I began the Odyssey Project internship knowing its reputation for being a choose-your-own adventure process and an exercise in multitasking. I left the summer feeling like the internship had transformed in ways I never had imagined.
Unlike the interns before me, I didn’t teach a class as part of my summer internship, but I was, instead, more involved with the inner workings of the Odyssey Project concerning preparations for a new group of students and getting ready for another year of the program. While some of the work involved typical “intern” tasks like printing posters, folding, cutting, stapling, answering phone calls, and mailing applications, I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised by the freedom I was given to create my own workload and choose an internship trajectory that fit my interests.
Before my internship with Browne and Miller Literary Associates, I had glimpsed the world of publishing from a few different angles. However, from my first day setting foot in the historic Fine Arts building in downtown Chicago, I discovered that my work as writer, editor, and reviewer barely gleaned the surface of this vast and rapidly changing industry.
Researching and preparing weekly reports on digital publishing introduced me to conflicts I may have otherwise ignored, whose ideas and outcomes will inevitably change the face of publishing. B&M’s agents (Danielle Egan-Miller, Joanna MacKenzie, and Abby Saul) and assistant (Molly Foltyn) were eager to share their experiences, putting the ideas I was learning squarely into their real life context. For instance: Continue reading
If you ever find yourself doing archival research (which—thesis, so most likely yes), you’ll probably come across these nifty things called finding aids. They provide background information on the subject, tell you what you can find in the particular collection and where to find it.
I used them during my thesis research and blessed the magical person who put it together without really giving it much thought of how they were created. But this summer at the Newberry Library, that all changed. Continue reading
A guest post by Stephanie Bonaroti, MAPH’s 2014 recipient of the Rafael Torch Memorial Fellowship.
After another zero-results-yielding LinkedIn search for a post-MAPH job, I was exhausted. I was getting my degree from UChicago, and I didn’t understand why typing “music” into the search box wasn’t granting me with endless career opportunities. Just like everyone else in MAPH, I was knee-deep in my niche thesis topic (cultivating gendered meaning in 19th-century German domestic music-making, to be exact) and I was lost as to how to carry this academic passion over into the real world. Conveniently on the same day I had reached my tipping point with LinkedIn, I got an email from a small Hospice company based in Chicago that was seeking a Music & Memory intern for the summer. The position was, of course, unpaid—as so many positions that interest MAPH students are. The idea immediately excited me in a similar fashion to my academic work, but I dismissed it quickly because of its daunting financial label. Don’t worry, this tale has a happy ending I promise. Continue reading
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.
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!
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
If you live in Chicago, you may already know about next week’s Let’s Get Working: Chicago Celebrates Studs Terkel. The festival, which runs from May 9-11, will feature screenings, concerts, talks, art installations, talks, performances, oral histories–all celebrating the incomparable Studs Terkel.* There has been a lot of attention surrounding “Reinventing Radio – An Evening with Ira Glass” and the “Let’s Get Working” concert put on by The Hideout, the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, the Logan Center, and the Haymarket Brewery, but we have also compiled a list of other highlights in light of the sheer number of things going on (see below). You should check these out.
And, in case you need more reasons to come: MAPH preceptor Paul Durica is the Festival Program Coordinator and Mitch Marr (MAPH ’10), Harrison Sherrod (MAPH’13), Amanda Scotese (MAPH ’13), Ingrid Haftel (MAPH ’10) and Nick Fraccaro (MAPH ’10) are all working on this. Ohhhh, MAPH…
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
A guest post by Jeff McMahon, MAPH Writing Advisor (MAPH ‘ 02)
S.W. (Steven) Flores (MAPH ’10) has a story in the current issue of Contrary that satirizes creative writing workshops at their less than optimum. Flores is a second-year MFA student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
His story is in no way reflective of the UW-Madison MFA, he says, which he “loves to death!”, or of workshops at Chicago, but the story may be influenced by some other workshops he’s experienced.
“And, really, it’s just fiction.”
Oh, but is fiction ever just fiction? Continue reading