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Skidmore College
American Studies Department

Senior Honors Thesis 2020


Catcall and Response
Eve Gertzman
Catcall and Response

This project activated my original thesis––an exploration of the distinct and disturbing effects street harassment has on adolescent girls and trans* women––into social action. The website galvanized victims of catcalling to mobilize against this behavior via video submissions. These responses coupled with sobering data around catcalling inform a short film meant to raise awareness and empower women.

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Catcall and Response 

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Liza Pennington
Queering and Reimagining YA Literature

My thesis examines compulsory heteronormativity in Divergent and The Hunger Games. The honors thesis extends this work by celebrating contemporary, intersectional queer young adult fiction by conducting author interviews, researching the genre’s chronology, and reading in the canon. To showcase this literary genre, I created a virtual exhibit that will work in tandem with a physical exhibit at the Lucy Scribner Library to spotlight queer young adult fiction—a sub-genre depicting queerness as legitimate identity.

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Adam Weinreb
Queer Teen Televisual Representation in Theory and Practice

Using a combination of representational and close-reading analyses, my senior seminar paper analyzes representations of queer teens in three televisual texts—Riverdale, The Society, and Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists—specifically the physical intimacy allowed or alternately forbidden in the name of decency. My honors thesis project attempt to remedy these gaps by writing an original teen drama pilot that aims to create a world in which all teen characters, regardless of sexuality, are equal.

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Charlotte Sweeney
Toy Stories: Teaching Children How to be Self-Made in America

The myth of the self-made man is foundational to the United States. Over time, this previously gendered myth has morphed to accommodate certain groups (females especially) and to exclude others (the less socio-economically fortunate). This paper tracks this mythology and examines how Lincoln Logs and American Girl Dolls both altered and reaffirmed the myth, encouraging adaptations to its basic formula while simultaneously teaching its most impressionable consumers, children, what it means to be self-made in America.

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Ben Hayes
The Invisible Home

In an exploration of the architecture of my childhood, The Invisible Home guides the reader through the various rooms of my family’s house, contemplating the practices and products of each space. Along the way, the thesis explores questions of alienation and representation, contemplating how, in a postindustrial globalized society, we should best understand the implications of our domestic lives. The paper is accompanied by a virtual reality project, mapping the home’s spaces digitally, offering an interactive counterpart to the intellectual themes of the paper.

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