Application deadline: April 1, 2018

Shakespearean Voyages

Christopher Newport's Summer Humanities Institute : June 17 - 29, 2018.

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

A Shakespeare play such as The Tempest is not only timeless, but can also transport us geographically and ideologically. These journeys of the mind Shakespeare’s plays can inspire are, in good part, due to his focus on universal themes. Yes, The Tempest is about Christopher Newport and other travelers bound for Virginia in 1609 who wrecked their ship, the Sea Venture, on the island of Bermuda. Yet, the play also explores themes such as betrayal, forgiveness, freedom and humanity’s relationship to the divine that allow the play to transcend its historicity. The theme for this year’s Summer Humanities Institute, Shakespearean Voyages, will ask students to explore a few of the myriad intellectual journeys that Shakespeare’s writing has inspired across humanities scholarship in the university.

Participants will enroll in two courses for a combined three college credits. You will live on the beautiful Christopher Newport campus and engage with faculty and staff. Weekend activities will include social engagements, a sailing expedition on the historic James River and a theatrical production.

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 17 - June 29, 2018 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.

Letters of Note
This course is a celebration of the enduring power of written correspondence from Shaun Usher’s best-selling book, Letters of Note: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving a Wider Audience. When performed, these letters take on the same theatrical dynamic as a Shakespearean soliloquy with its intimate sharing of a character’s personal viewpoint. Using one of these letters as a research lens and as a dramatic text for performance, you will conduct research, present your findings and perform a dramatic reading.

Denise Gillman
Department of Theater and Dance

Shakespeare’s Mythic Dimensions: Voyage as Heroic Journey
This course explores the hero’s journey found in many of the world’s mythologies. Influential mythologist Joseph Campbell argues that the hero’s journey traces the psychological and spiritual path to which each individual is called. We will examine how Campbell’s theories relate to Shakespeare’s Hamlet and explore how engaging with literary and artistic works leads to important discoveries about oneself and the world.

Dr. John Thompson
Department of Philosophy and Religion

Shakespeare and the Age of Exploration
How does literature help us better understand the history of travel and exploration? This course will examine Shakespeare’s The Tempest within the larger context of global exploration during the Renaissance. Through close reading of a range of travel narratives from the Early Modern period and beyond, Shakespeare’s play will come alive in ways that highlight both its historical context and its relevance to our contemporary world.

Dr. Jessica Apolloni
Department of English

Shakespearean Paradigms of Latin American Identity
In Shakespeare’s The Tempest, tension between Prospero’s complacent servant Ariel and his reticent counterpart Caliban sets up a useful dichotomy for exploring colonial subjectivity. In this course, you will read foundational essays about Latin American identity through the lenses of arielism and calibanism. With these Shakespearean archetypes in mind, the course explores Latin American intellectuals’ attempts to reconcile their dual European and indigenous inheritance in writings from independence to the 20th century.

Dr. Sarah Finley
Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures

Sailing at CNU

On Saturday, June 23, students will learn about navigation at the Mariners' Museum and sail the James with members of the CNU sailing team.

Peebles Theatre

On Sunday June 24, students will engage in an interactive workshop on Shakespeare's text with Dr. Grace Godwin.

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?

June 17-29, 2018

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 or PLAN 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?

Yes. 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: April 1, 2018