Senior Seminar Projects

Students majoring in History produce a senior thesis during the final semester of their college career. This capstone project involves research, writing, and an oral defense, similar to a master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation. In HIST 495: Senior Seminar, each student works closely with a research advisor. Two other professors also read and provide feedback on the student’s thesis. If the student produces a research paper of exceptional quality, it will be filed in the Senior Seminar Papers collection of the college library.

In recent years, history majors have successfully defended senior thesis papers on the following themes:

  • Benedict Arnold’s Expedition: Hero of the Wilds
  • The General Synod and Samuel Simon Schmucker: Theological Reductionism and an Ecumenical Plan
  • The Light Rising from the West: How Ireland Aided Europe’s Early Rebirth
  • From Condemnation to Advocacy: A History of the Acceptance of Birth Control among Conservative American Protestants
  • The Invasion of Iwo Jima
  • The Twenty-sixth Wisconsin: A Brief History
  • Seventeenth-Century American Socialism: The Unsuccessful Early Communal Practices of the Pilgrims in Plymouth Plantation and Their Successful Transition to a Private Enterprise System
  • Ebb and Flow: The Application of the Great Depression and New Deal to the Modern Economic Situation
  • Before Muddy Waters Became the “Hoochie Coochie Man”
  • A Look at the Origins of Democracy in Order to Understand Its Limitations
  • The Lutheran Reformation in Slovakia
  • A Look at the Origins of Democracy in Order to Understand Its Limitations
  • Women Spies in World War II: SOE Agents in German-occupied France
  • Indian Captivity Narratives: A Study in American Culture
  • The Capture and Fall of Jerusalem: The Success and Failure of the First Few Crusade Campaigns
  • The Collapse of the Dix-Hill Cartel: Good for the Union War Effort, Bad for Conditions inside Confederate and Union Prisons
  • Feringees and Mafsoods: The First British Occupation of Afghanistan, 1839-1841
  • The History of the Negro Leagues in America: 1860-1960
  • Artemisia Gentileschi: Interpretations of Judith, Susanna, and Lucretia
  • Fabian Legends: General Francis Marion, General Daniel Morgan, and the Demise of the British Southern Strategy
  • Causes of the Dakota Conflict: The Dakota Perspective
  • Your Friendly Adversaries?: The Changing Scottish Kirk and the Reception of David Hume's Philosophy in the Eighteenth Century