This blog of ours has layers. Generations of mentors have compiled their wisdom here, and the result is actually pretty impressive: it can teach you almost anything you could want to know about the program, the neighborhood, the academic process, or the mundane details of life in MAPH. So, as we all wait for the program to begin in mid-September, we thought we’d bring a few choice posts from the last few years to your attention. Of course, you can always use the search bar or the word cloud on the right to dig up whatever information you’re looking for, or you can get in touch with us by email. Continue reading
So you’ve rolled into Chicago (or you’re about to in the near future). You’re probably wondering, what do I do with all my time? Classes don’t start until mid-September, summer is at its finest (this 70 degree weather is MAGICAL), and you’re starting to explore the city—what’s next? Here’s a list of things that I wish I had done before starting my MAPH year.
10 Things You Really Rather Ought to Do Before Classes Start:
1. Get a CTA card. Unless you’ve devised a teleportation device, you will use transit. Often. Even if you have a bike. Even if you have a car. Parking downtown is a nightmare, and sometimes it just makes more sense to take the train (like if you say want to go to the bar and have more than one drink per hour). Got your card? Now hop on the 6 and head downtown! And don’t forget: the Metra Electric isn’t covered by your card, although it is very fast and sitting on the second floor of a train is always a delight.
2. Get a public library card. There are lots and lots of locations, and if you’re already exploring downtown Chicago, Harold Washington is right there on State Street. There may come a time when you haven’t purchased or borrowed a book for class in time, and the UChicago library will have no copies available, and you will need an alternate source. Continue reading
Those of you who have already arrived in Chicago have probably noticed a preponderance of bikers. While there are plenty of other transportation methods available, many Chicagoans find that the easiest and fastest way to get around the city is on two wheels. Here are some resources that I’ve found useful while living here: Continue reading
It’s summer. The weather is nice. And you have a few precious weeks of freedom left before the MAPHstorm arrives. If you’re in Hyde Park for the summer, this is a great time to explore the area and get your bearings, and to enjoy what is in my opinion one of Chicago’s most underrated little neighborhoods. With that in mind, here’s my vote for a perfect summer day in Hyde Park:
In town for Campus Days with time to fill? Don’t trust Yelp (We totally get it.) to guide you to a good meal and tasty beverages? Never fear. We in the MAPH office spend a lot of time in Hyde Park and we have plenty of suggestions (read: ironclad opinions) for where to go and what to do, whether you are on campus or roaming around the neighborhood. This is not an exhaustive list, but it’s a good one.
First things first, just wander around. The campus is rarely prettier than it is in the spring; if the weather is good, a leisurely stroll through the arches and across the quads really can’t be beat. If walking around aimlessly is not your thing, or if you have exhausted your aimless walking possibilities and you want a specific destination, we are partial to the Oriental Institute. The collection is fantastic (and really, really old), the building is beautiful, and admission is free (although the museum suggests a donation).
Also worth checking out is the Mansueto Library,a giant glass and steel ellipsoid on 57th Street that contains fancy robots that brings you books by request from deep inside the earth. It’s really cool.
Go to the lake. More specifically, go to Promontory Point. (It’s a short walk from campus and well worth it.) Or go to the DuSable Museum. Or browse in one of the excellent bookstores that Hyde Park is home to: Powell’s, tons of used books at great prices (1501 E 57th St, Chicago, IL); 57th St Books, a great general interest bookstore in which to wile away the hours (1301 E 57th St Chicago, IL 60637); The Seminary Co-op, one of the best books stores in the whole wide world (5751 South Woodlawn Avenue).
Z&H (1323 E. 57th St) has tasty, tasty sandwiches and good coffee. Bonjour Bakery (1550 East Hyde Park Blvd) makes a mean croque monsieur and really good croissants. Rajun Cajun (1459 E. 53rd St) Despite its misleading name, this place has tasty Indian food. Oh, the samosas! Valois (1518 E. 53rd St) is a classic cafeteria and a Hyde Park institution.
Robust (63rd and Woodlawn), The Sip (5301 S Hyde Park Blvd), the aforementioned Z&H, and Café 57 (1520 E. 57th St) all serve pretty good coffee (Z&H is the best, in our opinion.)
There are a couple of good bars in Hyde Park (they are dive-y in a pleasant way). The Cove (1750 E 55th St) has a fun jukebox and darts and foosball. Jimmy’s (Woodlawn Tap) (1172 E 55th St) is just a few blocks from campus and has cheap burgers and fries. It’s a classic college-town bar.
