Honors Thesis

During senior year, students can explore a topic of interest and distinguish themselves by pursuing honors through completing a thesis. Talk to any history department faculty member or the department head as soon as possible. It is never too early to start brainstorming and planning!

This fall, six students have embarked on thesis projects. They presented summaries of their ongoing investigations on Wednesday December 5th, 2018 at Ramer History House, Rm. 103, 4:10pm-6:00pm. 


Here are the presenters and topics:

Khadijah Akeem: The Consequences of War: Women and Children’s Involvement in the Biafra War
Advisor: Professor Christopher Lee

Kamini Masood: ‘Chaadar’ and Chaardivari’: Haseena Moin’s Television Dramas and an Alternate Feminine Consciousness Under Zia’s Regime
Advisor: Professor Rachel Goshgarian

Andrew Mange: Dueling and its Historical Decline in France and the United States, 1700-1900
Advisor: Professor Paul Barclay

Nicole Harry: Soviet Diplomacy and Radio Free Europe in the 1970s
Advisor: Professor Rebekah Pite

Simon Rybansky: “James Morrison Harris: Nativism and the Sectional Crisis in Maryland’s American Party”
Advisor: Professor Deborah Rosen

and a good time was had by all!

Common reasons students cite for pursuing honors:

  • preparing for graduate school
  • honing research skills on a topic of personal interest
  • learning techniques valuable for use in future plans

Recent honors theses in history include:

  • “(Un)Mounting an Army: The Contested Horses of the American South, 1860-1864” – MJ Alexander ’16 (Thesis advisor: Professor Zallen)
  • “Victimhood, Commemoration, and Die Heimat: Narratives, Aspirations, Policies, and Demands of the German Expellee Community and the Adenauer Government, and their Evolution through the 21st Century” – Mason Thomson ’16 (Thesis advisor: Professor Weiner)
  • “The Girls’ Schools of Morocco: Alliance Israélite Universelle and Mission Civilisatrice, 1860-1912” – James Klimek ’15 (Thesis advisor: Professor Goshgarian)
  • “Labor and Landscapes: The Birth and Development of Jamaica’s Banana Industry” – Matthew Plishka ’15 (Thesis advisors: Professor Pite and Professor Cohen)
  • “A De-Stalinized Lenin: The Problem with Reestablishing Leninism during the Thaw” – Christine Shanahan ’15 (Thesis advisor: Professor Sanborn)

EXCEL Scholars Program

Examples of other EXCEL Scholar projects with history professors

  • “Database of Imperial and Wartime Japanese Postcards/Photographs” – Ning Jing ’19 and Professor Barclay
  • “Cold War Internationalism: Ethereal and Corporeal” – Jenn Arko ’18 and Professor Sanborn
  • “The Social History of Lucifer Matches and Outworking Seamstresses” – Tyler Schwartz ’19 and Professor Zallen

The EXCEL Scholars program runs both semesters and during the summer. Students receive hourly wages and are provided housing during the summer session. Further details are available on the EXCEL Scholars webpage.