Past Theses


Lena Madison - "The Academic Guide to the African-American Natural Hair Movement"

Sarah Morris - "The Haight & The Hierarchy: Church, City, and Culture in San Francisco, 1967-2008"

Jack Rooney - "Where Have All the Manly Journalists Gone? :Gender and Masculinity in Representation of Journalists on American Television" 

Hannah Ashley - "Magnificent Megafauna: American Wildlife in National Park Iconography"

Gretel Kauffman - "Attica!: Representations of the 1971 Prison Riot in National and Local Journalism"

Victor Benavides - "Rap & Responsibility: Black Music & The Burden of Representation"

Maria Do - "The Cultural Costs of High Achievement: An Oral History of First Generation Asian-American High School & College Students"



Meg Handelman - "Headlines and Hashtags: The Story of Michael Brown and Ferguson"

Ted Korolyshun - "The Catholic School Niche: English Language Lerners and Vouchers in Milwaukee and South Bend"

Caroline Schuitema - "Literary Environmentalism in the Desert Southwest"

Bailey Stavetski - "Atomic America and Australia: The Emergence of American and Australian Discourses on the Atomic Bomb"

Kelsey Johnson - "Fashioning a Rape Culture: Glamourizing and Resisting Sexual Violence in the High Fashion Industry"



Alex Barr “Alcatraz Island: Carceral Icon, Liberatory Beacon, and Public Park”

Aubrey Butts “Classrooms of Democracy: Libraries and Museums as Sites of Citizenship” 

Sarah Cahalan "Everbody’s Serious but Me: Humor at Time and in the American Upper Class"

Tori Creighton "Remade in Chile: The Story of a South American Dream"

Mary Frailey "Selling Gaelic Games in America"

Maria Kosse "Striptease: The Politics of Neo-Burlesque"

Cait Ogren “Sexpots and Servants: Latina Representations on Contemporary Scripted Television”

Mike Vangel “Delta Sound: The Modern Search for Authentic Blues”

Mary Kate Veselik "Formation Through Foundation: The Implications of Residential Living on Students’ Identity at the University of Notre Dame""

Mara Walsh "More than Mrs. Carter: The Feminist, Racial, and Classed Politics of Beyoncé"



Chris Herlihy – Pro Football and Its Uncertain Future as American Icon

Olivia Lee - Creating and Contesting the Cult of Girlhood: Magazines, Zines, and the Girls Who Read Them

Lauren Kelly - Media Darlings: Feminism and Female Murderers in the 1990s

Colin O’Neil - Identity, Activism and Queer Representation in the Age of AIDS, 1985-1995

Linda Scheiber - Going Green in the Classroom: an Elementary School Environmental Education Unit for Citizen Stewards

Cooper Triggs - The Dawn of the Platinum Age of Television

Christina Wiech - “The Biggest of Stories on the Grandest of Stages”: An Analysis of the Olympic Opening Ceremonies of 1996 and 2002

Ben Zelmer - Selling Mystique, Tradition, and Nostalgia in Big Time College Football



Kevin De La Montaigne: "Does It Get Better? The it Gets Better Project and the Commodification of Social Activism"

Ross Finney: ""A Blank Generation": Richard Hell and American Punk Rock"

Katie Gabriel: "Fame, Fortune, Celebrity, and Scandal: The Evolution of the Collegiate Head Football Coach"

Eileen Gillespie: "Nutritionally Bankrupt: Supermarkets in South Bend, Indiana, and their Role in Food Insecurity"

Amanda Gray: "Dungeons, Dragons and ‘Dweebs’: American Role-playing Games in the 21st Century “

Amy Holsinger: ”Making Race on the Frontier: Disney’s West in Anaheim and Paris"

Barbara Johnson: "Overcoming the Myth of the American Indian: Representations and Identity of Upper Midwest Tribes"

Kjerstin Johnson: "From “Keeping up with the Joneses” to Keeping up with the Kardashians: American Consumerism on Display"

Molly Madden: "Women Candidates, Media, and American Politics: Image Projection and Electability"

Annie McKeon: "American Efforts to End China’s One-Child Policy: All Girls Allowed and Gendercide Prevention"

Maisy O’Malley: "Cul-de-sac Culture Within City Limits: Exploring Urban/Suburban Borders in Chicago"

Becca Page: "The French Chef in America: Developing A Role in American Culinary Media, 1960s and Today"

Stephanie Perez: "They Made It, Now What? An Analysis of Cristo Rey High Schools’ Preparation of Latino Students for College"



Bilma Canales: “Salvadoran Migration: Perspective from Both Homelands”

Delia Cronin: "The Cost of a Dream: An Analysis of the Biographies of Olympic American Icons"

Amanda Johnson: “The Forgotten Fair:Omaha’s 1898 Contribution to Western Identity”

Anna Katter: “The Price of Patriotism: The Commemoration of Soldier Dead in Contemporary America”

Carrie Powell: “Two Riders Were Approaching:Bob Dylan’s Appropriation of The American Cowboy”

Mark Purcell: “Shifting Sands and Nurtured Nature: The Cultural Identity of the Indiana Dunes”

Catherine Scallen: “Bitch. Contemporary Feminism in American Consumer Culture”

Sierra Skelton: “Creating California’s New Art City” 

Francesca Swalwell: “Guinness is Good for You: Irish American Identity and Pub Culture”

Matthew Swanson: “Aaron Copland and Appalachian Spring: Toward an American Sound”

Sam Warner: “A Declining Standard: Sports Media in the Internet Era”



Denise Baron: From Slum Clearance and Public Housing High Rises to the Olympic Village: The History of Housing in Bronzeville and the Chicago 2016 Olympic Bid

Dylan Blake: “Self-Consciousness Never Dates”

Meghan Bliss: Narrated Nostalgia: Narratives of Highway 50 and their Present Histories of America

John Bracke: Cultural Representations of Conspiracy.Theories in Contemporary America

Charlotte Buhler: “Beaming Blackness: Imaging African Americans 1965 to the Present”

Cynthia Curley: Developing the Unripe American Market: Wine in Domestic Consumer Culture Domestic Consumer Culture

Sarah Rodts: The Erasure of Interracial Contact at Colonial Williamsburg

Mariel Synan: Serving at the Pleasure of the President: Representations of Gender and Power in NBC’s The West Wing

Colleen Walter: Mexican Migrant Children in the U.S. Print Media: Towards a More Responsible and Informed Journalism



Amy Karwoski: "The Most Wonderful Human Beings Ever Brought to the Notice of the Public: Perceiving, Performing, and Politicizing the Disabled Body in P.T. Barnum’s America"

Andrew Nesi: "The Nature of Disney: Navigating the Wild at Disney’s Animal Kingdom"

Eileen Zander: "The Next of Kin to the Wayward Wind: The Protean Image of John Wayne as Maverick American Cowboy"



Robert Costa: "The Moment is the Message: the End of Traditional Political Journalism?“

Steve Tortorello: ”Body Slammed Through the Looking Glass: How Professional Wrestling Acts as a Mirror of American Archetypal Values and Cultural Trends"

Kathleen Coverick – Manifestations of Gentrification in Pilsen and Bronzeville, Chicago



Liz Coffey: “Remembering September 11th: United 93 and World Trade Center as a Window into American Attitudes, Five Years Later”

Joey Falco: "And that’s the way (we say) it is: The Effects of Citizen Journalism on the News Industry and American Political Life"



Jack Brill: "Don DeLillo, Jonathan Franzen and Charles Bukowski: Literary Perspectives on Consumer Waste, Technology and the Corporation’s Deleterious Effects on American Culture and the Lower Class"

Jessica Lienau: “Consumerism and the Feminine Identity: a Modern Perspective of Changing Female Identities in the Literature of Theodore Dreiser and Plum Sykes”

Matthew Skinner: "Will the Vietnam War Ever End?: John Kerry, the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, and the Dynamics of a New American Political Phenomenon"

Alexis Zouhary: “Unequal Justice Under Law: White Citizenship, Interpretative Instability and the Syrian Naturalization Cases”



Kathryn Finn: “The Boston Irish: a Comparative Study in Strongholds of the Celtic Culture”