If you want still more suggestions, just email us. We will be happy to point you in the best direction.
As I’m sure many of our current Hyde Park denizens are aware, 53rd Street has been undergoing drastic and exciting renovations! Here are some highlights from the changes that will happen, and in some cases have already happened, on 53rd Street.
On April 7th and 8th, the Master of Arts Program in the Humanities (MAPH) will be holding Campus Days for newly admitted students. Our goal is to show you as much of MAPH as we possibly can in two action-packed days, to help you decide whether or not this program is right for you. Campus Days is not mandatory for admitted students, but we highly encourage it! If you will be able to make it this year, here is an idea of what you will have to look forward to, and some advice as to how to make the best of it.
BEFORE YOU COME:
MAPH reimburses up to $200 of travel expenses for prospective students attending Campus Days! So make sure you keep track of your receipts. Check this page for more information and to make sure your trip will be eligible.
If you’re coming in from out of town, you’ll obviously need to figure out where to stay. I recommend staying with a current MAPH student if possible; it’s a great way to get insider information on the program, and to experience the kind of life you might lead in Hyde Park. Contact us for more information about this, as our students will have limited space! Otherwise there are several great places to stay in Hyde Park and downtown. Check this page for more details to help plan your stay.
WHILE YOU’RE HERE:
The first event (Sunday at 2:30pm) will be the preview of the second issue of Colloquium, MAPH’s new student-run journal. Colloquium showcases the critical and creative work of MAPH students and alumni in a snappy web publication. Check out the first issue now, and be sure to come by the preview event to hear about the work current students are doing, as well as get any information on how to submit work or serve on the editorial board during your MAPH year.
Following the preview is the official welcome for Campus Days at 4:30pm! Dean of Humanities Martha Roth, Director of MAPH David Wray, and Deputy Directors of MAPH Ben Callard and Hilary Strang will give a short talk about the program and an official welcome. We will then screen Jacques Tati’s 1967 film, Playtime, with a faculty panel on the film to follow on Monday morning.
After the film, there will be a current student panel at 6:00pm. Current students from diverse fields will be in attendance, ready to take any and all questions about life in MAPH. Then after an hour or so, everyone will walk over to the new Logan and Reva Center for the Arts for the MAPH Welcome Dinner around 7:00pm. Come enjoy delicious catered food and mingle with other prospectives, current MAPH students, faculty and staff!
Breakfast will be served buffet style in the Classics Building from 8:30-10:00am, for any early birds among you! Then at 10:00am, there will be a faculty panel on Playtime. It should be an insightful event, and an opportunity to hear from some of the faculty you may be interacting with throughout your year in MAPH—maybe even a future advisor! Specific panel members will be listed on the Campus Days Schedule as we know them.
After the faculty panel, we will hold a MAPH alumni panel at 11:15. The panel will consist of MAPH alumni from diverse fields such as cultural policy, journalism, education, museum and art curation, as well as current PhD students. They will provide their perspectives on the program as former students, and illustrate how their experiences here have translated to their respective careers and life trajectories.
Everyone will be going their own way from 12-4. Lunch is independent, but we will provide a handout upon your arrival that should help you figure out where to eat at any of Hyde Park’s delicious restaurants. How you spend the next few hours is entirely up to you. Options include sitting in on a class, attending faculty office hours, going on campus tours, visiting departments and more! And if you are seeking travel reimbursement, don’t forget to square that with us during this time! Detailed information about participating in all of these options will be made available on your arrival to campus, and we will be updating the website as details come in, so check back often.
Finally, on Monday from 4-6 we will hold the MAPH Campus Days closing reception. We will have dinner with prospectives, current students, MAPH faculty and staff to bid you all farewell—but hopefully will see you soon again!
Well, that’s all the information I have for you now. I hope to see you there!
At the peak of my MAPH workload last year, I had 82 library books piled in my study. They were carefully organized: there was That Pile Over There, The Books That Fell Down By The Closet, and The Books The Dog Kept Trying To Chew. I freely admit that there was no reason to have the volume of books I had. I just couldn’t get over the fact that I could get books on anything I was interested in. I had the might of the UChicago library system behind me.
But just as I did, you will inevitably run into one of these horrifying situations…