Category Archives: Uncategorized

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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Tempus Fugit: The Fine Art of Time Management


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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Harnessing the Power of the Internet

Last year, I felt torn between a need to be productive and a need to take breaks from studying. We all need breaks, especially coffee breaks.  But then there can be this sense of guilt or concern of “Oh no! I am not doing my homework!” or other similar exclamations. This often connects to the conflict that, while courses are the first priority for the next 8 months, soon finding a job will also be competing for your attention.

Thus, I want to suggest a way for you to both be productive and to take a break from that book you’ve been staring at all week.

These are three small things that you can do and work on that are 1. not all about school and 2. productive for life in and after Maph.

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Yes, And

This is a guest post by the very awesome, much-beloved Evan Stoner, discussing his experience in MAPH, pursuing the Creative Writing Option. (I also recommend that you check out his related post on AWP here.)

Yes, And: Evan Stoner (’14) on Pursuing the Creative (Writing) Option

freeadvicecryingFor anyone considering MAPH’s creative option, even for a fleeting moment, this post is for you!

One of the great things about MAPH is that all of you have so many options, and I strongly encourage you to think about all of them. The creative option is unique, because even though my thesis ended up being a creative writing project, there are lots of other possibilities.

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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!



“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

Colloquium The Magazine


***Guest post from Bill Hutchison (MAPH ’12), editor-in-chief of Colloquium Magazine***
What is Colloquium?

The short answer? It’s MAPH’s online magazine of awesome stuff.

The longer answer? Well, that takes a bit of explaining…


q1-299x448I remember looking around Social Sciences 122, the grand room that marked my first weeks of lecture* at University of Chicago. I swooned at the elaborate wood-paneled walls, the layered chalkboards sliding up and down, the archaic light fixtures. I remember Professor Wray reciting the Big Names who had lectured in SS122, from Hannah Arendt to Slavoj Žižek. I looked around at a room full of strangers, and I wondered if there was an Arendt or a Žižek among us. Toward the end of my MAPH year, I knew the answer to that question….

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Colloquium 2014 Schedule

Dear MAPHers,

Colloquium has arrived! Alien! Henry James! Bagels! There is clearly a lot to keep track of in these first two weeks, so below is a schedule of various goings on. Colloquium is still a good time to get done any errands (refer back to our To Do List post for recommendations) and to keep exploring the city in your downtime. But feel free to stop by the office with questions or to say hello!

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MAPH, BBQ, and other Acronyms


This Sunday, September 14th, at 3pm your MAPH year officially begins!

You are cordially invited, by which we mean required, to attend a screening of Alien.

The screening will take place in Social Science 122, which will also be the home of Colloquium and Core lectures throughout Fall Quarter. The screening should end around 5:15-5:30 (if IMDB is to be believed), at which point food shall be served and mingling shall commence in the nice grassy area outside of Classics and Cobb Hall. In addition to meeting your MAPH cohort and these nerds, the BBQ is a great chance to meet your preceptor.

We recognize that the twofold being of this event (being both a social and a professional occasion) can make it difficult to know what the expectations are, both as far as human interactions go and for appropriate attire. The dress code is casual- just nothing too shocking, please. 

You are welcome to bring significant others, in whatever form they may exist. We will provide food and drink for everyone! We are all excited to meet people, discuss the film, and, most importantly, eat food.