The Department of American Studies is delighted to host its Third Annual Honors Thesis Symposium. Four honors thesis students present papers based on their yearlong research projects.
Taj Bruno’s thesis, “Latkes for Santa: An Analysis of the American Jewish Perspective on Christmas,” explores the curious historical relationship between the American Jewish community and the celebration of Christmas.
Alyse Camus’ thesis, “From Kuznetsky Most to Brooklyn Bridge: Mayakovsky's Discovery of America,” examines the Russian poet Mayakovsky and his trip to the United States in 1925 as a lens into his personal history, the histories of the United States and the Soviet Union, and his observations about industrialization and racism during his travels.
Melissa Herman’s thesis, “The Scene Aesthetic: How Indie Rock is Helping Re-Segregate Austin,” explores the ways in which the success of ACL and SXSW has further fostered an environment of exclusion for Austin's Black and Latino residents, while socially and financially benefitting the city, its image and a large proportion of its White residents.
Morgan Machiorlette’s thesis, “Underfunded, Unequal, and Unheard: The Realities of Low-Income Students in the Philadelphia Public School District," considers how financial deficits and blighted community environments negatively affect students and consequently perpetuate the cycle of poverty in low-income Philadelphia public schools.
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