Alumni

Visual Arts Alumna to Publish Work on Cloistered Nuns

While researching Dedicated to God: An Oral History of Cloistered Nuns, Abbie Reese, MFA'13, spent six years learning and recording the individual stories of a community of cloistered monastic nuns living in a 25,000-square-foot enclosure outside Rockford, Illinois. Those stories and Reese's accompanying photographs will be published in November as part of the Oxford University Press's Oxford Oral History series, and mark one of the first times an author has been allowed access to an enclosure where nuns observe monastic silence. Reese graduated from the Department of Visual Arts in 2013, and has included photos and video from the project on her website. Her photos were also shown in the 2013 MFA Thesis exhibition, which can be found here.

Alumna and Philosophy Professor Featured in Food-centric 'Chicago Reader' Issue

For the "Where Chicago Eats" issue of the Chicago ReaderAnton Ford, Assistant Professor in Philosophy, and Miranda Swanson, AM'01, contributed their thoughts on food.

Anton Ford and Hannah Gold, a fourth-year in the College, debated whether something as crowd-pleasing as a doughnut can be an absolute good in an article penned by Gold. The relationship of donuts to philosophy arose in Ford's "Justice" lecture class, in which he asked, "If one finds a box of doughnuts in a hallway, is she forced to eat them, doughnuts being unmistakably delicious?" ultimately concluding, "Doughnuts are not an absolute good. You choose whether or not to eat another's doughnuts; the act, therefore, cannot be justified."

Miranda Swanson, AM'01, writes about her favorite Chicago chef, who is also her husband. The enjoyment they take from meals has also become a family affair—Swanson's two and a half year old twins are now old enough to appreciate lobster on linguine as well.

Jessica Burstein, AM'90, PhD'98, Publishes Work on Fashion and Modernism

Jessica Burstein, AM'90, PhD'98, published Cold Modernism: Literature, Fashion, Art as part of the Refiguring Modernism series. The book proposes a new understanding of modernism: cold modernism, which "operates on the premise that 'there is a world in which the mind does not exist, let alone matter.'" Burstein wrote about the experience of publishing her book in the latest issue of The University of Chicago Magazine.

Jeff McMahon, AM'02, on the Writing of Roger Ebert, X'70

In an article for Forbes.com, Jeff McMahon, AM'02, examines the beloved, accessible, and often rule-breaking writing style of Roger Ebert, X'70. McMahon notes that many tributes to Ebert since his death have somewhat clumsily focused on his love of movies, and neglected the nuance and humility he brought to his reviews. Along with his obvious passion for the films he reviewed, McMahon's article illustrates that Ebert should be remembered both for his honesty and his respect for the audience. "Why was Roger Ebert the greatest movie reviewer?" McMahon asks. "Not because he cared about movies, not because he told us what to think about movies, but because he told us just enough to care and to think for ourselves."

McMahon is an alumnus of the Master of Arts Program in the Humanities (MAPH) and currently serves as the program's writing advisor. He also teaches journalism courses for the Committee on Creative Writing.

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