First-year students take an intensive yearlong seminar that introduces them to the interdisciplinary study of literature and culture of the Americas, with an emphasis on developing writing, oral presentation, and research skills. The seminar is team-taught and provides a platform for discussion, exploration, and debate, while strengthening writing and speaking abilities. The year culminates in a 25- to 30-page research paper on a topic of the student’s own choosing.
Sophomores are introduced to the interdisciplinary study of science and philosophy with an objective of engaging in critical thinking and research. Different areas of inquiry are examined each year, such as evolutionary biology, environmental ethics, and epistemology and logic.
Juniors take an upper-division Interdisciplinary Seminar, selecting from a variety of topics such as Global Social Movements, Posthumanism, Biology and the Economics of Cooperation, Peace and Social Justice, and others. Juniors also participate in a Colloquium with the Honors Program director, in preparation for the Senior Honors Thesis.
Seniors complete a Senior Thesis, which represents the capstone of one’s work in the Honors Program and allows them to spend an extended period of time studying a topic important to them. As part of this process, they enroll in a small thesis-writing seminar, led by their thesis advisor, working alongside their peers to develop their ideas, deepen their analysis, and polish their writing.
RECENT HONORS THESES
- “Music Makes the Man: An Examination of Spectatorship and Identification with Male Musicians in Film” by a Visual and Media Arts major
- “Through Space and Play: The Mastery Aesthetic in Videogames” by a Writing, Literature and Publishing major
- “Politics of (white) Discomfort: Freeway Revolt and Disruptive Performance” by a Performing Arts major
- “King Kunta, the Critical Race Theorist: Kendrick Lamar, Black Lives Matter, and the Intersection Between Music and New Social Movements” by a Communication Studies major
- “Reconciling Cognitive Linguistics and a Phenomenological Account of Language Through the Work of Antonin Artaud” by an IDIP major
- “Animal-Assisted Therapy for Children with Autism” by a Communication Disorders major
- “In Defense of NPR: A Critical Review of National Public Radio’s Communicative Philosophy” by a Journalism major
- “Marketing a Revolution: How the Arab Uprisings Have Influenced Commercial Advertising Messages in Egypt” by a Marketing Communications major
- “The Committed Documentary in the 21st Century: Non-Fiction Political Filmmaking in the Grassroots” by a Visual and Media Arts major
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