Author Archives: jgafney

MAPH Reunion!

Dear fellow MAPHers,

It’s time once again to eat, drink and be merry, like Social Hours of yore. Come to the fourth annual MAPH reunion on Friday, June 4th: Join fellow alums from all classes, current MAPHers, and favorite faculty to reminisce and reconnect.

This is of course part of activity-filled Alumni Weekend that University of Chicago plans every year—but we can’t have our reunion party without you! Bin 36 proved to be such a great location last year that we’ll be back again this year, from 7:00 to 10:00 PM at 339 North Dearborn Street in downtown Chicago. Your admission will get you unlimited beer, wine, and heavy appetizers, and if you register by April 23rd you’ll get $10 off the regular entry price of $20. We humanities types can all use that, right?

To take advantage of early registration, you can register online now at Remember that there is an entire program of events planned for the weekend, including classes, tours, and of course more parties. For general information about alumni weekend, please contact the Alumni Association at or (800) 955-0065.

I look forward to seeing you June 4th!

Jenny Gavacs, AM ‘05
Committee Chair

Reunion Committee

Jenny Gavacs, AM ‘05
Braden Grams, AM ‘05
Kristina Ogilvie, AM ‘04
Roxanne Samer, AM ‘09

P.S. Still not convinced to come back? Have any questions? For information about the MAPH Reunion Party, please contact Heather Upshaw, Associate Director for Development and Alumni Relations in the Humanities Division, at or (773) 834-2502.


MAPH Alum Simon Strikeback just premiered a new documentary at the Reeling Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.  Here, Simon tells us about the project!

On November 11th, the full-length documentary RIOT ACTS: Flaunting Gender Deviance in Music Performance premiered at Reeling Gay & Lesbian Film Festival in Chicago.  The film was directed by local filmmaker Madsen Minax and produced by MAPH alum Simon Strikeback (’09), working together under the name Actor Slash Model.  The film was shown at the Landmark Theater to a crowd of 200 friends, family, and film affectionados.

RIOT ACTS is a transfabulous rockumentary representing the whole lives of transgender and gender variant musicians, through a first-hand perspective of the intersections between gender performance and stage performance. This feature-length documentary highlights issues crucial to interviewees such as songwriting, voice presentation, presenting a body/bodies on stage, audiences, venues, the idea of the spectacle, media representation, performing gender and theories about “drag,” and the personal as political. The film culminates with the notion that identities and bodies are undeniably political, and that the trans experience isn’t always one of tragedy, but one of creativity and joy.

The individuals and bands featured in the film are celebrated as talented, inspiring, sexy, critical and fully three-dimensional in a manner that purposefully counters mainstream (straight and gay) media that portray trans people as either isolated lonely victims, or psychopathic perpetrators.  The film is created from an insider’s view – as transpeople ourselves, Actor Slash Model seeks to capture trans and gender variant identities as fully and complexly as they are embodied and performed, both on and off the stage.

Strikeback and Minax are set to travel with the film over the next year, beginning with screenings at UMass – Amherst, Harvard, University of Maryland, and Creative Alliance Baltimore.  The duo is looking for more university screening events, submitting the film to national and international film festivals, and dreams of two free tickets to New Zealand for the OutTakes film festival next spring.

For more information:

Working After MAPH

The job hunt can be a tiresome and trying experience, especially in this economic climate.  I thought I would share a success story with you to brighten your day! MAPH alum Alan Kellner has just landed a fantastic job as a Writer/Researcher at Zimmerman LLC, whose core focus is “centered on the research of best practices and education pertaining to the most pressing Revenue Cycle issues for hospitals across the nation.”  Alan has agreed to share some of his insights into the job hunt with us.  Take a look at his posting below!

Alan’s tips on finding a job:
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Remember Social Hour?

Hello Maph Alums!

Fall is upon us.  The leaves are starting to turn, the nights are growing cooler, and a new group of MAPHers are en route to the University of Chicago’s stoney gates.  For them, this means the year of intense and rigorous academics you know so well.  And for you?  Social hour!

We’ll be hosting social hour every Friday evening in the fall and we’d love for any of you in the area to stop by, grab a drink, and let us know what you’re up to!