Author Archives: aewilliams

Meet an Alum – Bradley Gardner (MA ’06)

What was your favorite part of MAPH? What do you remember most fondly about MAPH?

MAPH gives you a lot of time to do things you wouldn’t be able to do otherwise, and think about things you’re unlikely to think about later. A lot of the overarching goals of my work – finding persuasive ways to express the value of human dignity, analyzing how people interact with institutions – was something that Andre Bazin, the person I wrote my Master’s thesis on, wrote a lot about, even if it was in an entirely different context.

What experiences and/or choices led you to where you are now? (In other words, what would a brief sketch of your career trajectory look like?)

AfterMAPH(TM), I went to the Czech Republic because I was chasing after a girl (who I  would later get married to). I took a job with a local business magazine covering banking and finance, mostly because it paid me money, but I quickly found that I was fairly good at getting information from strange places and explaining it in clear words. When my wife finished her schooling, we relocated to Beijing, where we both spoke the language. I covered China for about seven years, first as a journalist, then as an economic researcher with the Economist Group, until I joined the Foreign Service in 2014.

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AlumniU is a free online learning community exclusively for UChicago alumni, where you can take classes, talk with faculty about their latest research, join reading groups, and connect with your peers from anywhere you have internet access. This is a great resource for MAPH alums looking to stay involved in the conversation.



AlumniU offers a variety of ways to learn online. Quarterly classes give you several weeks to explore a topic or text with UChicago faculty and fellow alumni. Ongoing programs, such as book clubs and career discussions, recur throughout the year and provide shorter, more focused learning opportunities.

Keri Asma ‘13 will be running a weekly reading group to discuss key texts in queer science fiction, including works by Samuel Delaney, Ursula K. LeGuin, Octavia Butler and more. The reading group begins on October 3rd. To participate, log in to now to access readings and join the conversation.

05Feb2015_048Additionally, deputy director Hilary Strang will begin a weekly lecture series on “Connecting the Curious: Love, Belonging, and Other Surprising Concerns of Science Fiction.” Join in, beginning November 29th, to discuss the history and implications of science fiction.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact Keri Asma at

Odyssey Project Summer Internship


My internship with Illinois Humanities, working particularly with The Odyssey Project, took place over ten weeks during the summer. I worked out of the Illinois Humanities office in the Loop, where they gave me the flexibility to set my own hours. The Odyssey Project runs during the school year, providing free Humanities education to low-income adults, and much of the work needing to be done was in preparation for September. I worked exclusively with the director of the program, helping where needed to design and proofread ads, compile lists of organizations to help us with outreach, and return phone calls to prospective students. This year, for the first time, the number of applicants greatly exceeded the number of seats available for the course, which gave me an opportunity to weigh in during the admissions process.

Many of the students who graduate from The Odyssey Project continue to stay involved through an alumni advisory board, and through summer workshops taught on a volunteer basis. The largest part of my internship consisted of designing a syllabus and teaching one of these workshop one evening each week. During my interview, I let my supervisor know I would be interested in teaching on Poetry, and I ended up developing a five-week course on the history of the sonnet in English. This was my first experience as the main facilitator in a classroom, and the students made it a rewarding one. They remained excited and engaged throughout the course, and contributed a genuine interest in learning the material. Every now and again, my supervisor asked how things were going, and we discussed the main successes and challenges of the course after the fact.OP-Logo

While I got to contribute many aspects work around the office, teaching the workshop was by far the most rewarding part of the internship. I would highly recommend this internship for anyone interested in getting some classroom experience, especially in adult education, and in a low-stress environment.

– Andrew Miller ’16

Tearing Down The Walls


Mornings at the Gratz Center were lively, to say the least. The Gratz Center is the annex to Chicago’s Fourth Presbyterian Church, right in the middle of Magnificent Mile. Surrounded by insurmountable amounts of pedestrian traffic, the Gratz Center provides a place of respite from the 90-degree weather. Even their WiFi password is free. During the summer, Gratz is home to many church-related projects: religious summer school, food programs for the homeless, and a small three-week workshop called Humanities Without Walls.

