The Capstone Experience

The Senior Sequence

Our seniors take a two-block sequence in which they plan, research, and write a piece of article-length original scholarship as their capstone project. Each year the department also offers an opportunity for seniors to conduct their research at the Newberry Library in Chicago, where they are junior fellows with access to the Newberry’s reading rooms and special collections. With approval from the department, students can also choose to expand their senior essay into a longer thesis.

For more details on the capstone experience and requirements please click here.

For resources for research and writing click here.

To get a better understanding of the type of research conducting in the capstone experience, you can also view a selection of our previous student's research topics below:

  • Jacob Roschelle - Portraiture of Wilheim Voigt: Memory, Morality, and National Identity -William R. Hochman Winner. 
  • Hope Moody - Fabricating Medical Fact: Indigenous People, Tuberculosis, and White Exceptionalism in Colorado - Duniway Award Winner.
  • Nell Dickey - The Myth of Racial Progress in American Politics: North Carolina, A Cautionary Tale.
  • Nathaniel Blower - Neutral Principles and Some Second Coming Problems.
  • Hanna Ioffe - Teen Spirit v. Repressive Desublimation: A Critical Examination of Seattle's Alternative Music Scene.
  • Ellen Loucks - The Spiritual Integrity of Puritan Community: Youths, Moral Challenge, and Church Discipline.
  • Danny Corrigan - Reframing French Integration and Belonging: Ni Putes Ni Soumises as a War Machine.
  • Charlotte Atkins - The California Missions: Unearthing Stories of Indigenous Resistance.
  • Brice Tucker - Deconstructing the Jazz Canon: From New Orleans to New York City.
  • Arielle Gordon - Ratifying the 1963 Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
  • Eric Dallesasse - Heads Will Roll: An Analysis of Altered Memory Surrounding Marie Antoinette into the 21st Century - Duniway Award Winner. 
  • Gabriel McGill - The Chronicles of ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Jabarti: Conceptions of Science, Modernity, and Religion in Early 19th Century Egypt - Cosgrove Award Winner. 

  • Mary Kate Maloney - The Construction of the Origins of Clerical Celibacy as a Political Tool.
  • David Henderson - The Second Amendment: Americans Final Defense Against Tyranny.
  • Molly Dunn - Bottled Nationalism: Examining the Chauvinistic Underpinnings of France’s Modern Wine Industry.
  • Alexander Berardinell - The Evolution of Racism in Hockey and the NHL’s Response.
  • Christopher Wilkie - The 1972 Summit Series: Canadian Nationalism and Cultural Identity Through Hockey.
  • Lily Fitzpatrick - Antifeminist Women: 20th Century Traditional Family Values and the American Christian Right.
  • Connor Nolan - The 1919 Race Riots and the Manifestation of the “New Negro” Movement in Chicago.
  • Daniel Feder-Johnson - We’re Gonna Fight Racism with Solidarity’: The Rainbow Coalition in Chicago, 1968-1970.
  • Isabella Lawrence - Out of Time: Photographic Representations of Kabyle Identity.
  • Caitlin Laurence - The Fate of the Hmong: The Interplay of Tribal, National and International Governments in Laotian Civil War.
  • Benedict Wright - Worlds in Tension: Pragmatism and Critical Theory.
  • Robert Schilling - They’ll Pass You By, Glory Days’: Bruce Springsteen and the Runaway American Dream.
  • Jasper Coulter - Copyright and the Evolution of Legal Systems: Assessing the Divergence of American Legal Culture from British Tradition - Cosgrove Award Winner. 

  • Abe Lahr - Authentic History and Narrative Hermeneutics in George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia - Duniway Award Winner. 

  • Truett Davis - Pain Management as a Framework for Understanding the Evolution of Chinese and Western Medicines in the Twentieth Century: Herbs, Opium, and Acupuncture Analgesia.
  • Hailey Dennis - ‘Can We All Get Along?’: A Comparative Study in Print Representation of the Los Angeles Riots of 1992.
  • Joseph Brasch - Strike Won: Comparing Responses within the Federal Government to the 1994-1995 MLB Strike.
  • Ben Israel - Detroit’s Sports and Economy: the 21st Century.
  • Otis Hatfield - American Counterinsurgency Doctrine in Iraq: FM3-24 History in Practice.
  • Jake Chase - Mapping History: Oceans, Empire, and the Age of Commerce.
  • Charlie Britton - Railroads, Romanticism, and the Branding of the Front Range by General William Palmer.
  • Richard Yates - Contours of Class Consciousness: Landscape Representation in the Cripple Creek Strike of 1903-04.
  • Maximillian Vivado - Bloodless Capital: Meat, Politics, and the Rise of the Public Abbatoir in Nineteenth-Century Paris..
  • Will Bemis - The Evolution of the Sicilian Mafia and the Challenges the Sicilian Mafia Presented to United States Democracy in the Twentieth Century.
  • Fleur Pellet - Abby Aldrich Rockefeller: The Shaping of a Modern American Culture.
  • Westin Michaud - How Advanced Technology Vanquished Aztec Civilization in 1521.
  • Catherine Luchars - The Politics of Contestation: Rafael Correa’s Citizen’s Revolution.

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History Day

history-day-2018-5.JPGEach year our seniors have the opportunity to present their capstone research at our "History Day" conference. This is a chance for them to share their work with their peers, instructors, family, and friends. This experience is designed to prepare them for conferences they might encounter later in their professional or academic lives. 

The 2021 History Day program can be viewed here.

Report an issue - Last updated: 02/18/2022