Research Projects

Many American Studies majors choose to complete an Honors project on a topic of their interest. Most or all of the work associated with an Honors project is done in the senior year, though it may be started earlier, and culminates in a research or critical paper or its counterpart in the creative arts.

Similarly, Senior Seminar is run as a group independent study; each student is asked to pick a topic of their own design with advising from a professor. The students complete a large-scale, (20+ pages) research paper with many academic sources. Some of these projects are on the scale of an Honors Project.


Senior Seminar Projects

  • Constantin J. Berlin, Charlottesville’s Monument to Robert E. Lee: A Symbol of the Lost Cause Myth and an Expression of White Supremacy
  • Aidan Ely, Sit Down, and Listen to the Scrappy & Obnoxious Truth of Our Founders’ Mythos
  • Maximilian Mitschke, The Weary Blues and To Pimp A Butterfly: Art, Race, and Social Movements
  • Jamie L. Slusser, Art in the Women’s March 2017-2018: Visual Culture and Social Protest Movements
  • Mallory Stewart, A Desert in the Urban Rainforest: Food Accessibility in Geneva, NY
  • Alexandra Baird, The Kardashians and the Evolution of American Girlhood
  • Sean Barry, Creating a Campus: HWS and This Week in Photos
  • Peter Gesualdi, Pop Culture and Rap: A New Medium for Hidden Truths
  • Adam Goodman, The Evil Developer and the Virtuous Neighborhood: The Portrayal of Gentrification in Hollywood Films
  • Andrew Lukas, Deflategate in Social Context
  • Jennifer Sullivan, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition Redux: Women of Color and Body Image
  • Shane Sweeney, The Cost of Words: Professional Athletes, Race, and the Media
  • Beau Schneider: Teaching Slavery: Textbooks and African-American History
  • Tyler John Wilson-Menting: President Barack Obama’s Rhetoric in State of the Union Speeches about Poverty and Social Class in Modern Day America
  • Alex Love: “Just One of the Boys”: The Rhetoric of Masculinity in Contemporary Lacrosse
  • Connor Wahlen: Hollywood’s War on Terror: Masculinity and Military Forces in Post 9/11 Hollywood Films
  • Emma Barnes: Sportswomen: Media Portrayals of Female Olympic Athletes
  • George Welles: Hot Guns, Cool Heads: The CIA in Hollywood during the Cold War Era
  • Will Fix: Adderall Culture (Podcast)
  • Maximilian Eyle: Thinking about Millennials (Podcast)
  • Kelsey Goggin: Whole Foods and Social Media
  • McGee O’Neil: Integrating Baseball: The New York Times’ Portrayal of Jackie Robinson
  • Matthew Massey: The Evolution of Tennis: From an Elite Sport to a Sport for the Common Man
  • Olivia Lowenberg: Last Laughs: Nixon, the New Left and Saturday Night Live
  • Connor Rehbaum: Beyond Wounded Knee: The Fight for Native American Identity
  • Lauren Blake-Whitney: An “Imagined Vietnam”: Memory and National Belonging in the Lives of the Vietkieu in Orange County, California

Student/Faculty Research Collaborations


Independent Study: Exploring Identities

Independent Study


The Womb Chair Speaks



American history with a local twist

American history with local twist

Student Research Projects

Digital Humanities Project

Digital Humanities


Digital Humanities Project

Digital Humanities