American Studies majors who wish to do so are encouraged to pursue independent senior work.
Traditionally, that work has taken the form of a one-semester research paper or a two-semester thesis. In recent years, some students have produced non-traditional senior projects, including a graphic novel, a documentary film, an interpretive website, and a portfolio and exhibition of original artwork.
Established in 1997 by family and friends in memory of Ryan Fairman Waldron ’97, the Waldron Award is given annually to an outstanding student majoring in American Studies.
Below are the recipients and their theses. For award winners prior to 2012, please contact the department coordinator.
|2020||Celia R. Alter|
|2019||Alexander Gill Tieberg|
|2018||Katherine DeWolfe Brown
Senior Projects take innovative forms
Some American Studies majors produce non-traditional senior work, while others produce research essays.
Recent Senior Projects
Kendal Pittman ‘21.5, “Contested Ground: The Battle Over Black Land Ownership and American Identity”
Emily Ballou ‘21, “Authorship, Authenticity, and American Documentary Theatre: A Critique of Journalistic Endeavor in Oral History Preservation”
Celia R. Alter ’20, “Disability and #MeToo”
Ivy Shaelyn Houde ’19, “Bet on Women: Perceptions of Women’s Basketball in American Sporting Culture and the Structural Inequalities that Hinder the WNBA”
Kyle J. Wright ’19, “Dimensions of Whiteness: Middlebury College’s Story of Racism, Ableism, and Wealth”
Alexander Gill Tieberg ’19, “The Red in Your Blood is from the Ore: Connections Between Industry, Culture, and Community on Minnesota’s Iron Range”
Katherine DeWolfe Brown ’18, “The Fourth Wave of Terror TV: Political Renewal and Anti-Terror in Designated Survivor”
Addie Mahdavi ’18, “Defectiveness and the Ideal Citizen: Power, Categorization, and Social Control in Vermont’s Eugenics Movement”
Maya Doig-Acuna ’17, “We are all of us its children: Afro-Latinidad and Responses to Colonialism in The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao and Mama’s Girl”
Tamir Williams ’16, “Bette, AKA Mammy, Big Momma, Madea, and Others Alike: Constructions of an American Stereotype”
Tyler Boyd ’15, “1000 Shards of the Forever Ending Twilight” (Graphic Novel)
Andrew Guff ’14, “Notions of Identity in Riverside Park’s Pickup Soccer Community” (documentary film)
Tessa Howard ’14, “Decoding Elite Southern Women of the Civil War: When Gender Expectations and Wartime Realities Collide”
Dorrie Paradies ’14, “Seventeen’s Presentation of the Idealized Image of Teen Girls”
Ashlee Bird ’13, “What Makes the Red Man Red: The Figure of the Native American in Modern Literature and Popular Culture”
Alexandra McAtee ’13, “Pseudonyms and Tumblr: Performing Authenticity and Building Intimate Connections”
Oonaugh Ziegler ’13, “Cinema of Representation: A Comparison on Representations of Gender, Race and Disability Between Postwar Era Social Problem Films and Early 21st Century”
Colleen Carroll ’12, “Race, Space, and the Noose: Lynching from 1890-1930”
Grace Waters ’12, “Liberation and Objectification of Women Through Advertising: How Nike and Reebok Have Attempted to Court the Female Consumer”
Georgia Wright-Simmons ’12, “Mining Bodies for Mixed Messages, Eating Disorders and the Cultural Body in Memoir and Literature”
Maria Layman Bourdeau ’12, “Female Athletes in the Spotlight: Contemporary Representations of Female Athletes in the Media”
Harry Morgenthau ’12, “Winslow Homer’s Gulf Stream: A Portrait of Science and Humanity at the End of the Nineteenth Century”
DaVia Walker ’12, “The Effects of Media-Fed Stereotypes on the Individual as Represented by The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Everybody Hates Chris”