Category Archives: Archive

MAPH Posts from Yesteryear

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!



“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

“I just started grad school! You want me to think about WHAT?!”

Get out your calendars!

That’s right folks – the first major MAPH Career event of the year is upon us. Please join us this Wednesday, November 14th in Classics 110 from 5:30 – 8:30pm for CAREER CORE’s MAPH Alumni Night. There are a ton of MAPH Career-related events this month. You should go to them. But this Wednesday’s event will be worlds of informative – it might as well be mandatory. (If it helps you to think of it that way, cool. COME. NO EXCUSES.)This event will offer you guys the unique opportunity to speak with MAPH alums about the infinitely cool and diverse things that they are doing post-graduation.

“But, Mentors! It’s Week 7! Do you know how much stuff we have to do?” Well, yes. We do. We were there! And as people who were there, we can tell you that this is one of those events that you simply should not miss. As much as it feels like you’re just starting to get your feet wet with this whole grad school thing, it’s important to remember that you guys are only here for one year. It’s important to start thinking about what comes next sooner, rather than later. Continue reading

Why do I have to go to that?

Nothing is as good as the original, but the gang had a few good college years

There are many ways in which the first two weeks of your MAPH year (otherwise known as Colloquium) can feel something like your undergraduate freshman orientation. You may have the impulse to hunker down with your newly assigned work and read Freud’s entire corpus of work (please don’t do that; we promise it’s not necessary) so that you nail that first writing assignment and to skip some of the things that seem merely “optional.” But MAPHCentral has carefully planned an agenda of events that will impart you with invaluable knowledge for a productive/supportive and as-un-insane MAPH year as possible. Here’s a breakdown of the most important events for the next two weeks – and reasons to drag yourself out of bed early enough to attend them.

Tuesday, September 18th, 10:30 
Classics 110

Okay, seriously. If you miss this one, we will be super sad. And so will you. Because we have awesome advice to give about how to navigate this dizzying year. It will be over before you know it, so let us help you make the best of it. Come listen to your mentors – real, in-the-flesh people who were in your shoes a mere 370 days ago – discuss how they walked away with Master’s Degrees from the UofC and lived to tell the tale. You’ll also get the chance to hear from other important people who will be crucial resources throughout the year. Finally, we’ll have a Q&A session at the end, where you can ask your most pressing questions and we will do our damnedest to answer them. Also, bagels. Continue reading

If you are already in town, you should hang out with us on Thursday afternoon.

MAPH student using UChicago's Reindeer Info-Transfer System.

Your MAPH year is almost upon you. For nine months, our collective destinies will be bound up together in a whirlwind of intellectual discovery, psychological transformation, and cubes of Friday cheese. Throughout the whirlwind, your life will be lifted and eased by your friends. Start collecting them now!


To that end, the Second and Final Pre-MAPH Meet-Up is Thursday, September 6. Join us at Z&H on 57th from 2:00 – 4:00 PM.

We know that the extroverts and social butterflies among you are already working out their networking strategies and ironing their pocket squares. But for you introverts, wallflowers, and quiet types, the thought of coming to such an event fills you with social anxiety. Please find herein Three Good Reasons to come to Thursday’s meet-up.

Continue reading

First MAPH Meet-up!

For some of you, it’s about that time of summer; you’ve exhausted your reading list, you’ve gone to the Museum of Science and Industry (twice? three times?) and you’ve braved public transportation into the Loop a handful of times. You’ve even tried the “sulky-intellectual-in-a-dark-bar-who’s-too-cool-for-friends” look on for size, but you’re getting pretty bored, aren’t you? Well, good news! MAPH will be hosting its first official-unofficial pre-program meet-up next week (I am celebrating the use of the hyphen in anticipation of National Punctuation Day: September 24th. Mark your calendars, people*.)

If you’re already in Hyde Park, come mingle with your fellow early birds and meet your Mentors in the flesh! (Mmm… flesh.) We will be convening at Z&H at 2:00pm next Thursday, August 16, 2012. It’s located on the heavily (alright – moderately) foot-trafficked block of 57th Street and Kenwood. It’s a great little place with delectable sandwiches and well-above average coffee. One Yelp reviewer even posits: “I can honestly say that these three sandwiches [Godfather, Lil’ Smokey O Malley and the Hennessy] are on my top sandwiches in the world list.” I mean – with a glowing recommendation like that, how can you resist? And also – how do we get our hands on that list? We’re pretty serious about starting a Global Sandwich Initiative.

We hope to see some of you there! And for those of you who have not yet arrived, that’s perfectly fine – we’ll be having another get-together closer to the beginning of Colloquium.

