Deputy Director, Philosophy/MAPH Coordinator
Deputy Director, English and Literary Studies Coordinator
Maren Robinson graduated from MAPH in 2003. She wrote a play and a thesis length paper using Virginia Woolf and Peter Brook to examine gender, space and theatrical creation, a version of which was published in the Center for Classic Theater Review. Her interests include renaissance drama, dramaturgy, and performance studies. She has a B.A. in English from Montana State University. Maren toured with Montana Shakespeare in the Parks and was an artistic intern at Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Before returning to MAPH she was a researcher for civil rights attorneys. In her spare time, Maren teaches dramaturgy and script analysis at another four-year university, and works as a dramaturg for many Chicago theaters, especially TimeLine Theatre where she is a company member. She is happy to discuss MAPH, give recommendations for current dance and theater productions, or trade knitting patterns.
Sarah received her BA in Comparative Literature from the University of Georgia, where she specialized in Japanese language and literature. Like many MAPH students, she realized during the course of her MA year that she wanted to try something different from her undergraduate coursework, and was luckily in the kind of program that allowed her the flexibility to explore. She ended up with a thesis on Flannery O’Connor’s “Good Country People” and the concept of ugliness, applying ideas from affect theory and psychoanalysis. However, she still considers it, like most of her life, a work in progress. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys weird fiction, crocheting, horror movies and Vietnamese food.
Instructor, Teaching in the Community College
V. Joshua Adams
Joshua Adams is a PhD candidate in the Department of Comparative Literature, where he studies lyric poetry (mostly after 1800) and philosophy (mostly Wittgenstein and Cavell). His dissertation, "The Varieties of Impersonality," focuses on the way in which various modern poets (Dickinson, Mallarmé, Eliot, Valéry, Merrill) appealed to formal experiments in order to overcome the skeptical possibility of a "radical privacy." Other interests include translation, the history of religions, and the figure of the philistine. He received an A.M. from the University of Chicago Divinity School in 2002, and a B.A from Georgetown University in the year 2000. An occasional translator of poetry from the Italian, and poetry critic, he edited Chicago Review from 2008 to 2010. He lives in Hyde Park with his wife and daughter.
Joel Calahan is a PhD candidate in comparative literature at the University of Chicago, where he focuses on English and Italian lyric poetry. He received a BA in English literature (with a minor in linguistics) from Pomona College in 2004, and an MA in humanities from the University of Chicago in 2005. His dissertation focuses on the influence of philology and historical linguistics in the work of nineteenth-century poets like Leopardi, Coleridge, Belli, and Hardy. His research interests also include prosody, history of philosophy of language, and translation theory and practice. He translates the Italian poets Edoardo Sanguineti, Marcello Frixione, Laura Pugno, and Giovanna Frene. He has been the coeditor of Chicago Review since 2010, and writes about music for Signal to Noise magazine.
Paul Durica is a graduate student in the Department of English with a focus on late nineteenth and early twentieth century American literature. His writing has appeared in Poetry, The Chicagoan, NewCity, Mid-American Review, Indiana Review, Tin House, and other places. In 2008 he started Pocket Guide to Hell Tours and Reenactments, a series of free and interactive events centered on Chicago history, including the 125th Anniversary Full-Scale Haymarket Reenactment and the Studs Terkel 100th Birthday Party. Pocket Guide to Hell has collaborated with institutions across the city, such as the Newberry Library, the Jane Addams Hull House Museum, and the Chicago Cultural Center, and has been written about in the Huffington Post, Vice, The Atlantic Cities, and The New York Times. He lives in Pilsen with two cats and is surrounded by an amazing community of friends.
Matt Hauske is a PhD candidate in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies. He received BAs in English and Film Studies from the University of California, Irvine in 2002 and an MA in Cinema Studies from NYU in 2005. His dissertation (currently between titles) concerns the cultural background and context of post-World War II Hollywood westerns, including the genre's intersection with contemporary aesthetic movements such as abstract expressionism; other forms of leisure, including automobile tourism and gambling; and alternate moving images practices, especially television. Other research interests include theories and practices of play and the aesthetics of scale, but if you really want to get him talking, ask about his basil plants.
