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Female student standing in front of a projector screen giving a capstone presentation
Fall 2021 Capstone Projects

Michael Francis: "The Power of Postmodern Myth: Faith and Belief in Neil Gaiman's American Gods"

Neil Gaiman provides a solution to the rampant disillusionment of today's America in his postmodern epic American Gods. Through examining the role of belief in the novel we see evidence of the tenets of existentialism and a method to understand how humanity creates meaning. 

Samantha R. Noland: “Filters & Frames: Social Media, Narcissism, and the Modern Moral in The Picture of Dorian Gray” 

How do we modernize the way we read literature? I seek to find an answer by turning a social media lens onto a Victorian classic. 

Kevin Tucker: “Planned Community: a Poetic Exploration of Suburban Desperation” 

“Planned Community” uses poetry to explore the inherent humanity of the American suburban landscape. I aim to dissemble the traditional monolithic image of what the term 'suburbs' means to Americans by exploring the various facets of the people therein. In doing so, I also intend to explore the effect suburban development has on the conflicted relationship between people and the natural world.  

Spring 2021 Capstone Projects

Loranna N. Cox: Attacking the Ivory Tower: "Ableism in Academia and moving from Accommodation to Genuine Accessibility for Students living with Invisible Disabilities"

Jeremy Daugherty: "The Ordering Nature of the Elegy"

Sally Reusch: "Empowering Student Writing: Outing Myself as a Gay Woman"

Taylor Isabel Winkleski: "ENG 101: Composition Basics and Understanding"

Fall 2020 Capstone Projects

Jen Davis: “Fine Art of the Honest Heart: The Performance of Vulnerability in Lyric Poetry”

Vulnerability in art is always a performance to some degree, but what differentiates a poor performance from an effective one? This research seeks to understand and implement the nuance of authenticity via concrete theories and techniques.

Nik Moore: "Smells like Teen Melancholy: Queering Creative Writing through Sensory Memory and The Body"

This project explores what we might learn as creative writers (and teachers of writing) when we queer our writing processes and pedagogies and seek to connect more deeply with ourselves and the communities outside our subjective experiences.  

Lee Richardson: "The Connection Between Film Noir and the Westerns of the 1950s"

This presentation examines how motion picture directors Fritz Lang, Nicholas Ray, and Anthony Mann borrowed characters and themes from their film noir works to create memorable Westerns in the 1950s, adding to the increased maturity of the Western genre.

Megan Sampson: “Doing the Work: Taking Social Justice into My English Classroom”

Using social justice and public writing theory, this capstone provides a rationale for a shift in curriculum for a 9th grade English classroom. The project justification will be used to advocate for actual curriculum changes for a unit taught at the end of the 2020-2021 school year.

Megan Simmermeyer “‘Thought Is Reality. Action Can Be Faked’An Argument for the Three-Dimensional Performance of Female Characters in Fantasy”

In the fantasy genre, female characters often fall short of the three-dimensionality we desire. Through the lens of performance theory, this capstone examines how fantasy fails or succeeds in creating these vibrant, believable female characters.

Spring 2019 Captsone Projects

Emily Krugh: “The Orphan Narrative in Kipling’s The Jungle Books and Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book”

Valerie Malott “A New Knowledge of Reality: Epistemology and Phenomenology in the Poetry of Wallace Stevens”

Samantha Haas “Gender Roles in the time of Japanese Internment, as Seen through the Lens of Julie Otsuka’s The Buddha in the Attic and When the Emperor was Divine”

Tamara Cady “The Commodification of the High School English Classroom: How We Got Here and What We need to do to Secure our Humanity and Democracy”

Lauren Davis “Position and Difference: Awakening Critical Race Consciousness in the Culturally Homogenous High School Classroom”

Kathy Richards “Strategies for Implementing Critical Composition Pedagogy in Saudi Arabian Universities”

Brittany Smart “The Autobiographical ‘I’ in Feminist Poetics: Survival, Connection, and Empowerment”

Jacqui Tackett “Poetry: The Art of Survival”

Alexandra Mcintosh “How Feminism benefits Nature Writing in Prose: Finding my Place in the Lineage of Women Writing about Nature”

Melissa Scott “Seeing Small: How Mindfulness, Attention, and Questioning Can Deepen a Writing Habit”

Jasmine Williamson “Seeking New Eyes: Finding My Place in the World of Travel Memoir”

Mark Youssef “On the Creative and the Clinical: Poetry and Medicine”