Category Archives: Academics

Tales of the academic prowess of MAPH alumni

Meet an Alum- Jenny Gavacs (MA ’05)

 

What was your favorite thing about your MAPH year?

Although Jay’s eyebrows and Candace’s cats are up there, I think my favorite times were when I was sitting in Third World Cafe writing and other MAPHers would end up coming by to share their work or talk over the Core readings.

 

What were your goals going into your MAPH year? How did those goals change throughout the year?

On my application to MAPH I wrote that I wanted to get one year of intense literary education and then become a book editor. I feel lucky that things worked out that way . . . eventually.I’d been a journalist with a few months experience in book publishing before MAPH, and after MAPH I took a two-year detour teaching English in France, but then Continue reading

Meet an Alum- Alissa Smith (MA ’12)

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Check out this interview with Alissa Smith, who graduated from MAPH in 2012. Since MAPH, Alissa has worked in the nonprofit sector and speaks about her experiences in MAPH and how they lead her to her current position.

What is your current job?

I currently serve as the Corporate and Foundation Relations Manager for City Year Denver. City Year is a nonprofit organization with 25 sites across the country and three international affiliates.  While the title is relatively self-explanatory, it essentially means that I build and cultivate relationships between City Year and its work in schools and corporate and foundation partners in the community.

How does your job relate to MAPH? Do you see connections between MAPH and where you are now?

SO MUCH of my current role relates back to the work I did with MAPH…surprising since my MAPH focus was actually in Philosophy! City Year is one of the premier organizations working in the education space – AmeriCorps members between the ages of 17 and 24 commit an entire year to working full-time in underresourced, underperforming public schools, supporting teachers and administrators as tutors and mentors to ensure students reach graduation on-track and on-time. Continue reading

Meet an Alum – Breahna Wilson (MA ’13)

MAPH alumna Breahna Wilson (MA '13)

MAPH alumna Breahna Wilson (MA ’13)

MAPH alumna Breahna Wilson took an unconventional path to MAPH: after pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Scripps College, Breahna decided to explore Cultural Policy. Through the Cultural Policy option, Breahna was able to examine the intersections between economics and the humanities, ultimately leading her to a job in wealth management, a job which requires that she consider human desires and needs in conjunction with economic interests.

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Meet an Alum – Mercedes Trigos (MA ’13)

Connections between academic work in MAPH and careers in service – whether in non-profits, through education, or as an entrepreneur – are essential to thinking about how the humanities function in practice as well as in the academy. Mercedes Trigos (MA ’13) graciously agreed to share some of her thoughts on the transition from MAPH to service back to academic life, and how her experiences with S.I.S.T.E.R.S., Inc inform her current work teaching writing skills at a Chicago arts school. Learn more about her experiences below!

What was your favorite thing about your MAPH year?mercedes trigos

I have two favorite things about MAPH. The first, even though it sounds trite, is the feeling of being constantly challenged. Too often we complain about being overwhelmed and having too much to do, but, at least in my experience, there are very few things more frustrating than idleness and an inactive mind. Every class I took during MAPH forced me to be aware of how I perceive the academic world and the “outside” world, and thus to really evaluate why I perceive it the way I do and how my perceptions are influenced/shaped one way or another. Continue reading

Meet an Alum – Harriett Green

Check out this MAPH Alumni Interview with Harriett Green, AM ’07, English and Digital Humanities Library at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign for reflections on library science and life after MAPH.

 

What was your favorite thing about your MAPH year?

My MAPH year was actually two years:  I worked full time at the University of Chicago Press and took classes part-time over the course of the two years. And one unique thing about going through MAPH that way was that I had two cohorts during my time in MAPH.  So I’d say that my favorite thing was that I made a host of great new friends each year, many of whom I still stay in touch with today.

What are you currently doing (work, writing, etc)?

I am currently the English and Digital Humanities Librarian at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  A couple years after I graduated from MAPH, I decided to make the jump from publishing to libraries, so I applied to the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois (in-state tuition + Number one ranking = decision made).  Continue reading

LA MAPHers: Catch Young Joon Kwak’s (MAPH ’10) MFA Thesis Exhibition TODAY!

YOUNGJOONToday is the last day to see the exhibition! You can also see some of Young Joon’s work in Issue 1 of Colloquium.

Mutant Salon: Who Are Worth Our Love

Young Joon Kwak
MFA Thesis Exhibition

March 11 – March 17, 2014

Mutant Salon: Who Are Worth Our Love will present new sculpture, photo, video, performance, and collaborative works by Young Joon Kwak, in addition to offering attendees haircuts and other beauty treatments with Marvin Astorga & Elisa Harkins at Mutant Salon.

USC MFA Gallery
Graduate Fine Arts Building
3001 S. Flower St.
Los Angeles, CA 90007
(Entrance on 30th St. between Flower St. and Figueroa St.)

Gallery hours Mon-Sun, 10a-5p (or by appointment)

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AWP 2014: On Giving/Getting Permission

“Find the place that scares you most and run to it.” — Eric McMillan (MAPH ‘10) on writing and, well, life

Talking Craft: (from left) Evan Stoner ('14), Hao Guang Tse ('14), Andy Tybout ('14), Chris Robinson ('14), Joel Calahan ('05, current preceptor), Eric McMillan ('10), Hilary Dobel ('09)

Talking Craft: (from left) Evan Stoner (’14), Hao Guang Tse (’14), Andy Tybout (’14), Chris Robinson (’14), Joel Calahan (’05, current preceptor), Eric McMillan (’10), Hilary Dobel (’09)

Last night, while leading eight current MAPH creative writers on an uphill March from the Seattle’s Washington State Convention Center to Von Trapp’s in Capitol Hill, I was marveling (aloud, perhaps unfortunately for my companions) about what going to the AWP conference can do for an aspiring writer. We were on our way to the second-ever MAPH/UChicago Alumni offsite reading at AWP. Earlier that morning, my colleague A-J Aronstein and I had stopped by a panel featuring the poet and teacher—and reader at last year’s offsite event—Shaindel Beers (MAPH ‘00) entitled the “Art of Difficulty.” Using beautiful language, Shaindel described teaching poetry students in prisons, schools, etc. as finding a way of “giving permission.” To write, one has to believe that they have something worth saying, a voice worth hearing. To Shaindel, it is a writing teacher’s job to nurture that belief, to create a space for it to thrive.

MAPH on the march!

MAPH on the march!

I felt this way last year when I attended the conference as a student, and I feel it even more this year as an alum: what AWP does best is a lot like what MAPH does best. Continue reading

Archivist as Gatekeeper: Liisa Freeh (’13) on the MAPH Internship at the Newberry Library

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From the Newberry’s CB&Q Collection

My experience in MAPH taught me the relevance of archival work and the way it breathes life into the arguments I want to make in my field. My MAPH internship made me a participant, a gatekeeper, in that archival work. As an intern in the Department of Special Collections at the Newberry Library, I have been working on the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad Collection. My internship coincided with the last few months of the multi-year project of processing this large collection. My primary responsibility was the processing and arrangement of correspondence between land agents, and various parties involved in land transactions. CB&Q land agents wrote to businessmen, firms that sold land to other individuals, lawyers, small businesses, and countless hopeful farmers. These thousands of letters all deal with land transactions, but they also track a living history. In reading and processing these letters, I have been able to form a picture of CB&Q’s part in American corporate growth, as well as the development of countless small towns across the United States.

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