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Critical Inquiry Internship

Hi future and past MAPHers!

critical inquiry

This summer I got to intern with Critical Inquiry, a peer-reviewed, critical theory-driven academic journal, published by the University of Chicago Press. I was most excited to experience publishing on the Journal side of the Press, having worked in Acquisitions in the Books department throughout the year. This internship has given me insight into the nitty-gritty, ins and outs of academic publishing, and has been an eye-opening experience into the day-to-day agenda for editors of the journal. The staff is small and intimate, composed of Jay and Hank primarily, with several graduate students to help manage editing the 8-10 article-range published in each issue. Both are delightful iconoclasts, eager to engage in stylistic debates over lunch, all-the-while dedicating themselves to producing the best journal possible.

critical inquiry blog post

Summer 16 Issue


My main responsibility was fact-checking the articles in order to ensure any quotations were cited correctly, and that the endnotes were in proper Chicago Manual Style. For those of us who have written papers, this process will sound familiar. Any future MAPHers about to experience the thesis-writing process, this task can more whimsically be described as a textual scavenger hunt- all you need is a sharp pair of eyes and a dedication to detail-oriented practices. I also got to help edit pages, which are articles that are soon-to-be-published. The content is produced by some of the finest minds in their respective academic fields, and it was thrilling to get a firsthand read of their material.


While MAPH instilled in me the thrill-seeking attitude needed to dig through online publications and scour the library stacks to find original texts to fact-check against, the CI internship was my first real experience working with CMOS (Chicago Manual of Style), as, coming from an English background, MLA was my go-to citation choice. The CI summer internship gave me a comprehensive tour into the world of academic publishing, specifically publishing a journal, and it really sharpened my editing skills for the better! This internship is a great chance to learn more about publishing at one of the finest universities.

– Madeleine Michaelides ’16

Archives Diving: Or, What I Did the Summer After Graduation

Hello MAPHers! I’m Sarah, MAPH ’16, and this summer I worked in a MAPH sponsored archiving internship at the Newberry Library.

For those of you who don’t know, the Newberry is a highly respected private research library north of the Loop. It’s non-circulating, so you can’t take any materials out with you, but if you have a driver’s license, a respect for books, and you want to learn, you can study just about any material in their collections that you’d like. The Newberry is a hub for genealogists and Midwestern studies, and its primary focus is in the humanities. It holds the Pullman records, big dance collections, and other fun things like the first Best Screenplay Oscar and Thomas Jefferson’s copy of the Federalist Papers.

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[the Oscar and the Federalist papers]

I’ve been interning as an archives assistant in modern manuscripts, so I’m back in the stacks every day. My floor’s stacks smell spectacular because many of the volumes are leather-bound. My focus has been on a more recent collection: I’m helping process the MoMing Dance Collective’s papers.

MoMing was a dance collective and studio active in Chicago from 1974-1990. They were extremely avant-garde, focusing primarily on postmodern dance, performance art, and believe it or not, clowning.

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[mystic clown letterhead, clowning at Wrigley Stadium in 1977]

I like working in the archives because I never know what I’m going to run into on any given day. I have worked with tickets, financial records, performance files, press kits, photos and slides of performances (including the aforementioned clowns), and videos of classes and performances. Archiving takes a lot of patience, especially when you’re trying to reorder files in chronological order and you can’t find any dates, or when you know you’ve seen a performer in a photo before but can’t seem to find the related files. I’ve been sold on the job, though — I’m considering going back to school to get an MLIS degree so that I can do it full time.

If you’re interested in the Newberry, or in the MoMing Collection, come check us out! The Newberry is free and open to the public, and there will be a presentation on MoMing and the other dance files processed recently at a colloquium at the Newberry at 4 PM on August 31. Hope to see you there.

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       [vhs of a dance performance, description of the cat waltz]