Senior Thesis

Prerequisites

Honors candidates in Comparative Literature are required to have maintained a GPA of 3.5 in the major to qualify for submitting a thesis proposal. In addition, candidates must demonstrate a strong interest in a specific topic for which an appropriate faculty advisor will be available in the senior year.

Timing

Students wishing to pursue a thesis in Comparative Literature are strongly urged to secure an advisor by the end of the week after Spring Break in their junior year. By May 15th of their junior year, candidates must submit to the Program Advisory Committee a one- to two-page proposal and a preliminary bibliography. The Advisory Committee will inform candidates by June 1 whether they may proceed with the thesis and advise them about any changes that should be made in the focus or scope of the project. The summer before the senior year will be spent compiling a more detailed bibliography and preparing for the process of writing the thesis.

In their senior year, candidates will devote two semesters and the winter study period to their theses (493-31-494). By the end of the Fall semester, students will normally have undertaken substantial research and produced the draft of at least the first half of the project. At this point students should also have a clear sense of the work remaining for completion of the thesis. In the course of the Fall semester, students will also have chosen and met with a second reader for the project, who will provide additional guidance and read the final thesis. By the end of Winter Study, students should have completed a draft of the entire project. At that time, the Comparative Literature Advisory Committee, together with the advisor, will determine whether the project may continue as an Honors Thesis, or whether its first portions (COMP 493-COMP 31) will be graded as Independent Studies.

The second semester of independent thesis work will be spent revising as necessary. The completed thesis in its final form will be due one week before the last day of classes. The student will also give a public presentation of the thesis as part of the Senior Portfolio Symposium in the spring.

Characteristics of the Thesis, Evaluation, and Major Credit

The topic of the thesis must be comparative and/or theoretical. It is also possible to write a thesis that consists of an original translation of a significant text or texts; in this case, a theoretical apparatus must accompany the translation. The complete thesis must be at least 50 and at most 75 pages in length, excluding the bibliography. The advisor will assign the grades for the thesis courses (COMP 493-31-494); the Advisory Committee will determine whether a candidate will receive Honors, Highest Honors, or no honors.

For students who pursue an honors thesis, the total number of courses required for the major—including the thesis courses COMP 493-31-494—is 10, plus one winter study, i.e., one of the thesis courses may substitute for one course and the Senior Portfolio.

Previous Comparative Literature Theses:

From Poesaka to Pastiche: Max Havelaar in Retelling and Translation
van Wingerden, Anne-Sophie
2020

Questions of Comparison in Literature and Comparative Literature: Bolaño, Genet and the Discipline
Moore, Joseph
2020

Voices of the Labyrinth: The Parameters of Body and World in Kurahashi Yumiko’s short stories and Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Maskati, Panalee
2020

Shooting for the Heavens: Examining the Accessibility of the Spiritual Renewal in Journey to the West
Wheeler, Jenny
2018

Three Case Studies on the Death of the Author: How a Ghost, a Vampire, and a SNOOT Manipulate Author-Reader Intimacy from Beyond the Grave
Collins, Meghan
2017

From Practicing Place to Practicing Space: The Development of Spatial Narrative in the Map and Novel
Benson, Hannah
2017

Abstract Cultures and Edible Bodies: The Power of French and American Paratexts Over the Works of Tahar Ben Jelloun and Calixthe Beyala
Richardson, Margaret B.
2016

Exiles of memory : a comparison of writing by Jorge Semprún and W.G. Sebald
Stewart, Haley A.
2015

Wondrous Monsters and Monstrous Wonders: Technology in Ancient Greek Literature
O’Donnell, Sam
2015

Transition as treatment : the making of narrative in transgender medicine
Dietz, Elizabeth A.
2015

We are not Superheroes, Others are not Villains : Identity and Body Politics in Japanese and Korean war Films
Lee, Min-joo
2014

Victorian Reflection and Diffraction of Ovid’s Narcissus
Wang, Hannah
2013

Problem Children : Searching for Female Agency in Erotic Japanese Comics
Sanders, Kimberlee
2012

Out of Body: Tahar Benjelloun’s L’enfant de Sable and the Politics of Queer Postcoloniality
Mukhopadhyay, Sayantan
2012

Finding-and Leaving-Neverland: Reading J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan with the Psychoanalytic Theories of D.W. Winnicott and Jacques Lacan
Mangham, Hannah
2012

Trames, or; Threads Translating the Gap in a Contemporary Caribbean Play
Crane, Holly
2012

Illegible desires? : “reading” non-heteronormative pregnancies and desires in Rumi’s Mathnawi
Arslan, Ceyhun C.
2011

David’s companions: Jonathan and Joab
Blackshear, Chloe
2010

Reflections on migratory subjectivity : Caribbean women writers and a plural conception of identity
Warner, Anisha N.
2009

Exposing “fictive ethnicities”: engagement of Dominican identities in the works of Blas Jiménez, Junot Díaz, and Julia Álarez
Simpson, Morgan Anne
2009

On Eloísa Cartonera and Cesar Aira: much more than just a translation of El cerebro musical
Reist, Stephanie
2009

Métis/métisse cou-coupé : history, violence and métissage in the works of Aimé Césaire and Maryse Condé
Quarcoopome, Annette N.
2009

From the banlieues of literature to a decentered canon : writing the urban periphery in the Beur novel
Wagner, Laura D.
2007

“Devuélveme mi cuerpo”: race, repetition and redress in Peruvian narrative
Bota, Melissa J.
2007

On Mitkiness: satire and performance in a transitioning Russia
Drosehn, Casey
2007

Ambiguity, marginalization, and silence : examining the metaphors of sickness and healing in La Celestina
Schlechter, Anna K.
2006

Stream of revolutionary consciousness : Marxism and the postmodern in Jesús Díaz’ Las iniciales de la tierra
Roome Brock, Ashley
2005

Veracious tongues : a study of Nuyorican poetics and performance
Perez, Lisha
2006

Fulfilling forbidden desire : liberating spaces, diseased bodies, and Greek loves in Andre Gide’s L’Immoraliste and Thomas Mann’s Der Tod in Venedig
Hutchinson, Joseph Arthur
2006

Smoke and ashes : Lacan and the 9/11 Real
Hack, Sarah R.
2006

Telling stories : discontinuous narratives of women and history in Assia Djebar’s L’amour, la fantasia and Kateb Yacine’s Nedjma
Goodman, David
2003

Literary representations of good and evil : man’s evil impulse and self-gratifying redemption in Voltaire’s Zadig, Goethe’s Faust, and Bulgakov’s The master and Margerita
Gilman, Anastasia
2003