Email a Current Student


Communicating with current students is another great way to learn about the Master of Arts Program in the Humanities (MAPH) and the larger University of Chicago community. You are welcome to contact any of the current students profiled below. While many MAPH students have interdisciplinary academic interests, they are grouped here by just one of their main interests so that you can find someone to reach out to with whom you have something in common.

Art History

“Mew” Lingjun Jiang |

Mew graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2018, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in studio arts and art history and a minor in East Asian Languages and Civilizations. Mew’s senior thesis looked into how Western science and art influenced Maruyama School’s figure paintings and anatomy illustrations in late 18th and early 19th century. Before coming to Chicago, Mew was an artist working with illustrations, paintings and performances, active in the Urbana-Champaign community. Mew is now a second-year graduate student in the MAPH-TLO program, studying art history and Japanese. Mew’s art history study focuses on Japanese visual culture and works by contemporary artist Fuyuko Matsui. In addition, Mew is interested in East Asian cultural exchange, early 20th century Japanese literature, and Japanese pop-culture. Mew has an imaginary friend named MewMew. During their free time, they work on illustration projects and watch anime together.

Cinema and Media Studies

Amelia Arnold |

I’m a writer, filmmaker, and now a proud MAPH student! I graduated from Barnard College in 2017, where I studied English Literature and Film. I also did a bunch of improv in college, so judge me as you will. At MAPH, I hope to work on Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse and the cinema of Chantal Akerman. When I’m not milling about Hyde Park, I like to go to Second City shows, memorize Moira Rose’s best quotes from Schitt’s Creek, and make a final attempt to learn to cook.

Sabrina Castillo |

Hello! My name is Sabrina Castillo! I'm a Creative Writing MAPH-TLO student! I graduated Vassar with an English degree, and I'm here to hone my skills as a writer. I'm very interested in anime and video games and bridging the gap between the STEM fields and the humanities! I'm also doing TLO for Japanese. Outside of MAPH, I work at a non-profit a few blocks south of campus called Experimental Station. Please let me know if you have any questions!

Jade Ryan |

I finished my BA at University of Florida and studied English/Film Studies with a minor in Russian studies. I'm a TLO MAPHer studying Russian and probably another Slavic language, and my areas of interest are film and new media and studies of nationalism, visual rhetoric and memes, relationships between avant garde movements and political bodies, and critical theory. Outside of school, I love punk music, finding new vegan recipes, and trivia competitions.

Comparative Literature

Jackson Cyril |

I’m a TLO (two-year language option) student focusing on Tamil and Sanskrit. I worked on Math and British History as an undergrad and am now interested in exploring the intellectual and artistic world of the Tamil country, especially in the pre-modern period. In my free time, I drink coffee, go on long walks and read Dante. 

Adrian Iu |

Adrian is a current MAPH student with a focus in comparative literature. He completed his undergraduate studies in Linfield College (McMinnville, Oregon), double majoring in English literature and Spanish as well as minoring in Gender Studies. His academic interests range from global pre-globalization literatures to contemporary national literatures in Chinese, English and Spanish literary cultures. His current academic focus is to understand how sexual intercourse and sexuality are constructed and portrayed in the form of homoerotic novels and their tactics to censor hot, passionate sex in late 19th century China, United States and Spain. Outside of his academic work, Adrian enjoys singing, cooking, sleeping, running and learning new languages.

Zahra Muhsin |

Hello! My name is Zahra and I am a MAPH-TLO (Arabic) student.  I am an Illinois native and did my undergraduate degree at NIU where I got my English Teaching License (grades 6-12). Pursuing higher education was important for me to sharpen my research, writing, reading, and Arabic skills, so I am very excited to be doing all of that and more in MAPH at the University of Chicago. My goal is to cultivate my interdisciplinary interests through studying more English, Comparative and Post-Colonial literature as well as Race and Policy as it pertains to education. Other hobbies include drinking too much coffee, borrowing more books than I could ever read, and popping into group fitness classes on campus. Also, I work in the Dean of Students Office in the Humanities as a Higher Education Fellow where I reach out to prospective students and answer any questions. So please feel free to contact me as you make your decision to apply to the University of Chicago!

Creative Writing

Nancy Chen |

Nancy decided to return to school after working for 8 years as a program and engagement manager for arts and culture organizations in Philadelphia. She holds a B.A. in English Language and Literature from the University of Virginia. Nancy is completing the MAPH program part-time over the course of two and a half years. She was drawn to the interdisciplinary nature of the program and has taken courses in Creative Writing, Modern/Contemporary English Literature and Art History. Outside of her MA studies, Nancy is a freelance writer and a full-time educator in the Department of Learning and Public Engagement at the Art Institute of Chicago.

