A Guest Post by MAPH’s 2013 IHC Intern
Lesson #1: If you don’t have time, make time.
Well, bombed that interview, I thought as I hurried out of the office. After twenty minutes with the Illinois Humanities Council’s garrulous Director of Programs & Partnerships, I felt that I had made less of an impression than a footprint on granite. Oh well, can’t worry about that now. One Quarter Pounder with Cheese and an overlong 6-bus ride later, I sprinted to the classroom where my precept group was meeting to deliver thesis presentations. It was late May, 2013, and I just did not have the time. Continue reading
Below is an update from recent MAPH Alum Bart Pushaw (’13) on his Fulbright in Estonia. For graduate students interested in applying for Fulbright, the deadline for the 2014-15 year is September 30th, 2013. You can find more information on the University of Chicago’s Graduate Affairs website.
In his book Estonia: A Ramble Through the Periphery, Alexander Theroux devotes an entire chapter to why he abhors the small Baltic country. The first two pages of the last chapter are filled exclusively with sentences beginning with, “I hated…” While his disgust for Estonia, accrued while accompanying his wife during her Fulbright fellowship in Tallinn, treats banal facets of quotidian life in the country, it is all too easy to fall into his trap and blindly agree with him. Estonia is obscure, the proper names are strange in comparison with Anglo-American standards (take, for example, the names Tiit, Ene, Aat, Epp, etc.), and beating your naked self with birch branches in a 80°C (172°F) sauna before rolling (your still naked body) in the snow to only jump in a freezing lake might seem a little extreme. But, such a nation would be obscure to Americans growing up in the Cold War era, where Estonia did not exist until it emerged among a plethora of so-called “random” post-Soviet states in 1991 (actually, the Republic of Estonia was also sovereign entity from 1918-1940). And Estonian names are, in fact, normal to Finns—of course a result of Estonians and Finns descent from a singular ancient Finno-Ugric, and notably non-Indo-European, culture. Besides, beating yourself in a sauna is something that really should be experienced before it is written off!
The cover page for In Medias Res, the Odyssey Project’s publication.
Check out MAPH Alumnus Greg Langen’s (’13) reflections on his internship at the Odyssey Project. Also be sure to see the Odyssey Project’s latest issue of In Medias Res, edited by Greg Langen.
A liberal arts education is, on the graduation speech level, freedom granting. With the powers of critical thinking and a strong (passable) handle on the English language, no area of culture is barred to those with BAs and the like. MAPH free since June ‘13, I know this notion well. As a humanities masters student I am free to read, free to write, free to deconstruct the laden societal assumptions perpetuated by YouTube commercials, free to know that my notion of the obviousness of my liberal subjecthood is much more complicated than I know or can escape (Althusser fans?), free to alienate nearly everyone around me at one (multiple) point(s) in our relationship (Feel free to skip this section). However, a thing that nobody tells you while you are in the process of freeing your mind (but that all creatures of institutions secretly know) is that freedom can be suffocating. I discovered this on my first day at the Odyssey Project when my boss, the lovely and impassioned Amy Thomas Elder, sat down with me to talk about my class for the upcoming summer. “You are free to do whatever you want,” she told me. “I don’t want to get in your way.” Continue reading
The Odyssey Project‘s summer class just released the new issue of In Medias Res. Filled with original content by Odyssey Project students and alumni, the new issue features artist profiles, original fiction, restaurant reviews, interviews, poetry, photography and more. All work was produced during this summer’s seminar, In Media Res: Arts & Literary Publications, led by Greg Langen (MAPH ’13). Continue reading
You can still catch Muse of Fire Theatre Company’s production of The Taming of the Shrew this weekend in Evanston! Directed by MAPH alum Jemma Alix Levy, the show goes on in Ingraham Park on Saturday and Sunday at 3:00 pm. Both performances are free, no reservations are required, and seating is free & unlimited. For more information, please visit www.museoffire.org.
A post from Emma Martin (AM ’11) on her new writing project, Side Dish mag, a community blog for writers and non-writers alike:
Here is a post from Keri Asma, MA ’13,on her recent externship to the Hyde Park Art Center. Keri is also one of the MAPH mentors for the upcoming year, so you’ll probably be hearing from her fairly often.
Externships are opportunities for recently graduated or current Master’s and PhD students to shadow alumni in various careers for a day. Rather like extended informational interviews, externships provide students with a chance to explore a particular profession, no prior experience necessary. If you are interested in learning more about externships through the University of Chicago, visit the CAPS website here: https://careeradvancement.uchicago.edu/jobs-internships-research/graduate-student-externships.
The Hyde Park Art Center is, as many of you probably know, a perfect example of the possible intersections between art, community, education, and humanistic inquiry. My externship at the center this summer not only gave me a sense of the individual work of MAPH Alumnae Kate Lorenz and Brook Rosini, but also provided a holistic picture of how their work contributes to a much larger project—one which like MAPH is centered on creating a community which can engage critically, passionately, and excitedly with the arts.
This post will be something between an introduction/plug for the HPAC, a reflection on what I learned, and an encouragement for doing externships. This is just one account of engaging with alumni, with the community, with the arts; there are probably lots more out there.*
Curious where MAPH writers are now? Wondering what new publications have come out? Check out the recently updated MAPH Writers page on our website. There you’ll find a list of alumni, links to novels, essays, poems, and blogs, and what writers are working on now.
Don’t see your published work there? Please let us know! We would love to feature you and your work on the website.
If you have a few minutes today, check out MAPH ’08 alum Kristin Fitzsimmons’ webseries What Did You Look Up on Wikipedia?
After graduating from the University of Minnesota’s MFA in Creative Writing Program, my friend Sally and I started a web series called What Did You Look Up on Wikipedia?, an homage to everybody’s favorite light research tool and the many strange tangents it takes you on. Each week, we get together, drink an adult beverage and talk for two hours about what we looked up on Wikipedia. It all gets edited down to 5 or so minutes and posted online. It’s pretty much the most fun unpaid thing we’ve ever done and think it might be right up the alley of students and alums of the University of Chicago. What Did You Look Up on Wikipedia? can be found on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. You can also email us with your suggestions of what to look up.
See their latest episode below: