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Thesis Topic

The student is expected to complete a normal departmental program, with such emphasis upon the American field as that department permits, and a senior thesis on a topic related to American history, society, or culture. If the student’s major does not accommodate such a topic, an alternate project may be designed, subject to approval of the Program Director. 

Thesis Support Grants

The Program provides small thesis support grants for AMS program members. These grants generally range from about $200-$500, with more available in extraordinary circumstances. To apply for funding, please submit a letter to the Program office. The letter should include:

  • A brief paragraph describing your project.
  • A budget, or list of anticipated expenses
  • The amount of your request.
  •  Information about other sources of funding to which you are applying. 
The letter may be submitted in person in 42 McCosh or by e-mail to

2014 Thesis Titles

The American Legal Practice of Thomas Addis Emmett, 1804-1827

A Return to Terroir: The Evolving American Wine Industry

Evaluating Racial Equality in Private America: The African American Golfing Experience in the 20th Century

Melos in Drama: Exploring the Musical Mind Through Melodrama in Wagner, Brecht, and Sirk

Spending Without Saying: Substantive Representation and President Obama's First Term Anti-Poverty Record

Chanting Down Babylon, Race and Reggae in the Post-War Era

Bureaucratic Control of the U.S. Attorney's Office: An Analysis of Criminal Prosecutions under George W. Bush

Practicing to Succeed: The Effects of the Duration and Intensity of Sports Participation on the Development of Intellectual Resilience

Where is the Soul of a Jackalope? Animism in Taxidermic Practice

Home Improvement: An Empirical Analysis of the Effects of Parental Involvement on Children's Academic Outcomes

Reassuring Memory: History and Nation-Building at Gilded Age and Progressive Era American World's Fairs

Girls in Transition: The Emerging Role of the Female Heroine in Best-Selling Young Adult Novels in the United States from 2003-2013

Hashtags and Headlines: The Evolving Narrative Forms of Journalism in the Digital Age

Constructing Freaks, Families, and Beauty Queens: The Public Display of the Female Body

A Poor Workman Blames His Tools: Why the System Is Not Broken and How Congress is Responsible for the Imperial Presidency

Using U-PB Geochronology to Constrain the Formation of a New Jersey Nelsonite

Between Mold and Molt: Aesthetics and the Matter of Race

A Union at Risk: Competition, Change, and the Political Influence Processes of New York's Teachers Unions

Beyond Escapism: Rehearsing Reality and Therapy in Children's Fantasy Literature - L. Frank Baum's Oz Series and J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter Series

The Role of For-Profit Ventures in Economic Development: A Case Study of Textile Artisans in the Global Apparel Industry

Just Words? An experimental analysis of presidential rhetoric's impact on African-American opinion

The Power of Perception: Examining the National Rifle Organization's Evolution from Shooting Club to Dominant Political Lobby

"Females But Not Followers": Perceptions of femininity, the Self-Concept, and Leadership Ability in Adolescent Females

Job Accessibility, Affordability, and Federal Housing Assistance

The Netflix effect and remote(ly) shared experiences: How social media enables binge-viewing

Mt. McKinley, Denali National Park, Alaska