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Inquiring into the Origins of Politics, Poetry, and Mathematics

July 14–20, 2019 | 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.

Summer Academy Santa Fe Studying

Classes and Readings

For more information, the college urges students and parents to review expectations and policies, a campus map, and additional need-to-know details about Summer Academy in Santa Fe.


Herodotus, Histories

The book of Genesis

Plutarch, Life of Romulus


Poetry by Blake, Wordsworth, Shelley, and Dickinson


Euclid, Elements

Plato, Meno

Example Workshops

Archery, pottery, drumming

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, yoga, and cooking. Off campus excursions will include a trip to Ghost Ranch and a performance at the Santa Fe Opera.