Technology and Transcendence

Thanks for a great session—check back soon for Summer 2020!

Scientific Ambition and the Human Condition

July 28–August 3, 2019 | Santa Fe, NM

Should there be limits to the pursuit of technology? In the Greek myth, Prometheus stole fire from the gods and gave it to human beings. In Aeschylus’ classic, it is a blessing and a curse for us, and Prometheus is punished for his transgression. This myth is archetypal for the deepest questions that surround our ambivalent experience of technology. We’ll read texts, study films, and perform laboratory experiments, pivoting on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (subtitled “the modern Prometheus”), and culminating in Ridley Scott’s masterpiece, Blade Runner. The modern enlightenment project set new ambitions for what technology can do, and we have, for the 200 years since Shelley’s novel transfixed our imagination, wrestled explicitly with the question of whether technology serves us, transforms us, or potentially dehumanizes us.

Summer Academy 2016

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.


Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound

Shelley, Frankenstein


Skeleton Observation, Electricity Practicum

Strauss, “The Upright Posture”

Faraday, Experimental Researches in Electricity


Chaplin, Modern Times

Scott, Blade Runner

Marker, La Jeteé

Shelley, Prometheus Unbound

Example Workshops

Improv comedy, pottery, yoga

Example Excursions

A visit to Abiquiu Lake and outing to see The Thirteenth Child at the Santa Fe Opera

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, multi-media arts installation.