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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

2013 Thesis Titles

Specifically For Us? An Evaluation of Permanent Public Art Installed During the 1970s and 1980s in Lower Manhattan

 From Upstarts to Institutions: How W. McNeil Lowry Transformed America’s Nonprofit Theater
Princeton Political Pressures: A Study of Attitude Change in the Undergraduate Population
Touching God and Creating Identity: Mexican and Mexican-American Domestic Altars and Shrines
“God, as we understood Him:” Interpretations of Spirituality in Alcoholics Anonymous
A Women’s Boston: Property, Public Life, and Independence in the Late Nineteenth Century
A Declaration of Dissent: Political Interests, Entrepreneurship Policy, and Innovation in Emerging Markets, 2005-2012
Ex-Human Houseguests: Horror/Televisions’s Domestication, Reproduction, and Resurrection in American Horror Story and The Walking Dead
Crime and Jurisdiction on the Reservation: A Culture of History and Silence
“The Men in the Arena:” The Inspirational Leadership & Reputations of Napoleon Bonaparte, Robert E. Lee, & Winston Churchill
The 1964 World’s Fair: Vision of the Present
Outer Limits Reporting: The Confluence of Literary Genre in Norman Mailer’s, Tom Wolfe’s and Joan Didion’s New Journalism
“Lack of Location is My Location:” The Impossibility of Black Identity in the Text Paintings of Glenn Ligon
Creating the Teenage Dream: the Emergence of Teenage Culture in Postwar America from 1946-1964
Social Dominance and its Effect on Visual Lateralization of Dairy Cattle in a Novel Human Interaction
The Garden and the Grid: A History and Theory of Los Angeles Community Gardens as Cultural Infrastructure
Capital and Conflict: A History of Banks and Public Ownership 
How a Noun Became A Verb: Robert Bork’s Nomination to the Supreme Court

Unsportsmanlike Conduct: Political Interference and the 1956 Sugar Bowl
“Daring to Breed the Horse with the Cow": The Repaint Shan Shui Series by Zhang Hongtu
From Elsie Dinsmore to Blair Waldorf: American Girls’ Series and Femininity Through the Twenty-First Century

Mt. McKinley, Denali National Park, Alaska