Student-Originated Studies: Advanced Research in Humanities/Cultural Studies


Spring 2014 quarter

Taught by

literature, queer studies


At a minimum, thirty-two quarter credits of sophomore level or above college study of humanities or related social science or arts disciplines that include substantial academic writing. In other words, you should be well on your way toward creating the equivalent of a "major" in an area of text-based studies.

Many students wish to pursue a senior project involving substantive independent research and writing. This program is designed for students whose achievements have propelled them to intermediate or advanced levels of inquiry in the humanities or in cultural studies, and who are in their junior year or the very beginning of their senior year. By completing this program in spring quarter, students will position themselves to pursue an advanced research/writing project in the following year. Over the ten weeks of spring quarter we will read a sequence of texts in common; we will analyze them not only for content but also for methodology. We will study what kinds of sources, evidence, interpretive paradigms and arguments are demanded by humanities fields such as history, literature and philosophy, and by interdisciplinary fields such as queer studies, American studies, women’s studies and cultural studies.

By better understanding what makes research publishable, students will gain a keen appreciation for the methods and rhetorical strategies that they will need to master in order to pursue their own independent studies. Students will research and write about a topic of their choice, with the goal of laying a solid foundation for a senior thesis or project. Writing assignments include: an abstract, a work plan, two response papers, an annotated bibliography, a review of a scholarly journal, description of research methods and a research prospectus.

Program Details

Fields of Study

Preparatory for studies or careers in

specific areas of the humanities and cultural studies depending on student projects.

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Day


Buy books for this program through Greener Bookstore.

Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning: Access to web-based tools required, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.


Date Revision
March 18th, 2014 Title has been revised (formerly Advancing Your Senior Thesis: Humanities/Cultural Studies).

Registration Information

Credits: 16 (Spring)

Class standing: Junior–Senior

Maximum enrollment: 25


Signature Required

Prior to registration, contact Greg Mullins either at Academic Fair or via email at with a 500-word statement of intent regarding the project you plan to work on. In the statement, specify the cluster of research questions you are pursuing as well as the sources you are likely to use. For example, if it is a history project will the research require work in archives? If it is a cultural studies project, what kinds of primary and secondary sources do you anticipate researching? Initiate contact with the instructor as soon as possible to allow time for conversation via email. The intent of the signature requirement is to clarify the scope of the project. Any project in the humanities and cultural studies is welcome, and the project may change over the course of spring quarter. 

Course Reference Numbers

Jr - Sr (16 credits): 30116
Jr - Sr (1-16 credits): 30476

Go to to register for this program.

Need Help Finding the Right Program?

Contact Academic Advising for help in answering your questions, planning your future and solving problems.