Liberal Arts at Their Finest

As a history major or minor, what capstone project do you long to pursue?   Let your history professors and peers know!

How can you incorporate your major(s) or minor(s) or favorite classes into one amazing senior project?

  1. cmelone’s avatar

    I love your idea Jenni, it reminds me so much of my History senior seminar, in which I examined the 1911 Chicago and 1913 Portland vice commission reports. They were so interesting to me because there was a shift in perception away from “slut shaming” to recognizing that prostitutes were victims, being taken advantage of by others for economic benefit. I ended up really loving this project. Going into my senior seminar I was nervous because the time period was the Progressive Era, which I had never studied. My advice to people who may be facing a similar concern is that as historians we recognize that there are recurring themes in history. Even if you are studying a time period you are not initially drawn to, look instead for a theme that appeals to you. For me that theme was the treatment and perception of women. If you are having a hard time with this, go and talk to the professor teaching the seminar because they know a lot more about that time period than you and can help you find something that draws your interest. But it is so important to start thinking now about what appeals to you, because I am willing to state as a fact that you will not write a good 20+ page paper on a topic you do not like.

  2. jtucker1’s avatar

    Salve from Rome! As someone who is majoring (History and GRS) and minoring (Art History and Psych) in far too much, it is more difficult to not have interdisciplinary topics for projects, papers, and presentations in my classes. But I study what I love and all the stress that comes with scheduling has been well worth it! When it comes to my senior capstone project I have it outlined on a post-it note I keep at my bedside in Rome. (If you haven’t figured out I’m a nerd by now let this be my official declaration of nerdom. But it’s ok, the nerds have won.) I recently gave a presentation on Theodora of Byzantium in my mixed graduate class “Rome: the City in Text” and all the British masters students loved it! This got the gears in my head turning and I’d love for my senior capstone project to revolve around the topic of “Slut Shaming in the Ancient World.” Plenty of powerful women throughout ancient and modern history have been slut shamed by men as a means of discrediting and disempowering women (in my case: Helen of Troy, Clodia, Cleopatra VII, Theodora, and Hillary Clinton). There are plenty more examples of this phenomenon as depressing as that is. I can’t wait to read about other people’s senior capstone projects!

    1. aschultz’s avatar

      This is just off the top of my head and I have no idea if it would work (fantastic topic by the way!!) I wonder if you could do a culminating senior project that counted for BOTH History and GRS. I think we need to talk about such a possibility. Anyway, I love the post-it note. I had a friend in college who frantically wrote essay ideas on the wall of his room in pencil. There may have been a bit more going on there,but still. . .