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Humanities Interdisciplinary Program

Humanities Interdisciplinary Program

Senior Thesis & Senior Project Proposal Guidelines

All students majoring in the Humanities Interdisciplinary Program are required to complete a Thesis (app. 25-40 pages) or Senior Project during their senior year, usually in the last semester. During the semester in which they write their thesis/project, they will register for HUM 497, for which they will receive three units of credit. The thesis/project will be written under the direction of a full-time member of the faculty (the “thesis/project advisor”), who will also be responsible for giving the student a grade for HUM 497 (in this way HUM 497 functions like an independent study). The thesis/project will be interdisciplinary (drawing on research from at least two different fields of inquiry and/or engaging with at least two cultural forms) that is persuasive (with a precise and analytical thesis statement) and well designed. In the semester before writing the thesis/project, the student will complete a thesis/project proposal, of at least 500 words, describing in five separate sections:

  1. The project (with a tentative thesis title and statement).
  2. The research it will require (including the primary and secondary sources you plan to consult).
  3. Its methodology/approach (e.g. “feminist,” “historicist,” “Marxist”).
  4. Its interdisciplinary component (e.g. drawing from art, architecture, literature, philosophy).
  5. The timeline for its completion.

Successful projects in the past have examined such topics as the influence of Islamic culture on Spanish art and architecture during the Renaissance, the tension between recent media portrayals of Asian American women and their struggles to self-represent, and the existentialist implications of nineteenth-century writings by Marx and Darwin. It is the responsibility of the student to contact and make arrangements to work with a thesis/project advisor (usually someone from whom they have taken a class), who must sign and thereby approve the proposal. This signature also indicates that advisor’s willingness to work with the student during the timeline specified in the proposal. The student will also sign the proposal (indicating thereby her or his willingness to abide by the timeline and project proposal) and will deliver it to the Coordinator of the Humanities Interdisciplinary Program, who must also sign and approve the project. Copies of the signed proposal will be kept by the Program, by the thesis/project advisor, and by the student.