Application deadline is March 15, 2017.

A Summer of Revolutionary Thinking!

Christopher Newport's Summer Humanities Institute is June 18 - June 30, 2017.

Experience life at Christopher Newport and earn college credit during this two-week immersion experience!

Christopher Newport’s Summer Humanities Institute offers select high school students an opportunity to explore the revolutionary ideas in science, religion and politics that changed the course of human history through a rigorous, multidisciplinary program in philosophy, history, literature and classical studies led by CNU faculty.

Participants will live on campus while exploring deeply the thinkers, leaders and events that shaped history  – topics essential to understanding our nation’s history and America's place in the world.

Christopher Newport’s proximity to Virginia’s historic triangle – Jamestown, Colonial Williamsburg and Yorktown – presents an unparalleled backdrop for the Institute, allowing excursions to historically significant sites that will supplement classroom learning. Other activities, such as film screenings, discussion and experiential learning will round out the exploration of the central figures who transformed the way we see the world.

The Summer Humanities Institute will foster critical-thinking and writing skills that will be valuable long after the program ends. Students will have a unique opportunity to get feedback from college professors before taking AP, IB or dual enrollment courses, and earn three college credits toward graduation from CNU or transferable to other institutions. Admission officers will be available to interview interested students – a crucial step in the college admissions process.

The program runs June 18 - June 30, 2017 and is open to rising high school juniors and seniors (students currently completing their sophomore or junior year). Only 40 students will be selected.

Apply Now!

Questions? Email for assistance.

The Program

The Summer Humanities Institute will expose students to a wide range of thinkers and leaders who inspired dramatic shifts in ideas and values throughout history.

Participants will explore these issues from historical, literary, philosophical and classical viewpoints. Students will develop critical-thinking skills through written and oral assignments, and take their learning beyond the classroom during activities and trips to off-campus labs and historical sites.

Students will also have full access to the incomparable resources of the Christopher Newport University campus, including the Trible Library.

Seminar I: Revolutionary Uprisings and Resistance in Modern Egypt

Political unrest has been a part of Egyptian identity for generations. This course is based on close readings of Egyptian literary narratives dealing with moments of revolt and revolution. Students will explore topics such as Mahfouz’ depictions of the 1919 demonstrations, Mahmoud al Wardani’s account of the student movement in the 1970s and Mona Prince’s diary describing events related to the 2011 Arab Spring. Discussions encourage students to engage with questions of nation, class and gender.

Diana Obeid
Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures

Naguib Mahfouz, Palace Walk. NY: Anchor Books, 2011.

Mona Prince, Revolution Is My Name: An Egyptian Woman’s Diary from Eighteen Days in Tahrir. Cairo: The American University in Cairo Press, 2015.

Seminar II: Latin American Revolutionary Thinking Through Film

This course will explore the cultural, political, economic and historical context of Latin America. We will explore the major Latin American revolutionary movements through the lens of film. We will examine thought-provoking ideas in Latin America as we navigate the rich complexities present in contemporary Latin America, including race, gender, economic inequalities, political stance and cultural creativity.

Dr. Rocio Gordon
Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures

No textbook required

Seminar III: Philosophical Revolutions of the Human Person

This course will explore our modern understanding of what it means to be human. We will focus on four modern thinkers (Darwin, Nietzsche, Marx and Freud), who each challenge traditional understandings of the human being as a divinely created and rational free agent. These thinkers investigate the evolutionary, psychological, economic and social forces that shape human identity. By diagnosing these complex influences, these writers help us better understand who we are as human subjects.

Dr. Joe Balay
Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies

Readings on Human Nature, Ed. Peter Lopston, Broadview Press, 1998.
ISBN: 9781551111568

Seminar IV: The American Revolution and Gothic Literature

The American Revolution grew out of the Age of Enlightenment, which championed science, objectivity, reason and progress. American Gothic literature from the 18th century to today, however, remains intensely interested in several pre-modern topics, such as irrationality, the supernatural and the stubborn persistence of the past. In this course we will study short fiction by writers such as Washington Irving, Edgar Allen Poe, H.P. Lovecraft and Stephen King in order to explore the following question: how has our fear of the supernatural and the irrational changed and evolved over time in America?

Dr. Jason Carney
Department of English

American Gothic: An Anthology from Salem Witchcraft to H. P. Lovecraft, Blackwell Anthologies (2nd edition).
ISBN: 9780470659793

Sailing at CNU

On Saturday June 24th the students will learn about navigation at the Mariner's Museum and sail the James with CNU Captains.

Sailing at CNU

On Sunday June 25th, they will learn how we rediscover the revolutionary ideas of the past through a hands-on archaeology field lab with Professor Alain Outlaw.

Life at CNU

Summer Humanities Institute participants will stay in Christopher Newport’s modern, award-winning residence halls, which are furnished with spacious and comfortable bedrooms, computer labs, coin-operated laundry rooms, and television and recreation lounges.

Meals will be served on campus. Menus will vary but will offer plenty of variety and options.

Transportation will be provided for all off-campus excursions and activities.


Will I receive college credit for participating in the Summer Humanities Institute?

Yes. Students who complete the program will receive three college credits.

What are the dates for the Summer Humanities Institute?

The program begins June 18, 2017 and concludes June 30, 2017.

If I’m a local student, can I stay at home and still participate in the program?

No, all students must remain in residence on campus for the duration of the program. In addition to rigorous coursework, the Summer Humanities Institute embraces the benefits of a residential, liberal arts college experience.

I have already been admitted to attend Christopher Newport as a freshman in the fall. Can I still participate?

No. Only rising high school juniors and seniors (students currently completing their sophomore or junior year) are eligible to apply for admission.

I haven’t taken an SAT or ACT yet. Can I still apply?

For rising juniors and seniors we can accept a PSAT score report in lieu of SAT or ACT scores for admission review.

I have special dietary needs. Can you accommodate me?

Our dining halls feature a variety of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options at every meal. If you have more specific needs, please contact us.

I’m interested in attending Christopher Newport as a student when I graduate from high school. Will I be able to interview for admission while I’m on campus?

Absolutely! Rising seniors will have time to schedule an admission interview with a university fellow.

Who can I contact if I have more questions?

If you have additional questions, please email the College of Arts and Humanities at


The cost for in-state participants is $3,000, and includes the following:

  • Tuition
  • 14 nights of lodging (double occupancy, CNU residence hall)*
  • 28 meals
  • Transportation and admission to all off-campus activities

*Linens and towels are not provided; each student must bring their own.

Out of state cost: $4,500

Application deadline is March 15, 2017.