The MAPH thesis is usually a 25-35 page research paper on a single scholarly problem, written under the supervision of a preceptor and a faculty advisor.

The thesis typically builds on coursework from Fall quarter, and often involves interdisciplinary research. In some cases, MAPH students elect to complete a creative thesis in literature, theater, music, or the visual arts. A creative thesis also includes a critical component that analyzes and comments on the organizing questions of the thesis itself.

Below is a representative sample of thesis titles along with advisor names. MAPH has over a thousand theses on file in the Anscombe Lounge, all of which are available to current students who may wish to refer to them.

A Sampling of Past Theses

Ben Oxford (MAPH '15) "The Meaning and Fundamental Importance of Revelation in Schelling's Positive Philosophy"
Advised by Jean-Luc Marion, Greeley Professor of Catholic Studies and Professor of the Philosophy of Religions and Theology, Department of Philosophy and Divinity School


Lex Nalley (MAPH '14) “An Empty Hall Echoing: Sound and the Self in William Wells Brown’s Clotel" 

Advised by Lauren Berlant, George M. Pullman Distinguished Service Professor, Department of English


Kate Blair (MAPH '13) “Opacity at the Boundaries of Human Law: Female Criminality in the Films of Claude Chabrol”
Advised by Noa Steimatsky, Associate Professor, Department of Cinema and Media Studies and the College


Rebecca Faber (MAPH '13) “Atomic Media: Nuclear Energy in Japanese News and Film"
Advised by Michael K. Bourdaghs, Professor in Modern Japanese Literature, East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Department Chair, East Asian Languages and Civilizations


Emily Besich (MAPH '12) “Toy Stories: Identifying a Toy Discourse in Nineteenth Century England”
Advised by Bill Brown, Karla Scherer Distinguished Professor in American Culture, Department of English, Department of Visual Arts, Committee on the History of Culture, Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory, Coeditor, Critical Inquiry


Sara Cole (MAPH‘12) “An Archive of the Quotidian: Representations of the Everyday in the Comics of Chris Ware”
Advised by Hillary Chute, Associate Professor, Department of English, Department of Visual Arts


Jane Hanna (MAPH’11), “New Technologies, New Ways of Seeing: Smartphone Apps, Art Museums and Spectatorship”
Advised by Betty Farrell, Executive Director of the Cultural Policy Center at the University of Chicago


Lillian Lampe (MAPH‘10) “Religion in the Museum: The Case of Sacred Art in the National Museum of Phnom Penh, Cambodia”
Advised by Rebecca Zorach, Professor of Art History, Romance Languages, and the College