Megan Heffernan is a PhD candidate in English at the University of Chicago, where she studies the literature of early modern England, with particular interests in poetry and textual studies. Her dissertation, "Each Part Together Sought: Inventing the English Poetry Collection, 1557-1640," considers the early modern development of the book of collected poems. It explores the intersection of poetic and textual form, experiments in fiction-making, and the literary history of the long sixteenth century. She has taught for programs across the University of Chicago: for the Humanities Common Core, the English Department, the London Program, and now for MAPH. Though far from an expert yogini, she often finds herself drawn to her yoga mat during her downtime.
Kerri Hunt is a PhD candidate in English at the University of Chicago. She received a BA in English and American Literature from NYU in 2003. A Victorianist by training and inclination, Kerri also studies and teaches a course on early 20th-century detective fiction. Her dissertation, “Reality Effects,” treats novels by Scott, Gaskell, and Dickens with an eye to the formal implications of their object-cluttered interiors. These writers, she argues, select and arrange the apparently innocuous objects which form the authenticating backgrounds of their narratives so that their novels also invoke and participate in contemporary debates about the nature, possibilities, and limits of fictional representation. Although she rarely escapes the ivory tower, Kerri does find some time to pursue outside interests including vintage fashion, world travel, and 1930s slang.
Jennifer Johnson is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Chicago. She received her B.A. in Biology and Philosophy from Grinnell College (Iowa) in 1999. Her dissertation is a work in ancient philosophy and contemporary ethics, centering on Aristotle’s claim that one must have all of the virtues in order to count as having any of them. Specifically, the project aims to explain both how we can make sense of the claim and also why Aristotle was right to endorse it. Beyond ethics and the ancients, Jennifer has broad interests in social and political philosophy, in philosophy and literature, and in psychoanalysis.
Ian Hickox graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in English. Before coming to Chicago and MAPH in 2012, he taught English in South Korea. He wrote his MAPH thesis about William Faulkner's novel Go Down, Moses and its implications for conceptions of the Great Migration that understand African American out migration from the South as a repudiation of Jim Crow. Ian is primarily interested in late 19th and 20th century American literature, African American literature, and literary regionalism/nationalism. His other interests include watching reruns of This Old House, bicycle repairs, and complaining about the theft of the Sonics from Seattle.
Bill received a BA in English and Philosophy in 2010 from University of New Mexico. During the decade and a half between dropping out of college and completing the BA, he worked as a bookseller, journalist, teacher, animal welfare advocate, and helicopter hangar window-washer. His interests include 19th- and early 20th-century science fiction; critical animal theory; and wonder, amazement, and epiphany. During his MAPH year, he wrote a thesis arguing that H.G. Wells’ The Island of Doctor Moreau uses notions of the hand to produce and destabilize what distinguishes human life from animal life. Alongside mentoring in MAPH and teaching writing, Bill entertains children, pets, and impossible ideas.
Chrissy received her BA from Barnard College in 2009, where she majored in English with a concentration in Theater. During her undergraduate career, Chrissy focused most of her academic attention towards the study of Renaissance Drama, while working with Columbia’s student run ambulance corps as an EMT. In the two years following her graduation, she worked for a brief stint in healthcare administration, where she quickly decided to turn her attention away from a potential nursing career and back towards the humanities. Chrissy wrote her MA thesis on a play called MacBird!, a 1960's countercultural adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth that commentated on JFK's assassination. In her free time, she plays pool in a league up in Wicker Park.
Violet and Typo Hutchison-Bershad
Little is known about the early lives of Violet (right) and Typo (left) Hutchison-Bershad. Violet moved to Chicago in the summer of 2011, and Typo joined her shortly thereafter. Though their siblinghood is a reluctant one, they make frequent appearances together on the Midway and in area parks. Their shared interests include squirrels, olfactory information, and the possibility of a walk. They hold office hours as their schedules permit.