Inquiring into the Origins of Politics, Poetry, and Mathematics

July 10–16, 2022 | Santa Fe, NM

What are the origins of human society, language, and knowledge? Through classical works of history, philosophy, religion, mathematics, and poetry, we will explore the idea of the beginning. We encounter a range of classic “beginnings” in an effort to understand the diverse ways that they shape our experience of the world — from beginnings in time, such as political and religious foundings, to timeless beginnings, such as mathematical and philosophical first principles, to the creative and imaginative powers of poetry. Beginnings in a work of mathematics and in a work of religious narrative, for example, may connect in ways that we do not anticipate. Each text studied will stake out a different, often startling, approach to this fundamentally human concern with the origin of things.

Sample readings include Herodotus’ Histories, The Bible, Plutarch’s Lives, and Euclid’s Elements.

General Information About Camp

Summer Academy 2016

Classes and Readings


  • Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound
  • The Bible, Genesis
  • Plutarch, Lives, Life of Romulus
  • Auden, Unpredictable but Providential


  • Herodotus, Histories
  • The Bible, Genesis
  • Rousseau, Essay on the Origin of Languages


  • Euclid, Elements
  • Plato, Meno

Example Workshops

Archery, Swing Dancing, Painting/Drawing

Example activities

Visit cave dwellings at Bandelier National Monument, tour the historic Santa Fe Plaza

Summer Academy in Santa Fe

The community formed among students is a natural extension of the friendships and ideas shared in the classroom. To further nurture a sense of community, Summer Academy students participate in non-academic workshops such as archery, pottery, yoga, and cooking.  Off-campus excursions will include a refreshing visit to Lake Abiquiu and a tour of Meow Wolf’s immersive, multimedia arts installation.