The Thesis: Fall Edition

November 24th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Dear MAPHers,

You may be solely focused on completing your finals right now. That is fine and, in that case, feel free to return to this post in the future.

However, if you are also starting to think about the thesis, read on!

Late November feels like a weird time, or at least it did for me last year. Mostly because we’re encouraged to think about the thesis, but without taking any action. Meaning, I was told to think about potential advisors, but not to approach them. Or to think about my object, but not to write about it yet. All of this felt somewhat confusing and frustrating… but it was all excellent advice. » Read the rest of this entry «

Yes, And

November 3rd, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

This is a guest post by the very awesome, much-beloved Evan Stoner, discussing his experience in MAPH, pursuing the Creative Writing Option. (I also recommend that you check out his related post on AWP here.)

Yes, And: Evan Stoner (’14) on Pursuing the Creative (Writing) Option

freeadvicecryingFor anyone considering MAPH’s creative option, even for a fleeting moment, this post is for you!

One of the great things about MAPH is that all of you have so many options, and I strongly encourage you to think about all of them. The creative option is unique, because even though my thesis ended up being a creative writing project, there are lots of other possibilities.

» Read the rest of this entry «

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!

 

» 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:

» Read the rest of this entry «

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.

» Read the rest of this entry «

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 «

Colloquium Features MAPH 2013 Thesis Awards!

September 23rd, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Screen Shot 2013-09-23 at 9.38.36 AMWell, MAPH 2014, here’s your first chance to look at some excellent thesis work done by members of last year’s class. From the editors of Colloquium:

» Read the rest of this entry «

On Creative Writing as a MAPH

August 22nd, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

barton-fink-26

The MAPH website has a lot of useful information about the Creative Writing Option, including a list of requirements and video discussions with CRWR faculty. However, I know I had a lot of questions about the Option—and creative writing at UChicago in general—around this time last year, so I’ve tried to compile a list of useful information for those of you considering doing some creative writing this year (whether or not you do the track): » Read the rest of this entry «

Everything You Need To Know About Choosing an Advisor: Fall Quarter Edition

November 14th, 2012 § 1 comment § permalink

This is how I felt at University of Chicago for most of MAPH.

This is the point in the quarter when I was confused and a little cranky during my MAPH year. I felt like I was being told to think about my thesis idea and maybe start talking to possible advisors, but not to talk to any of those people about being my advisor.

While this seemed paradoxical at the time, I now recognize the wisdom of that advice. I wasn’t ready to talk about my thesis idea yet, but horrifyingly, I didn’t know that I wasn’t ready.

Take it from someone who only learns things the hard way: don’t learn this one the hard way.

So if you’re supposed to go talk to professors without talking about your thesis, what are you supposed to talk to them about?

» Read the rest of this entry «