Category Archives: Archive

MAPH Posts from Yesteryear

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)

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

MAPH Internships: Chicago History Museum

Being the oldest cultural organization in town means that the Chicago History has had to rebuild.  The original building at Dearborn and Ontario Streets burned to the ground in the 1871 fire.  The parts of the collection that weren’t destroyed in that conflagration succumbed to a second fire three years later.  But this wouldn’t be a true Chicago institution if it didn’t have to start from scratch a few times.

Today, the Lincoln Park-located museum boasts an enormous collection of materials dedicated to the preservation of Chicago’s history of cultural, architectural, economic, and shady-political achievements.  Their upcoming summer exhibition, which you would obviously be around for as their summer intern, is the HISTORY OF MAGIC. I capitalize this because it sounds so incredibly awesome and I didn’t want you to miss the title. “You’ll witness live performances, visit a mysterious object theater, and examine exciting artifacts. Find out how to become a magician, and explore the secrets of the business. Discover the truth behind some of the oldest illusions.”

(More serious things, like the internship description, after the jump…)

Continue reading

MAPH Internships: The Odyssey Project

2010 Odyssey Project Graduates

A core program of the Illinois Humanities Council, The Odyssey Project provides college-level instruction in the humanities through seminars led by professors at top-tier colleges and universities. Our very own Hilary Strang teaches a course at The Odyssey Project’s North Side campus.  The Odyssey Project offers free courses in philosophy, literature, art history, and history for men and women living below poverty level.  Students receive six units of transferable college credit. The Odyssey Project offers a first-year course, a Bridge Course for graduates of the first-year course, and a Spanish language course.

The Odyssey Project is accredited by Bard College as the Clemente Course in the Humanities—there are iterations of this course all across the country—in which students do a year of credited coursework in the humanities. The program exemplifies the impact that access to an education in the humanities can have in the lives of the so-called underserved. By bringing powerful resources from which its students would otherwise be excluded, the program embodies the commitment to education knowledge as instruments of social change that the academy often theorizes but cannot always put into practice.

The Odyssey Project is run by a truly outstanding woman, Amy Thomas Elder, whose story you should all read. It’s amazing what she has done and continues to do.



(“A Day in the Life of an IHC Intern” after the jump)

Continue reading

MAPH Internships: Browne & Miller

Founded in 1971 by the late Jane Jordan Browne, Browne & Miller Literary Associates is Chicago’s only full-service, independent literary agency. They currently represent authors writing in most genres of commercial adult fiction and non-fiction, as well as select young adult projects. As a hands-on, editorially-focused agency, they work closely with their clients in developing manuscripts and proposals for submission and sale. They also maintain an active subsidiary rights business and regularly license audio, film/television, and foreign translation rights to the works they represent.

Currently, they are most interested in representing commercial women’s fiction, especially elegantly crafted, sweeping historicals, edgy, fresh teen lit, and CBA women’s fiction by established authors. According to their website, they are also very keen on literary historical mysteries and literary YA novels. Topical, timely non-fiction projects in a variety of subject areas are also of interest especially prescriptive how-to, self-help, sports, humor, and pop culture.

Fine Arts BuildingAs an intern with Browne and Miller, you will be afforded the unique opportunity to develop practical skills and acquire tangible experience in trade book publishing within a busy agency setting. Their interns are exposed to all aspects of agency work. Duties range from basic clerical tasks including typing, filing, and packing and shipping to reviewing query letters, reading and evaluating manuscripts and proposals, conducting market research, and more.

They’re located in the historic (and beautiful) Fine Arts Building on Michigan Avenue, right in the heart of the Loop and across from Millennium Park. If they give you an hour for lunch, you could easily hop, skip, or jump across the street to eat by the lake and relax in one of the best people-watching places during Chicago summers.

As if this wasn’t already a fabulous opportunity, past MAPH intern Anna Jarzab published her first novel All Unquiet Things with Joanna McKenzie at Browne and Miller as her agent.  Also, last year’s MAPH intern, Matt Seidel, had the chance to do a really interesting extended research project on e-book publishing and presented his findings for Joanna and Danielle at the end of summer. Don’t miss the chance to get your foot in the door in the Chicago publishing industry!

Making the Most of Campus Days

Prospective 2012-2013 MAPHers:

Welcome to MAPHtastic, the blog for our current MAPHers and, now, you. If you haven’t already read A-J’s much more thorough “Welcome to MAPH” blog post, you should. It’s full of useful information that will help you start thinking about whether or not you want to join us next year.

It’s my purpose here, though, to get you thinking about your upcoming visit. Now that you’re on your way to town, how can you make sure to get the best experience out of your 48-hour preview of the MA Humanities Program? I remember Campus Days being slightly overwhelming, as I had not yet discovered the MAPH Blog and the helpful mentor posts about how to make the weekend as productive as possible. So, if you’re reading this, you’re already one step ahead of the April 2010 me.

(Hopefully helpful advice, after the jump)

Continue reading