone would like to share a room or apartment. Some sources of housing in NYC, aside from hotels:

For your reference: the seminar will be held at Hunter College, 695 Park Avenue, New York, NY, 10065. Hunter is within walking distance of the 6, F, N, Q, and R trains.

Please note that we cannot provide housing any earlier than Sunday, July 5, or after Friday, July 17, 2015.


Three planned group dinners are part of the seminar curriculum. Otherwise, participants are responsible for planning their own meals. Light snacks and beverages may be provided during some of the seminar meetings. Therefore, it is imperative that you inform Program Manager Melissa Phruksachart at as soon as possible if you have food-related needs that we may be able to accommodate.

The Brookdale housing facility provides communal kitchens where participants may choose to prepare meals, but cooking utensils are not provided. The facilities should easily allow participants to prepare light lunches and snacks to bring to seminar meetings, if desired. We also suggest coordinating with other participants to arrange cooperative meals.

There are several grocery stores and markets/bodegas within a 5 minute walk of the Brookdale housing facility, including Gristedes, Morton Williams, Gracefully, and Green Gourmet Market.

Dining out in New York City can be expensive. A suggested daily lunch budget is $10-15. Dinner entrees range from about $10-15 for takeout, to $15-30 at a casual restaurant and $30+ for finer dining. In Manhattan, even national chain restaurants (e.g., McDonald’s, Olive Garden) often have higher prices than elsewhere in the country. There are also countless pizza counters, hot dog stands, and Halal food carts where one can purchase fast but greasy meals for under $5.

 Organized Meals

In addition to welcome and goodbye dinners, there may be additional group outings, pending finalization of the schedule. Additional details are forthcoming.

Grocery Stores near Brookdale

What to Bring

You will have access to the computer labs at Hunter, but we recommend you bring a laptop or tablet, if you have one.

New York summers can vary in temperature, humidity, and precipitation. According to U.S. Climate Data, the average high in July is 86°F and the average low is 70°F, with relative humidity in the 60-100% range. Keep in mind that buildings such as Hunter are often over-air-conditioned; it is advised to pack a sweater or cardigan for the indoors.

  • Please bring the readings, which will be mailed to you on May 1 and/or made available on this website.
  • Bring comfortable shoes for walking and going up and down stairs.
  • If you can, bring a refillable water bottle, especially to keep hydrated during group outings.
  • We recommend packing a light rain jacket and/or umbrella, as rain is likely throughout July.
  • Bring a backpack, large purse, briefcase, or bookbag to tote materials to the seminar and to keep essentials with you during outings throughout the city.
  • Sunglasses, hat, etc. You will be outdoors quite frequently, and the sun can be intense during the summer.

For Brookdale

If you are staying in Hunter’s Brookdale dorm, you will need to bring your own linens:

  • twin-sized bed sheets
  • pillows
  • towels

We also recommend that you bring flip-flops for the communal showers, as well as your own cooking supplies and utensils if desired.

Syllabus & Readings

We will mail a final version of the syllabus by May 1st. At that time, we will also send some of the readings via mail, while others are available on the list of readings page or via private shared folder; details about accessing the readings will be sent via email. It is important that you complete all of the readings before the start of the seminar so that everyone arrives prepared to immediately explore and discuss seminar themes and materials.


The NEH stipend is $2,100/person and this sum is intended to be used toward all of the costs associated with participating in the seminar, including: travel, accommodations, and food. Please note that the stipend is taxable. The first check (1/2 of the stipend) will be waiting for participants upon arrival. The second check will be given to you during the second half of the project.

If you are staying at Brookdale, we will, upon your approval, deduct the cost of housing from your stipend. Please note that we must notify Brookdale ASAP of the number of rooms we will be using, so please make every attempt to let us know as quickly as you can if you plan to stay there.

Special Accommodations

Persons who wish to request disability-related accommodations including sign-language interpreters should contact Program Manager Melissa Phruksachart at Requests can be made at any time, but some types of accommodations take several weeks to arrange. Therefore, please request accommodations as soon as possible. We should be able to provide accommodations requested two weeks prior to the start of the seminar.

Please also inform Program Manager Melissa Phruksachart at as soon as possible if you have food-related needs that we may be able to accommodate.

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