MAPH Conferences (Spring 2014)

April 11th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Your argument is promising - it just needs to be reorganized.

Your argument is promising – it just needs to be reorganized.

In Spring Quarter, MAPH is hosting a pair of conferences, both of which will provide you with (1) a new perspective on your thesis and invaluable feedback for your revision process; (2) practice presenting your work in distilled form and fielding questions, which is an important skill for up-and-coming academics, and also extremely useful in the job market. Read on for details!

 

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To Prospective Students: Advice That I Got and Didn’t Listen to & Advice I Didn’t Get But Wish I Would Have Before Starting MAPH (I Probably Wouldn’t Have Listened to That Advice Either)

March 21st, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Bill Hutchison, MAPH ’12, who is a now a PhD candidate in English at the University of Chicago. Bill will be one of our alumni panelists at Campus Days this year.

Hello, potential MAPH students! I’m an alumnus of the program from 2012-2013, and worked in the program as a mentor the following year. Now I’m a first-year PhD student in the English department at University of Chicago. I want to get one thing out on the table between us before you read this, Potential MAPH Student. I want you to know where I’m coming from. I’m a big, big fan of the program. I’m neither apologist nor evangelist, but definitely a true proponent. If you want skepticism, seek elsewhere. Do MAPH right and it will change your life, or so say I.photo

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AWP 2014 Series: Emily Nordling on Genre Wars: SFF at AWP

March 10th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Emily Nordling, current MAPHer and spec fic writer, wrote the following post for Tor.com (for full post, click on the link below):

ULeguin

Ursula K Le Guin

Ursula Le Guin and Molly Gloss were two of the keynote speakers at last week’s conference for the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference. I’d never been to the conference before, but I couldn’t help but be surprised; there is a fairly common—and justified—defensiveness among SFF readers and writers when it comes to the mainstream literary world, whether due to its cooption of writers like Kurt Vonnegut and Angela Carter, or to its perpetuation of the high art/low art divide.  » Read the rest of this entry «

Marooned! with Matt and Bill

March 6th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

mza_9061123935916540415.170x170-75Download Marooned! with Matt & Bill, a new podcast by and for graduate students.  It’s about graduate student life and all things academic. Features Bill Hutchison (MAPH ’12) and Matt Hauske (current MAPH preceptor). The podcast is free on iTunes – leave a review!

AWP 2014 Series: Evan Stoner on 3 Things You Should Know Before Your First AWP Experience

March 5th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

 

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Seattle, home of AWP ’14 and better weather than Chicago

1. Know What to Wear

I arrived at the conference about 90 minutes after getting off my flight. I’m a nervous traveler, so the t-shirt and jeans I was wearing were a bit sweaty and anxiety ridden. My jeans and shoes looked fairly presentable, but my bright blue Hound of the Baskervilles t-shirt visually alerted every one of my newbie status the moment I stepped inside the convention center. There were other people in jeans and t-shirts (and sports jerseys?), but I didn’t want to be lumped with that crowd, if you catch my drift. I wanted to be lumped with the buttoned-down men and business-casually dressed women. The other students from my program were all dressed within these categories, and I’m not at all sure how I missed the memo. When I left the conference to get lunch at Jimmy John’s (all of their sandwiches are .74¢ cheaper in Seattle!) I raided the clearance rack at a nearby Old Navy to buy a $10 button down. I even tucked it in, which is far cry from my typical untucked, half-buttoned flannel getup. I usually avoid tucking in shirts of any kind for fear of looking like a young dad about to play golf, but as I held the shirt over my body in a mirror at Old Navy I thought I looked like a young writer who was not quite professional. Yet.

2. Know If You’ll be Giving a Reading » Read the rest of this entry «

Pushing Through, Looking Ahead

February 28th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Dear MAPH,

Spring—It's Coming!

It’s coming!

It’s nearly impossible to believe, but you are nearing the end of Winter quarter—the hardest quarter of your MAPH year. If you are a typical MAPH student, you have three classes worth of papers coming due, your thesis is in that wonderful, horrifying stage of gestation when it refuses to come out coherently on paper despite your preceptor’s gentle and well-meaning insistence, and this Chicago winter is still actively trying to murder you.

