Category Archives: Archive

MAPH Posts from Yesteryear

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.



Thesis Survival Mode

It’s May 8th. That means, here at MAPH, barest-minimum thesis survival mode has set in. You’re probably drinking way too much coffee. Staying up way too late in the evening reading and writing. Eating only what’s necessary to survive the day.

At this point last year, a blog post encouraging me to stop all of these bad habits would have been infuriating. That’s why I’m not even going to bother saying “please take care of yourself.” Instead, I’m going to suggest some REALLY AWESOME alternatives to stressing about your thesis and starving yourself that might be SO enticing, you just might do them.

1. Go to the POINT: The weather is supposed to be beautiful Thursday and Friday of this week. Start your weekend early. Grab a MAPH grill after Social Hour on Friday and head to the Point with some hot dogs and beer. Or, wander there on Thursday afternoon after your classes are over. Grab a Klondike from the little ice cream truck on the bike path. And stop by the Cove for a nice cold beer on your way home. Or just stay at the Cove.

2. Go to Nick’s Beer Garden: If it makes you feel better about taking an outing away from your nest in Hyde Park, you can spend the day at The Wormhole studying before you head to Nick’s for happy hour specials, a fabulous back deck, and live music on Fridays and Saturdays (no cover!).

3. Take a bike ride: The bike path located at our very own Point actually runs all the way past NAVY PIER! I know. Pretty unbelievable. Don’t have a bike? Well, our very own University of Chicago actually has a BIKE RENTAL program. I know. Shocked you again. This is the perfect answer to that antsy feeling you get from being in your apartment for three days straight without talking to anyone. Grab a friend, grab some bikes, and set out with a picnic on a day-long adventure.

Need more ideas? Come into MAPHCentral and we’ll hook you up.

Happy well-deserved break time!

Things to do (be)for(e) Convocation

Here are several things you should do or at least be vaguely aware of in preparation of Convocation, coming up on June 9.

Buy your robe. Remember how everyone has to be dressed exactly the same  at ceremonies meant to recognize achievements of original intellectual thought? If you’ve forgotten, here is your reminder: pick up your graduation robe so you can share your achievement in the anonymity only physique-obscuring, nondescript garments can provide. You can find robes at the bookstore–not the Seminary Coop, but Barnes and Noble at Ellis and 58th, where they will likely sell teddy bears wearing scale models of the very robe you are about to buy.  Go there, make sure to ask for the Graduate Student robe and they’ll give the correct size based on your height.

Log into Cmore and make sure all your personal information is correct. What could be more embarrassing than the dean mispronouncing your name in front of an auditorium full of people? The dean mispronouncing your name because it was misspelled on your diploma! There is decidedly no way to stop the first thing from happening, but the second is entirely within your power to prevent. Make sure you check your personal information on your cmore account and proofread all the essential logistics.

Look ahead and make travel and lodging arrangements beforehand. If you have far away loved ones visiting, make sure they’ve found a place to stay (and remember, convocation is the 9th, but the parent’s reception is June 8th). Hyde park hotels get flooded and booked way ahead of time whenever there is a conference or convocation.

Grades. Here are important upcoming dates for turning in your grades, and a few other deadlines:

Raphael Torch Memorial Service Core Fellowship, due May 18.

MAPH Postgraduate Research Fellowship, due May 18.

Thesis due May 21.

Last quarter grades due on May 25.

Thesis grades due May 30.

All grades due: June 1.

Thesis Works-In-Progress and Why It Might Be Better Than Prom (?)

Thesis Works-In-Progress: It's really more like a tea party with friends.

Thesis Works-In-Progress is fast approaching and I’m sure that there are many of you out there going back and forth on whether or not you want to participate. That’s fair. I realize that in my original e-mail about the event, while I did an okay job describing what the event itself would be like, I never actually gave you all some solid reasons to participate. So, lest my lack of reasoning (but not really) be the reason why you haven’t sent me your proposal, here are the reasons why you absolutely SHOULD participate in this event. I hope I’ve covered every category of MAPHer at this point in the year, but if you’re in a place that I haven’t discussed, by all means, let me know.

1. If you are planning/hoping/thinking about going on to a Ph.D. program next year:

If this is you, your proposal should already be in my Inbox. Presenting your work (and what will probably become your writing sample) at ANY conference this year can only help your application. Not only because it will be another line on your CV and a good indication that you take your work and your professional development as a scholar seriously, but also because presenting your project can actually make it better. As some of you may have already realized over the past few months, talking with people about your work can have an incredibly positive impact on your thought organization. Just being forced to answer that constant question at family events–“and what are you working on in grad school?”–can be a helpful way to practice succinctly and coherently describing the crux of your project. So if even THAT can be helpful, then presenting your work in front of your colleagues and peers, with thoughtful feedback and questions afterwards, takes that usefulness to a whole new level.

(or maybe this isn’t you and you need to….keep reading after the jump)

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MAPH Internship: Chicago Humanities Festival

The MAPH summer internship opportunity at the Chicago Humanities Festival provides each student with the following: working experience in the country’s leading public humanities organization, access to world-renowned humanities scholars, interaction with Chicago’s top cultural institutions, and a mentored team environment in which to build varied skills for future employment.

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MAPH Internships: Newcity

This is the first year we’re offering this internship and Newcity is really excited about having a MAPHer on staff. As the Newcity intern, you will work about twenty hours a week during normal hours for about three months, as well as cover stories or work events from time to time during evenings and weekends. Duties might include editorial and writing, as well as marketing support and other project-oriented tasks. In other words, you have the chance to get involved in all aspects of publishing in print and online.

The internship is virtual, meaning your “office hours” will be at your own unsupervised virtual office and occasionally in our office, or at a weekly intern meeting downtown. You’ll need a laptop (we don’t have extra computers) and access to an internet connection when you’re not in the office.

Editorial duties include researching stories, fact-checking, compiling listings and a modicum of special projects of varying degrees of difficulty and drudgery. Interns should be prepared to do a ton of writing, some for print, most for our web sites. That means great writing skills and reporting experience, or at least an inclination to report. Interns generally do not write reviews, at least till they’ve proven themselves as writers and with a discerning sensibility.

If you want to read a bit more about this awesome media company, their website has a lot of useful information, including some testimonies from past interns.

MAPH Internships: Center for Civic Reflection

 The Center for Civic Reflection

The Center for Civic Reflection is the leading partner and resource for civic groups and organizations nationwide who seek to build reflective discussion into the way they do their work. Established at Valparaiso University in 1998, and with a Chicago office since 2008, the Center’s expansive partner list includes national service agencies (such as AmeriCorps and Campus Compact), cultural organizations (such as Illinois Humanities Council and Chicago Cultural Alliance), palliative and hospice care teams, universities and more. Among the resources that CCR offers are an extensive electronic resource library; an online forum in which facilitators share their experiences; expert training in facilita­tion; individual consultation with Center staff; and anthologies of readings that inspire rich discussion about civic engagement.

The director of CCR, Adam Davis, got his PhD, in Social Thought, from the U of C. The work that CCR does models a way for us to bring the humanities to the wider world, demonstrating the very real influence the humanities can have outside of the academy.

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