American Studies


American Studies honors dinner

Photo taken at the first American Studies Honors dinner,
where faculty cometo celebrate students who were inducted
into the national American Studies honor society as well as
studentswho are doing honors in American Studies.

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 begun 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, (approximately fifty pages) research paper with many academic sources. Some of them are on the scale of an Honors Project.


  • Tyler Wilson-Menting '15: “Three Modern Presidents and their use of the Rhetoric of American Expectionalism during War Time,” Elizabeth Belanger, Adviser

Senior Seminar Topics

  • 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 '15: Teaching Slavery: Textbooks and African-American History
  • Tyler John Wilson-Menting '15: President Barack Obama’s Rhetoric in State of the Union Speeches about Poverty and Social Class in Modern Day America
  • American Studies honors dinner
  • Alex Love '15: “Just One of the Boys”: The Rhetoric of Masculinity in Contemporary Lacrosse
  • Connor Wahlen '15: Hollywood’s War on Terror: Masculinity and Military Forces in Post 9/11 Hollywood Films
  • Emma Barnes '15: Sportswomen: Media Portrayals of Female Olympic Athletes
  • George Welles '15: Hot Guns, Cool Heads: The CIA in Hollywood during the Cold War Era
  • Will Fix '15: Adderall Culture (Podcast)
  • Maximilian Eyle '15: Thinking about Millennials (Podcast)
  • Kelsey Goggin '15: Whole Foods and Social Media
  • McGee O’Neil '15: Integrating Baseball: The New York Times’ Portrayal of Jackie Robinson
  • Matthew Massey '15: The Evolution of Tennis: From an Elite Sport to a Sport for the Common Man
  • Oliva Lowenberg '15: Last Laughs: Nixon, the New Left and Saturday Night Live,
  • Connor Rehbaum '15: Beyond Wounded Knee: The Fight for Native American Identity
  • Lauren Blake-Whitney '14: An “Imagined Vietnam”: Memory and National Belonging in the Lives of the Vietkieu in Orange County, California



Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.