But take heart—we in the office are here to help you get through. Next week, we have reserved Classics 110 for three mini write-ins to help you get your end-of-quarter work done. Come to Classics 110 from 9-12 on Tuesday and Wednesday, and from 2-5 on Friday for a quiet place to work and a unhealthy supply of coffee. This will be a space just for MAPH students to read and write and push through the rest of this quarter in studious solidarity.

We are planning a fantastic Spring quarter for you, unimaginably far away though it may seem now. More announcements through MAPHCentral and the blog are forthcoming.

Best,

The MAPH Office

Taming the Beast Called Winter Break (so it can help you slay the beast called Your Thesis Reading)

December 9th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

books_and_snow4_by_justkirav1_largeWhen I went home last December, it was the first time I’d been back to my hometown since August. The plan was to spend a couple of days seeing friends, playing video games, and petting my stunningly decrepit old cat, then hit the books with great intensity and seriously get the jump on my thesis. That didn’t really happen. At all. The glorious wallowing lasted several days past its planned expiration date, and by the time I got up the courage even to look at my reading list, the break was already close to 1/3 of the way over. As a result, I had to do the bulk of my reading here instead of knocking it out while I was here. So the first thing you might want to consider as you head off for winter break is:

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Everything You Need to Know (for now) About Conquering Your Thesis: Preliminary Edition

November 18th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Slenderman___An_Autumn_Wind_by_Hyperactive_Nutcase

Every year around mid-November, as the wind whirls among the fallen leaves, it whispers the name of a dormant dread: “theeessssssiiissss… theeeEEEEEeeessiiIIIIiiisss…” To MAPHers, this change in the air can bring both excitement and apprehension – both of which are entirely appropriate responses to the slow ramping-up of the thesis-writing process.

FEAR NOT! Well, ok, fear a little bit…but just a little! We mentors have put together a field guide to the preliminary stages of writing a MAPH thesis. Hopefully it will answer some of your more pressing questions.

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How to Navigate the Secrets and Mysteries of the UChicago Libraries

October 16th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

A guest post by Bill Hutchison (MAPH ’12), an enthusiastic library patron, one of last year’s mentors, and a current PhD candidate in English at UChicago.  Bill will also talking with Matti Bunzl at today’s The Work of a Humanist: A Conversation with Matti Bunzl (PhD ’98).

stacks

Go towards the light!!

 

“Libraries raised me.”
—Isaac Asimov

The UChicago library system is—as it should be—a labyrinthine construct with countless treasures, secrets, and codes. Discovering what it holds and how to access it can be one of the great pleasures of graduate school. If you, like me, take tremendous joy from learning how to wield your library to your own wild, intellectual ends, take note: herein I will share with you some of my discoveries. » Read the rest of this entry «

First Weeks – Difficult, But, No, It’s Not the Apocalypse

September 26th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

You want me to do what?!

You want me to do what?!

Maybe it’s just because I’m reading Delaney’s Dhalgren, but all I can think about is the idea of a never-ending (post?-)apocalyptic time in which everything is confusing, chaotic, and hazy. Which sounds a bit like how MAPH felt during my first few weeks here.

As you’ve completed (and perhaps struggled through) your first analytic exposition writing assignment  and you feel overwhelmed with meeting 100+ people, you too might feel that you are in the midst of Dhalgren’s Bellona, lost and alone, but take heart! For starters, unlike the protagonist of Delaney’s novel, you (most likely) remember your own name and where you come from. You’re also probably receiving some regular nourishment, provided you are attending even a few MAPH events. And it helps that (hopefully) nothing is on fire.

Bellona, city from Dhalgren

Bellona, city from Dhalgren. Not MAPH.

 

If you are feeling as though you’ve entered a completely new world in which the rules are illegible, take a deep breath (or three) and read on for some helpful advice. It’s all going to be okay. » Read the rest of this entry «