Departmental Honors will be awarded to seniors who produce an outstanding honors thesis. Students who have produced exceptional work in the senior seminar and who in most cases have earned a major GPA of 3.50 or above may be invited by their seminar professor to submit a detailed honors-thesis proposal, due near the start of spring semester. If the department approves an honors proposal, it selects a three-member committee to guide the writing and research. Each candidate for honors may then enroll in English 490 (4 credits, non-major elective), and in early April submits the finished thesis to the department for approval. If the honors thesis is approved, the student presents a summary at a departmental forum.

Past Honors Thesis Projects:



Newt Arbogast, “’His stories are not about life. They are life’: Biography, Sexuality, and Anxiety in E.M. Forster’s ‘The Story of a Panic’”

Jillian Jackson, “Whose Line Is It Anyway?: Katherine Mansfield Engraves a Clear-Cut Character in ‘Feuille d’Album



Ashley O’Leary, “’Penetrating Nature’s Hiding Places’: Masculinist Scientific Ideals,
Fatal Passions, and the Female Body in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

Marc-Anthony Valle, “’Tears when no reason for tears’: Grief and White Insularity in The
Sound and the Fury



Mackey Estelle, “Obverse Reflections: Racial Interdependence in Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury and Absalom, Absalom!”

Riley Hanna, “‘Tiny Beads of Pure Life’: Insects, Snails, and Hidden Gems in Virginia Woolf’s Short Fiction.”

Justin Howerton, “‘It must matter’: Judith Sutpen’s Embrace of the Ephemeral in Absalom, Absalom!”

Mattie Sienknecht, “Katherine Mansfield’s ‘Greensickness’: Primitivism, Sophistication and the ‘Call of the Wild’”



Maura Phillips, “The Edges of Imagination: Women, Art, and Desire in Keats’s Late Romances.”



Arista Rawat Engineer, “Make Salads, Not War: Harmony and Fluidity in The Floure and the Leafe

Grace Wilson, “Reading Through ‘The Sad Heart of Ruth’: Sympathy, Exile, and Company in Keats’s ‘Ode to a Nightingale’”

Katie Mitchletree, “‘It Knew No Boundaries’: War Trauma and Cultural Trauma in Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony

Noah Foster-Koth, “Angling Beneath the Surface: Reading the Fish in Virginia Woolf’s Essays, Novels and Short Fiction”

Sophie March, “Limits and the Potential for Divine Communion: Intimations and Experiences of the Transcendent in T.S. Elliot’s Four Quartets, Julian of Norwich’s Revelations of Divine Love, and Dante Alighieri’s Commedia

Sydney Misako Owada, “God ‘the maker, the keeper, the lover’: Emotion, Estrangement, and Epistemology in Julian of Norwich’s A Revelation of Love

Tian-Ai Aldridge, “The Fractal of Salvation: the theodicy of T.S. Elliot’s Four Quartets in literacy, symbolic, and structural variation”



Kendall Graham, “Reframing Portraiture: Virginia Woolf’s Models of Character in ‘A Sketch of the Past’ and Across Genres”

Peter Kranitz, “Existentialist Echoes in Virginia Woolf”

Emily Price, “‘I am a shadow now, alas!’ : Poetic Transmission and Textual Posterity in John Keats’s Isabella; Or, the Pot of Basil

Angelica True, “Reconciling the Impossible: Woolf’s Outsiders, Intellectual Liberty, and the Social Machine”


Cole Hildebrand, “John Keats and the Spatial Process of ‘Soul Making’”

Hannah Smay, “Severed Tombs: Keats’s Elegiac Art in Isabella; or, The Pot of Basil and Other Late Poems”

Samantha Weiss, “‘I can’t carry it’: Counting the Costs of the Past in
Octavia Butler’s Kindred and Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon



Kristin Lang, “The Entanglement of Season of Migration to the North and Othello, The Moor of Venice

Frances Mahoney-Mosedale, “(A Bad Accident is to Happen Quite Soon)”


Jacob Bartman, “Confession and Personal Orthodoxies in The Scarlet Letter

Ailee Feber, “A Year and  Day: Excess and Enclosure in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Ivi Hathaway, “Not Exactly What It Looks Like: The Interactions of Sight, Sound, and Language in Saint Erkenwald

Kevin Ryan, “St. Erkenwald and the Unobstructed Power of God”

Dylan Stringer, “Overcoming the Limits of Language: Virginia Woolf’s Sacred Sociability”

Lillian Tuttle, “The Splendid Achievement of Civilization: Intimacy, Solitude, and Notions of Civilization in Mrs. Dalloway and Ulysses



Jordan Buysse, “Snail­ Shells and Tunnels: Visual Perception, Narrative Technique, and the Construction of Subjectivity in Virginia Woolf’s Short Fiction and Mrs. Dalloway

Marissa Fenley, “But what does that convey of the great experience?”: The Imaginative Mutuality of the Spectator in Woolf’s Theatrical Scenes - A Study of Imaginative Spectatorship”

Sarah Le Pichon, “The Foundations of my Being:” the Architecture of the Self in Henry James’s The Portrait of a Lady”



Karla DeChamps, “Implications of Identity: The Green Knight of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Molly Dickinson, “Redefining the Lay-Mystic: Pearl and Vernacular Theology”

Casey Newbegin, “”˜These Frail Vessels’: Three Heroines in George Eliot and Henry James”



Andrew Lyle, “Customs and Customers in Two Novels by Hawthorne”



Asher Katz, “Models of Art and Love in the Work of Nathaniel Hawthorne”

Kit Shields, “Misguided Lovers and Ghost Writers: Submission and Authorship in Hawthorne”



Alyssa Perkins, “To Play on my Bones: Anorexia in the Life and Stories of Katherine Mansfield”

Jessica Cartwright, “Less to Lose, Less to Gain: Exploring Marriage and Fantasy in Katherine Mansfield’s ”˜At the Bay’”



Stasia Honnold, “Sentimental Values: Narratives of Identity and Objects of the Past in Virginia Woolf’s ”˜Street Haunting’ and The Years; Rushdie’s Midnight’s Chlidren



Ariel Homan, “Rough-Hewing Hamlet’s Heart of Heart: The Problematics of Individual Self-Fashioning”



Emma Weinberg, “Vertigo”

Jonas Lerman, “Second Person”



Andrew Zahler, “Building a Better Bird’s Nest: Poetic Language and Dwelling in the Poetry of John Clare”

Rose Masterangelo, “So Much of Gratitude and Verity’: Jane Austen’s Vision of Erotic Love”