Tag Archives: U of C/Hyde Park

Alumni Resources: Libraries, Life Insurance, Listservs and More


Welcome to the club!

By the end of the MAPH year, you probably feel as though you never want to visit the Reg again. But even a few weeks into, summer you’ll start to miss access to the thousands of books (and more) that you’ve enjoyed this year.

Luckily, UChicago alumni have access to the libraries for free! In fact, there are a whole host of resources available to UChicago alum, ranging from library and gym access to health insurance and career resources. Check below the break for details on how to take advantage of everything available to you as a newly minted UC alum!

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Works in Progress Conference 2015


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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CAS Workshops


The very first CAS workshop.

As the quarter gets underway, you’ll notice a ton of emails in your inbox from the various CAS workshops on campus. You may have heard a bit about these interdisciplinary working groups from preceptors and professors so far, but to recap briefly, workshops are seminar-style meetings of informal research groups sponsored by the Council on Advanced Studies. These meetings (which are usually once every two weeks) offer a venue for professors and graduate students to convene in an informal setting where they share, discuss, and critique each other’s work. (Also, there is usually nice cheese involved…)

Right now, there are over 70 different workshops ranging from Poetry and Poetics to Mass Culture to Gender and Sexuality (see the full list here). I guarantee you will find at least one—and probably several—that pique your interest. And when you do, go to their webpage and sign up for the listserv. Then you’ll get updates on when/where they are and what to read in advance. Signing up does not commit you to going all (or any) of the workshop sessions—you can attend as many or as few as your schedule allows.


Last year, I joined the Theater and Performance Studies Workshop early in fall, and it became one of the best parts of my MAPH year. The workshops are a big part of graduate student life on campus, and if you like to learn more about them, GSA will be hosting a Master’s Monday “Introduction to CAS Workshops” on October 13th at 9:30 am. I am a firm believer that there are some very concrete benefits to getting involved with a workshop during this year. For instance…

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Preceptor (n.)—One who precepts?

As a MAPH student, you will quickly learn to speak a highly specialized jargon specific to UChicago.

This does not exist, but wouldn't it be useful?

This does not exist, but wouldn’t it be useful?

You’ll learn to navigate the “Quarter system.” You’ll have “analytic expositions” to write for “Core” while you study in “The Reg.” And you’ll visit “MAPH Central” to say hello to “the mentors” and get “free coffee.” (Rest assured, the coffee is actually free.)

You’ll learn one of these specialized terms very soon when you get an introductory email from your “Preceptor,” who will be one of the most important figures during your MAPH experience. Here’s quick explanation of who this mysterious person is and why they will be so helpful to you as you complete your MA…

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Thinking About the Future: Service Edition

There is life beyond the academic community!

Spring Quarter can be an incredibly exciting time – your thesis starts to fall into place, you’ve got the most productive procrastination excuse ever in internship/externship/mentor apps, and it’s finally (finally!) warmer. But it can also be a scary time if (like most people emerging from a graduate program) you’re not totally sure what you want to be doing next year. Looking into those awesome internship, mentor, & externship opportunities is a great place to start, but if you’re feeling daunted or like you want to do some exploring before you commit, looking into volunteer opportunities may be the right choice for you.

Of course, even if you have an awesome sense of what you’d like to be up to next year, you may be feeling (as I did) at this point in the year that your life has been subsumed into the academy/library to the detriment of all things human. As the year winds down (hurtles toward completion?) it might be worth your time to look into volunteer opportunities. It’s incredibly valuable to make connections to organizations you’re passionate about, or alternatively, find out what kinds of work or organizations you don’t like now, as you go into the summer.

But what does this vague “volunteering” thing look like? How do you find the right organization for you, with the right time commitment? Answer: Volunteer Referrals! UCSC at the University of Chicago maintains an up-to-date, well-researched database of volunteer opportunities in Chicago, and they are happy to help match you with the right organization.

And, as always, come talk to your Mentors – about careers, the future, rad volunteer organizations in Chicago, your thesis, or literally anything else.

Campus Days: Alternative Housing Options

Welcome prospective MAPH students! As you may already know, MAPH’s Campus Days is coming up on April 6th and 7th. This two-day introduction to the program is a great way to get a feel for what it’s like to be a MAPH student: you will have the chance to mingle with current MAPHs, meet Alumni, visit courses, and, as is MAPH tradition, eat lots of food while engaging in a series of intellectual conversations (often centered around the opening film screening and subsequent panel discussion).

For those of you who weren’t able to house with a MAPH student, whether because  placements fill up quickly on a first-come, first-serve basis, or because you’d simply like a different housing experience, MAPH has compiled some suggestions for alternative housing for the 6th & 7th.

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