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!

In Fall 2019, ten thesis projects will be previewed at the Wednesday December 4 History Department Thesis Project Presentations in Ramer 103, 4:10pm-6:00pm. Including:

Gwen Ellis, “The Spies Are Among Us: What German Films Tell Us About Secret Police Systems” (Josh Sanborn, advisor)

Gabby Tropp, “Man, Myth, and Legend: El Cid and the Formation of Spanish Nationalism” (Paul Barclay, Advisor)

Courtney Cohen, “The Emergence of Eco-facists: An analysis of Nature Ideologies within National Socialism ” (Jeremy Zallen, Chris Phillips, advisors)


Ruhao “Amy” Wen, “The King’s Two Bodies: A Double-Edged Sword for Japanese Emperorship” (Paul Barclay, advisor)

Rachel Bram, “Unsanctioned Slave Rebellions of the Civil War” (Jeremy Zallen, advisor)

Ren Makino, “Yamabe Kentarō: The Modern Japanese Individual and the Margins of the Public Sphere” (Paul Barclay, advisor)

Robbie Maxwell, “Politics of Toasting During the Antebellum Period” (Deborah Rosen, advisor)

Mackenzie Lawlor, “Fractured Irishness: The Influence of the 1916 Easter Rising on Irish Identity” (Paul Barclay, advisor)



In academic year 2018-19, six students embarked on thesis projects, and four finished with honors. At the December 2018 presentations, all six presented summaries of their ongoing investigations to prospective thesis writers, faculty, and each other.

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:

  • “‘Chaadar’ and Chaardivari’: Haseena Moin’s Television Dramas and an Alternate Feminine Consciousness Under Zia’s Regime” –Kamini Masood ’19 (Thesis advisor: Professor Goshgarian)
  •  “Duelling and its Historical Decline in France and the United States, 1700-1900” – Andrew Mange ’19 (Thesis advisor: Professor Barclay)
  •  “Soviet Diplomacy and Radio Free Europe in the 1970s” – Nicole Harry ’19 (Thesis advisor: Professor Pite)
  •  “The Great 1920s Oahu Sugar Strike: Asian Immigration, Labor, and Memory” – Bradley Au’ 19 (Thesis advisor: Professor Zallen)
  • “(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)