English Language and Literature

Brittni Delmaine |

I'm Brittni. I graduated from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC with a B.S. in English, Secondary Education in 2012. My undergraduate life was focused on pedagogy and helping first-generation college students gain skills to ensure future success. I've worked the past seven years as a high school English teacher in different schools in North Carolina. While I loved (and miss!) teaching and building relationships with my students, I decided I needed to pursue an intellectual and academic challenge. I'm interested in 20th/21st century American literature, particularly postmodern thought and the pushback in literature against it. Outside of MAPH I work as the UChicago jazz ensembles assistant and help with music events across campus.

Annie Diamond |

Annie Diamond is a Connecticut native who loves watching the sunrise at Lake Michigan. She earned her BA in English and creative writing from Barnard College. Before coming to Chicago she also earned her MFA in poetry from Boston University. At Chicago she works on poetics and modernist literature, and wrote a thesis involving James Joyce, Jamaica Kincaid, and a poetics of home. Outside of MAPH, she works at Grounds of Being (the Divinity School Coffee Shop) and the Seminary Co-op bookstore, watches reruns of The West Wing, and cooks herself breakfast.

Cole Donovan |

Hi, I’m Cole! I attended the University of Georgia for my undergrad where I officially studied English Education but ultimately fell in love with medieval literature. And so, here I am at MAPH! I am studying trans-historical uses of medieval culture with special interest in penitential literature and the Old English language. Aside from my studies, you can probably find me playing Fleet Foxes on the MAPH lounge piano or reciting Beowulf to my unamused friends!

Nick Nurre |

Hi! My name is Nick Nurre and I'm a part of this year's MAPH cohort. I studied English Literature and Philosophy at Knox College prior to enrolling in MAPH. I primarily work with postwar novelistic writing and I plan on pursuing questions of futurity and the concept of "life" under the conditions of neoliberalism during my year here at UChicago. Aside from my academic interests, I'm an avid fan of anime and hip-hop music. I'm also employed with the Center for Research Libraries, a university-affiliated organization that facilitates collaborations between research libraries around the world. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions you may have!

Gender and Sexuality Studies

August / Hannah Clarke |

Hannah Abigail Clarke came from Ohio farm country with a BA in Creative Writing, Classical Humanities, and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies via Miami University.  Their novel THE SCAPEGRACERS debuts May of 2020 via Erewhon Books, and you can find his writing in PRISM international, Portland Review, Eidolon, Dream Pop Press, and sprinkling of other places.  Inside of MAPH, they're studying queerness and monstrosity, embodiment, liminality, and labor.  He's taking the Gender and Sexuality Studies MAPH option, which for her means they take a lot of English courses that are cross listed with Gender and Sexuality Studies. Outside of MAPH, she can be found reading tarot and streaming horror flicks.  Pronouns malleable, leo sun, libra moon, capricorn ascendant.

Matthias Gompers |

Originally from Baltimore, Matthias received their BA in English and the Writing Seminars from Johns Hopkins University in 2019 before coming to MAPH.  Their academic work is at the intersection of literature, creative writing, and feminist and trans/gender theory, and their thesis will explore the construction and metaphysics (or lack there-of) of gender, especially as it relates to trans and non-binary people and their narratives.  When they aren’t reading Andrea Long Chu and listening to My Chemical Romance, Matthias is probably exploring Chicago or watching the Ravens game.


Yuanjin Xia |

I received my BA in philosophy and sociology at Tsinghua University, Beijing. My field of interest is in political philosophy, especially the state-individual relationship, democracy, gender equality, and human rights issues. Plus, I am a TLO student, and I am learning German in MAPH as well. I enjoy Japanese comics and anime in my free time, and I like to watch documentaries on historical events and public issues in different countries. As a student who did not have much educational background in North America, I find MAPH a perfect choice for me to get started and explore the system. I want to help all of those who share the same background-issues as me.

Poetry and Poetics

Tristan Beiter |

Tristan Beiter is from rural central Pennsylvania and got his BA in English Literature (with Creative Writing) and Gender and Sexuality Studies from Swarthmore College. In MAPH he plans on studying poetry since 1900 and poetics, focusing particularly on contemporary science-fiction and fantasy poetry. He's also interested in anthologies/book construction and queer and experimental poetry and poetics. Outside of his studies, he's a (speculative) poet himself with works in places like GlitterShip, Abyss & Apex, and Eternal Haunted Summer, as well as an avid knitter, tatter, and reader of SFF poetry and fiction.