On a somewhat tangential note, please really do feel free to use the [MAPH-etc] listserv to schedule meet-ups amongst yourselves or to inform other MAPHers about things you might be doing for the rest of the summer. It’s a great way to meet people before the start of the program!

*Please don’t forget to download the recipe for the Official Meat Loaf of National Punctuation Day ®


Regicide in the Park!

Free Julius Caesar!

Do you enjoy dramatizations of famous assassinations? Do you like to see fine theatre performances for free?

If yes, or if you think you might enjoy sitting in a nice park while watching the violent demise of Julius Caesar transpire before your very eyes, then make your way up to Evanston one weekend in August, or early September, to see Muse of Fire Theatre Company’s production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.  The political intrigue and bloodshed are being directed by MAPH alum Jemma Alix Levy.  Go see the sort of talent that comes through MAPH.

WHEN: Saturdays and Sundays –3 PM–August 4-September 9

WHERE: Ingraham Park–2100 Ridge Ave Evanston, IL (Behind the Morton Civic Center)

Price of Admission: $0, Free


Maren Robinson in the MAPH Office with the Corkscrew

Sound familiar? Yes, friends. It’s the format of your standard Clue game guess: __(person)___ in the __(room)___ with the __(weapon)___. I myself cracked this particular case just this afternoon. The only evidence? These two photos.

No thanks, needed. Just another day here. Crackin’ down on crime.

Until the next case rears its head, we thought we’d share a Clue blog post for those who have never played Clue or for those simply looking for some Prom attire inspiration.

There have been many, many versions of Clue since it was first introduced to the game board market in Leeds, England in 1949. The murder mystery game genre was devised in 1944, by Anthony E. Pratt, with his original mystery-themed game “Murder!”. The game was originally invented for soldiers, as something to play during sometimes lengthy air raid drills in underground bunkers. Shortly thereafter, Pratt and his wife presented the game to a Waddington Company executive, Norman Watson, who immediately purchased the game and provided its trademark name of “Cluedo” (a play on “clue” and “Ludo”, which is Latin for “I play”). Some MAPHCentral staff members still believe it’s called “Cluedo” in England.

But, here in the United States, it’s become plain old “Clue” and has sparked a large (almost Rocky Horror-esque) following. Large enough, in fact, that it inspired a Hollywood film in 1985 starring Tim Curry, Madeline Kahn, and Christopher Lloyd. The film is set in a Gothic Revival mansion and is really the place to get your inspiration for this week’s prom dress. If you haven’t seen the movie, it’s well worth a few hours of final paper procrastination. It’s a lot of really bad puns, outrageous costumes, and people screaming. Kind of what we’re hoping Friday will turn out to be.

Really, though,we don’t want you to feel as though you need to spend the next two days scouring Chicago for the perfect purple pinstripe suit (Professor Plum?). Think of it more as murder-mystery, deteriorating Gothic mansion dress and just wear whatever the heck strikes your fancy. Really what this night should be is a chance to dress up and party all together one more time before your families start coming in to town and you all go your separate ways for the summer.

Don’t forget: Friday, May 25th at 7:00PM at the Lillie House (58th and Kenwood). See you there!

My Kind of Town: A Discussion of Police Torture in Chicago

On Tuesday, May 22nd at 6:00 pm at the Logan Center (yes, your thesis will already be turned in) MAPH is co-sponsoring a panel discussion on Chicago police Torture.  This event will make a great companion event to the film screening and panel on The Interrupters we held last fall which sparked much discussion and interest among MAPH students about the city and neighborhood you have been calling home.

As a counterpoint, to the hard work of  completing your theses it is a great moment to get out of your own head and think about what it means that just south of this campus over 100 people were allegedly tortured at the hands of the police.

The discussion will feature John Conroy, the Chicago journalist who covered the Chicago police torture scandal, who has now written a play inspired by the cases he covered. His book on torture, Unspeakable Acts, Ordinary People is often taught in courses at the university.  In addition to John, panelists will include Craig Futterman, founder of the Civil Rights and Police Accountability Project at the University of Chicago, Former Chicago Police Superintendent Richard Brzeczek, People’s Law Office founding partner G. Flint Taylor and will be moderated by WBEZ’s Kelly Kleiman.

At the start of the evening actors will perform a scene from the play as a spark for discussion and there will be a period for questions and discussion from the audience. A reception will follow the event.

Personally, I have been working on this project as a dramaturg since a workshop last year. In moment when the relevance of the humanities is being challenged, it is a great opportunity to have a conversation about what the role of journalism or a play might be in a public dialogue about a serious social concern like torture.

I hope you will make time at the end of the quarter and the end of your MAPH year to come participate.