Category Archives: Archive

A trip down (our collective) memory lane.

Moments that Make a Museum: Mike O’Malley (’14) on his Internship with the Smart Museum

“That’s my claim to fame,” he said. “I took Frida Kahlo to the movies.”
2007_0170pIt was 1937. Leon Despres, Chicago alderman and activist, was visiting Mexico, sitting on a couch chatting in French with Diego Rivera while the artist painted a portrait of Despres’s wife, Marian. “I sat there in the morning while he painted her. Then we had lunch. He needed two hours more to finish the portrait, and I didn’t want to sit there any longer.” Diego Rivera’s wife, Frida Kahlo, happened to be hanging around the residence that day with nothing much to do, so Despres took her to the theater to see the film La Kermesse Héroïque, a French romantic comedy.

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The MAPHia: Resources for Alumni

Tell me he doesn’t look like a MAPH dude. He does.

MAPH will have almost 1500 alumni by the end of this year.  Many of you are in Chicago, but we have alums in London, Singapore, China, India, Australia, and other faraway sounding places.  You are professors, non-profit fundraisers, curators, art gallery directors, program coordinators for corporate giving, heads of communications, attorneys, investment bankers, teachers, and independent consultants.  You work in government, education, finance, journalism, the arts, advocacy organizations, publishing, and any number of other fields.

Finding everyone is a bit like herding cats.  Cats educated in psychoanalytic theory.  In other words very, very strange, unnervingly smart cats.

And we would love for you all to check in.  Here are several easy ways that we’re hoping you can plug yourself back into MAPH:

  • Join the official MAPH Facebook Group “Master of Arts Program in the Humanities.”  This is the central clearing house for all announcements from MAPHCentral.  You can find our blog content, events announcements, and reunion updates!
  • Check out the AfterMAPH blog (which you’re already doing), and volunteer to be interviewed for the “Meet an Alum” feature.  We love talking with you, and our current students and alums all love reading profiles of interesting people.
  • Join the MAPH LinkedIn Group.  Whether your searching for a job, or are just interested in staying connected, LinkedIn is still popular among MAPHers and we’d love to keep it that way.  CAPS is great, but the best resource for you (and for our current students) will be the growing alumni network.
  • Twitter.  Yes, we have it.  Right now, you can follow @MAPHMentors, but we will start up a new @AfterMAPH alumni feed soon.
  • COME TO WINTER the WINTER QUARTER MAPH ALUMNI MEETUP.  Clark Street Ale House on March 3 at 6:00 until whenever.  MAPH will pony up for the first round.
  • COME TO REUNION.  It’s on June 3, and it’s going to be awesome.

You can always email me at MAPHCentral ( if you have questions or just want to check in.

Reunion Registration Begins March 1!

It's actually the other way.

To celebrate the graduation of MAPH’s Fifteenth Class, we are holding a full day of activities and events on campus and downtown on June 3.  The Early Registration period (which allows you to reserve $10 tickets) opens on March 1.  We will be sure to send you the link to register.

In the past, your ten bucks has bought entry to the downtown party.  This year it will again get you entrance to our reception at English Bar and Restaurant.  But you are also warmly invited to several events throughout the day:

  • Breakfast and presentations of recently-completed thesis projects
  • Lunch!
  • A reading of MAPH alum creative work.

Our reunion committee is meeting for the first time this week to get these events off the ground.  We hope to have the biggest attendance in MAPH’s short history.  Feel free to email if you have any questions about the festivities or want to find out if there’s a way for you to get involved.

Reading by MAPH Novelists

Published this month by Random House/Delacorte, Anna Jarzab’s “All Unquiet Things” was once a MAPH Thesis:

Winner of a First Novel Contest from Chiasmus Press, Kate Zambreno’s “O Fallen Angel” will be published in March:
Jarzab (MAPH 07) and Zambreno (MAPH 02) will be here May 13 at 4:30 in Classics 110 to read their work. Save the date!
We did this last year with MAPH poets, and it was amazing.
Brought to you by MAPH and the Committee on Creative Writing.

Phoenixfest Alumni Event


Join us September 24 or 25 for the University of Chicago’s annual Phoenixphest event in 15+ cities across the U.S. and around the world. Phoenixphest is a decadelong tradition bringing graduates together for refreshments, conversation, and networking in their own cities.

