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Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality

Honors Thesis Option

Students wishing to pursue an Honors option complete a thesis instead of or in addition to the Seminar and Practicum. The process of preparing the thesis begins in the late spring of the junior year.

In that spring semester, the student chooses an advisor from the CSWGS faculty, and with that advisor produces a proposal for a research project. The proposal must be approved by the CSWGS Undergraduate Advisor by the last day of the exam period in the spring of the junior year.

In the fall of the senior year, the student enrolls in SWGS 498, the CSWGS Honors Research course in which senior majors come together several times a semester as a research group facilitated by a SWGS faculty affiliate. Students work on their research projects in consultation with their advisors, then report on that project in the group.  The final requirement of the course is a detailed outline of the project as well as a polished sample section.

In the spring of the senior year, the student enrolls in SWGS 499, an independent study with the advisor, in order to complete the research.  Along with other participants in 498/499, the student presents the project at a meeting of CSWGS faculty and majors.

Previous Honors Theses

The theses written in the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality range across a number of topics, and reflect critical engagements with social structures and categories of class, race, sexuality, gender, age, and faith.  Here are just some of the thesis our students have produced.

  • Marty Miller, 2016  “Negotiating Horizons: Homonationalism, Nostalgia, and Queer Futurity in Transnational Amsterdam"
  • Kendall Post,  2015  “Title IX and Sexual Violence: An Institutional Ethnography of Rice University”
  • Michelle Pham, 2015 – “Re-tellings of the Vietnam War: An Examination of Gender, Myth, and American Exceptionalism”
  • Joshua Cory, 2013 – "'It Was Just So Tranny . . . I Don't Think They Got It': Knowledge and Community in the Transgender Foundation of America"
  • Ben Ong, 2013 – "Gender and Colonial Bias in Blockbuster Environmental Documentaries"
  • Joshua Redwine, 2013 – "The Metropolitan/Renegade Divide: Gender, Erotics, and the Gay Man in US Cinema"
  • Lena Silva, 2013 – "Points of Contact: Contact Improvisation Dance and Feminism"
  • Sarah Jovinelly, 2012 – “Sexual Tension: Performing Gender and Sexuality in Buenos Aires”
  • Darren Arquero, 2011 – “Out of the Closet and Into the Church: Salvaging Faith for Queer Christians”
  • Kate Hildebrandt, 2009 – “Changing Strategies and Changing Laws: The Fight for Personal Law Reform in Egypt and Morocco”
  • Angel Brown, 2008 – “Color and Desire: Representations of Black Women in Literature and the Media”
  • Tara Grigg, 2008 – “Parenting Practices of Teenage Mothers and Child Development: Do Parenting Practices Impact Development and is Socioeconomic Status a Mitigating Factor?”
  • Karen Spitzfadden, 2008 – “Jesus Hearts Feminists: Young People, Christianity, and the Need for Feminist Outreach”
  • Natalie Gwilliam, 2007 – “Does Social Stress Account for the Disparity Between Female and Male Health?”
  • Funmi Jimoh, 2007 – “Consequences of a Gendered Society for the Female Athlete”
  • Kristin Youngless, 2007 – “Engineering as Men’s Work: Reconciling the Gender and Workplace Identities of Women Engineers”
  • Laura Bornstein, 2006 – “The Appearance of Sexuality: Gender as a Signal of Sexual Orientation among Young Dutch and American Women”
  • Noorain Khan, 2006 – “Public Image, Private Identities: Veiling American Muslim Women” 
  • Sabrina Sanchez, 2006 – “Professions, Parenthood, and Hispanic Culture: Planning Life After College”
  • Laura Sawyer, 2006 – “Entering the ‘King’dom of Drag: an Explorative Study on the Drag King Community”
  • Alison Wiesenthal, 2006 – “Praising Pollyanna in an Era of Pamela Lee”
  • Mary Catherine Dillman, 2005 – “In Her Own Words: Exploring Women’s Experiences of Substance Use and Recovery”
  • Christel Miller, 2005 – “Both Eyes on the Gay Genre: a Dual Methodological Study on the Representation of Gays and Lesbians in Television”
  • Kate Hurst Floyd, 2004 –“’Wonderful Companions’: Imagining a Religious-Secular Feminist Dialogue”
  • Saskia Marguerita Fuerst-Kemp, 2004 – “The Myth of the Jamaican Matriarch: the Political and Social Effects of this Label”
  • Kami Geoffray, 2004 – “Being Transgender at the Start of the 21st Century: a Study of Major Legal Issues Affecting the Transgender Community Today”
  • Elisabeth F. Lee, 2004 – “The Age of Rape Testimony: a Case Study Based on Algeria and Bosnia”
  • Kailin Anne Mooney, 2004 – “Exploring the Central Core: the Female Body in Recent American Art”
  • Monica Vela-Vick, 2004 – “Caring for Children: Does It Work To Have A Family? A 2004 Campus Study on Child Care Services at Rice University”
  • Elizabeth Wells, 2004 – “‘Welcome to the Post-Pill Paradise’: Examining the Medical, Social, and Personal Implications of Contraception” 
  • Charlotte Marie Albrecht, 2003 – “Looking for Links: Conversations in Antiracist Activism”
  • Petra Marie Ann Pilgrim, 2003 – “The Violence of Absence: an Analysis of Racial Exclusion from Lifetime’s Original Films”
  • Victoria Louise Thomas, 2003 – “What’s She Saying? Waves of Discourse and Identity”
  • Nancy Elliott, 2002 – “Black Hands Touched Every Quilt: Quilts, American Culture, and the African-American Quilt Aesthetic”
  • Beth Garrett, 2002 – “Marriage: an Individually Restrictive and Socially Exclusive Institution”
  • Merrit McAlister, 2002 –“Between Past and Future Perfect: Activism, the Academy, and Feminist Nostalgia”
  • Alexis Wiesenthal, 2001 – “Premeditated: a Feminist Analysis of Women Getting into Medical School”