What was your favorite part of MAPH? What do you remember most fondly about MAPH?
MAPH gives you a lot of time to do things you wouldn’t be able to do otherwise, and think about things you’re unlikely to think about later. A lot of the overarching goals of my work – finding persuasive ways to express the value of human dignity, analyzing how people interact with institutions – was something that Andre Bazin, the person I wrote my Master’s thesis on, wrote a lot about, even if it was in an entirely different context.
What experiences and/or choices led you to where you are now? (In other words, what would a brief sketch of your career trajectory look like?)
AfterMAPH(TM), I went to the Czech Republic because I was chasing after a girl (who I would later get married to). I took a job with a local business magazine covering banking and finance, mostly because it paid me money, but I quickly found that I was fairly good at getting information from strange places and explaining it in clear words. When my wife finished her schooling, we relocated to Beijing, where we both spoke the language. I covered China for about seven years, first as a journalist, then as an economic researcher with the Economist Group, until I joined the Foreign Service in 2014.
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?
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 →
A guest post by Jeff McMahon, MAPH Writing Advisor (MAPH ‘ 02)
S.W. (Steven) Flores (MAPH ’10) has a story in thecurrent 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.
Film historian, writer, and filmmaker Stephen Tapert, who earned his M.A. from The University of Chicago in 2002 and later worked at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, is set to curate his first exhibition at the world’s largest film museum: The Museo Nazionale del Cinema in Turin, Italy. 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 →
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.