Chicago’s event will be held on the 24th, at
1531 N Wells Street
Chicago, IL 60610
It will run from 6:30 to 8:30PM.

According to the website, “it’s one party you won’t want to miss.” Especially enticing for recent grads is the fact that members of the class of ’09 don’t have to pay the admission charge, which is $15 in advance, or $20 at the door.

You can find more information (and register for the event) at the alumni website.

MAPH Reunion Early Registration Deadline Extended

Hey MAPHers,

Great news– the Alumni Association has extended the early registration deadline until NEXT Friday, April 15. So, you still have the chance to get $10 off of your MAPH Reunion admission fee, making the event FREE!!

To register for the outing, please visit or call 800/955-0065

As a reminder, the event is Friday, June 5 at 7pm at Bin 36 in downtown Chicago.

If you have further please contact Heather Upshaw at



MAPH Reunion early registration deadline is extended!

Greetings MAPHers!

Good news, early registration for the MAPH Alumni Reunion has been extended until Friday, May 8th. If you register by this date, you will get $10 off the price of the event, making it FREE for you (though additional guests will still have to pay $10). As a reminder, the event will be at 7pm on Friday, June 5th at Bin 36 in downtown Chicago.

To register please visit: or call 800/955-0065

ALSO– we have made the MAPH Reunion a Facebook event to spread the word. Please add yourself and invite other MAPHers if you’re on Facebook (note: RSVPing on Facebook does NOT mean you’re registered. you still must go through the alumni weekend site)

If you have further questions or need to update your contact info with the Alumni Committee, please contact Heather Upshaw at

Take care,


MAPH Alums to present in Midwest Graduate Music Consortium

In preparation for the upcoming Midwest Graduate Music Consortium conference, THIS Wednesday, February 13, there will be a workshop on the papers of MAPHers Alex Wilson (’07) and Jim Steichen (’07).
Alex will be presenting his paper, “I Guess that this must be the Place: Culture, Structure, and Naive Melodies in an ‘Indie’ Record Shop,” and Jim will be presenting on “J.S Bach’s St Matthew Passion and the Semiotics of Sacred and Secular Performance Occasion.”

Come support MAPH Alums and attend this workshop at the University of Chicago in Goodspeed Hall, Room 205, at 4:30 pm.
Persons with a disability who believe they may need assistance in attending this event, please contact Michael Figueroa at 904-614-1464.

More from MAPH Alums at the Caffeine Theatre

Two University of Chicago Alums team up for a “darkly fascinating,” “ambitious”* theatre piece:

Caffeine Theatre presents:
Like the Moon Behind the Clouds
by Donald Gecewicz (AB ’76)
directed by Jennifer Shook (MAPH ’05)

And this week, Caffeine brings you two special events with these U of C artists:

Wednesday, January 30:
A free reading of poetry and Donald Gecewicz’s translation of Carla Vasio’s inspiring Italian memoir of her trip to Japan, where her heart “opened like an eggshell”– at the BookCellar in Lincoln Square. 7:00 pm. See for more information.

Thursday, January 31: Theatre Thursday dinner package includes a pre-fixe dinner at Bella Bacino’s Italian Bistro and Pizzeria, a ticket to the 7:30pm performance of Like the Moon Behind the Clouds, and a post-show conversation with the playwright and director. $25. Tickets at 312-742-TIXS (8497). Studio Theater in the Chicago Cultural Center 77 E. Randolph St.

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Misty MAPH-colored Memories….

The sound of Jay and Candace bellowing “Helloooo” in unison at every group meeting. The smell of the mediocre coffee brewing in the MAPH office. The taste of those wafer crackers and amazingly soft cookies at social hour. The glazed look in your eyes and the slight leg cramps from sitting for literally hours staring at books at the Reg and not being able to come up with anything even resembling a claim. The excitement you felt at 3:55pm every Friday of Fall quarter at precept, knowing that social hour was so very close. The delight of having a drink at Jimmy’s with your MAPH buds and feeling like you actually deserve it. The even greater delight of ordering and eating two grilled cheese sandwiches at Jimmy’s and knowing you deserve it—

Indulge us, wallow in the nostalgia, what’s your favorite MAPH/U of C moment?