Knowledge@UChicago featured research: The Secret Faces of Inscrutable Poets in Nelson Algren’s Chicago

February’s featured research is a master’s thesis completed as part of the University of Chicago’s Master of Arts Program in the Humanities (MAPH).  Graduating students and alumni interested in raising the visibility of and increasing access to their PhD dissertation, master’s thesis, or BA/BS thesis are invited to share their work in Knowledge@UChicago.

Knowledge@UChicago has served as the open access home for University of Chicago PhD dissertations since 2015 and visitors to the repository will find more than 700 open access dissertations by University of Chicago researchers available. While University of Chicago PhD dissertations are also available in the subscription-based ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database, University of Chicago theses can be more difficult to find and, thereby, to use and reference in other research projects.

We’ve been glad to see recent examples of University of Chicago researchers sharing their master’s theses in Knowledge@UChicago. This month, Jeffrey McMahon, a University of Chicago alumnus, lecturer, and MAPH writing advisor shared the thesis he completed in 2002. In “The Secret Faces of Inscrutable Poets in Nelson Algren’s Chicago: City on the Make,” McMahon examines the “symbolic and structural elements” of Algren’s essay and demonstrates the influence that other literary works, particularly Carl Sandburg’s “Chicago,” had on Algren’s text. You can download and read McMahon’s thesis by visiting Knowledge@UChicago.

Figure 5. The Cardiac System: References to the city's heart in "Chicago: City on the Make"

Figure by Jeffrey McMahon, “The Secret Faces of Inscrutable Poets in Nelson Algren’s Chicago: City on the Make,” 2002.

If you are a University of Chicago graduate or current student interested in making your master’s thesis available to the world, visit our site to find more information about Knowledge@UChicago or contact Library staff at knowledge@lib.uchicago.edu. We look forward to reading your work!


Each month, we’re highlighting an example of research shared in Knowledge@UChicago, the University’s open access digital repository. By spotlighting an item shared each month, we hope to illustrate the variety of research that you can find and that UChicago researchers can make available in the repository. University researchers are invited to log in to Knowledge@UChicago and share articles, book chapters, conference materials, datasets, and other scholarly work.  See more digital scholarship news from the Library, including previous featured research on our news site.     

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