Category Archives: Academics

Works in Progress Conference 2015

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Jason Nebergall presents his research on Ernie Kovacs’ “The Silent Show”.

On February 27th, eight current MAPH students presented their thesis research at our annual Works in Progress Conference. With topics ranging from philosophy to English to linguistic to cultural studies, the presenters shared fascinating projects that are well on their way to becoming impressive MA theses. Click below the jump to read summaries of the conference papers and see photos from the event!

 

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10 Books to Read Before Grad School

MAPH is an intense year, and reading time quickly becomes a scarce keep-calm-and-love-reading-64resource—so we here at MAPHtastic polled some of our current students, staff, and alums to see what books they wish they had read before doing the program. See below the jump to see what might be a good beach book for the summer before, or what theory people wish they had read before the MAPH Core class in fall!

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Stress Relief…. or Treat Yo Self

This is a very busy, stressful time of year. I remember Week 8 last year as a haze of frantic typing, coffee spills, and semi-permanent relocation to the Regenstein. I wish, however, that I had set aside more time to take care of myself. I would have had a better time during finals and also spring break.

capybara-citrus-11Some of the office’s favorite stress reliefs:

  • Sarah recommends baths. For the right person, this is a relaxing activity, made even more relaxing with the right bath salts (here are Sarah’s favorite).

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Tempus Fugit: The Fine Art of Time Management

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Lo! Behold the bleak, surrealist landscape of Winter Quarter.

Come winter in MAPH, most students find that they have much less structured time than they did in fall. Without Core twice a week and the set precept/social hour schedule on Fridays, the average MAPHer’s week looks very different from the fall.Winter inevitably means lots of unstructured time and lots to accomplish in ten weeks—which makes time management one of the biggest challenges this quarter.

For instance, I know a lot of you only have Tuesday/Thursday classes this quater—how do you make sure you’re structuring M/W/F (and the weekend) to stay on track and keep making progress with your thesis, course readings, and job hunts? Keep reading for some tips on managing your time and staying productive through the long winter months!

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Advocating for some Advice on Advisors

Winter quarter contains a lot of uncertainty.

Who do I want to be my advisor? How do I ask him or her? What is my thesis object (some of you may not know yet- hang in there!)?

What will I eat on Fridays, now that social hour is only once every few weeks?

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I have so many questions!

How can I do reading for class as well as for my thesis? There are only 24 hours in a day, and I need 8 of them for sleeping!

And then there is the question on so many of our minds- What will the last season of Parks & Recreation be like? What happened in that three-year time jump? So many questions!

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Writing Q & A with Jeff McMahon

Below is a Q & A with our very own Writing Advisor, Jeff McMahon. Read below for advice on writing, particularly the final papers everyone is facing right now. Both Matt and I met with Jeff last year and benefited from his advice and the opportunity to talk through our own writing blockage.

Exactly a year ago, I went into Jeff’s office for help with a 20 page paper on 3 different objects and left about 30 minutes later, tired but optimistic, with 1 cohesive argument. Remember, too, that you can meet with Jeff to discuss papers, the thesis, and principles of argument throughout the year.

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The Thesis: Fall Edition

Dear MAPHers,

You may be solely focused on completing your finals right now. That is fine and, in that case, feel free to return to this post in the future.

However, if you are also starting to think about the thesis, read on!

Late November feels like a weird time, or at least it did for me last year. Mostly because we’re encouraged to think about the thesis, but without taking any action. Meaning, I was told to think about potential advisors, but not to approach them. Or to think about my object, but not to write about it yet. All of this felt somewhat confusing and frustrating… but it was all excellent advice. Continue reading

Eat, Sleep, Read: Part III (Managing Reading and Workload)

Eat, Sleep, Read is a three-part series on wellness in grad school. MAPH is a challenging year in a lot of ways, but you can make it way easier physically, mentally, and emotionally by taking care of yourself and managing your workload. For Part III, we’ll cover some academic tips that might help you manage your workload and deal with school-related stressors.eatpraylove

Obviously, one of the biggest stressors in grad school is the workload. In fact, it’s probably the biggest stressor. Getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, eating well—all these important aspects of wellness become difficult to maintain because there’s constantly so much to get done. So we’ve come to the last (and perhaps most important) post of this wellness series: how to manage your academic workload and find some balance in grad school!

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Stacks on Stacks on Stacks: A Guest Post on the UChicago Libraries

Dear MAPHers: below, you will find a guest post from Bill Hutchison (MAPH ’12, Mentor ’13), who is a current PhD in the English Department and an avid patron of the UChicago library system. We’re happy to present this MAPHtastic classic, as it is full of sage wisdom about how to navigate the vast troves of knowledge in the Reg, Mansueto, and beyond. Enjoy!

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“Libraries raised me.”
—Isaac Asimov

The UChicago library system is—as it should be—a labyrinthine construct with countless treasures, secrets, and codes. Discovering what it holds and how to access it can be one of the great pleasures of graduate school. If you, like me, take tremendous joy from learning how to wield your library to your own wild, intellectual ends, take note: herein I will share with you some of my discoveries. Continue reading