An important milestone of the program, the senior thesis process begins in the spring semester of the junior year and continues through December of the senior year, when students publicly present their thesis papers to professors, classmates, friends and family. Working with the same professor and classmates for the two semesters, students choose their own topic, conduct original research and write a 20-25 page paper.
American studies majors have the opportunity to receive money from Salve’s McGinty Fund to assist with the cost of conducting archival research in the United States and abroad during the summer between their junior and senior year. Our students have conducted research at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library in Austin, Texas, and the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston, to name a few examples.
Recent senior thesis topics have included:
- “The United Autoworkers and Post-War Prosperity, 1945-1960”
- “American Survivors: How ‘Gone With the Wind’ Provided Comfort to Depression-Era White America”
- “La Survivance and Catholicism: The French-Canadian Community of Saint Jacques in Taunton, Massachusetts”
- “Irish, Catholic, American: How Jesuits in New York City, Particularly the Rev. Joseph O’Hare, S.J., Helped Shape an American Identity in the Twentieth Century”
- “American Identity Through Italianate Architecture: Edward King’s Nineteenth-Century Newport Villa”