University of Chicago

What Is a Thesis? (a.k.a. La Thèse)

by David Alm March 3, 2013

Credit for this video goes to Brandon Hopkins, who teaches English at Frederick Community College in Frederick, MD. Hopkins, who conceived, wrote, and stars in this gem, graduated from the University of Chicago’s Master of Arts Program in the Humanities, where he wrote an award-winning thesis that contained both a claim AND substantial reasons for making […]






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Exit seminars, enter Prada

by David Alm August 2, 2012

While many universities are beefing up their online course offerings, those of us who had memorable college experiences may console ourselves with one thought: the college will still be there, for anyone who wants to take classes in real time with real professors and fellow students in the same room. It may be a small […]






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UT acquires Coetzee’s archives, giving this reader pause

by David Alm October 14, 2011

The University of Texas at Austin announced this week that its Ransom Center will acquire the archives of South African novelist J.M. Coetzee. Coetzee received his PhD in English, linguistics, and Germanic languages at Austin, where he wrote his dissertation on the early fiction of Samuel Beckett, in 1969. The 71-year-old author has lived in […]






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Media, Sensationalism and Media Sensationalism

by Jeff McMahon May 10, 2011

Lauren Berlant speaking on media sensationalism? I couldn’ t miss that. So I found my way to the University of Chicago’s Gleacher Center to have a listen. Only to find out I’d overlooked the comma between media and sensationalism. Lauren Berlant is an English professor at the University of Chicago, but that title can’t contain […]






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A remembrance of Miriam Hansen

by David Alm February 14, 2011

I learned of Miriam Hansen’s death the way most of the world did, from the New York Times Sunday edition. Hers was a featured obituary in the paper that day, one of two that got  full write-ups. This is a testament to the influence Hansen had on film scholarship during her luminous, 35-year career in […]






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What good is studying the humanities?

by David Alm February 11, 2011

My first post for this blog was inspired by New York State officials reporting that less than half of the state’s high school students are graduating prepared for success in college or well-paid careers. I wrote about how this might impact the humanities as a field of study, if kids are taught throughout school to […]






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Does the ‘library of the future’ need books?

by Jeff McMahon February 9, 2011
University of Chicago Mansueto Library artist

Every day I cross Ellis Avenue to avoid the construction zone of the University of Chicago’s emerging Mansueto Library, whose elliptical crystal dome caps four underground floors where 3.5 million books will be kept in compact storage. When library users at ground level request books (via the library website) they will be retrieved from the […]






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