Senior Thesis

Before COL Juniors are done with their comps, they usually already have thought about a potential thesis or essay topic and it is recommended that they start approaching potential thesis/essay tutors as well in the spring of their Junior year.

During their senior year, each COL major is required to complete an honors thesis (two semesters) or an essay (one semester) under the guidance of a tutor. Theses may be analytical or creative works.

For more infomation on senior theses and essays click here.

Senior Colloqium 1: The 18th & 19th Centuries (fall)  

Portraits of Napoleon and Queen Victoria may have frozen these personalities in time, but 19th c. Europe is all about changes. So much happens over this century that it is called, rightfully so, the long century, with some historians ending it on the eve of the 1914 world war. With political, philosophical, literary, and industrial revolutions shaking European societies, European letters of the time highlight the many contradictions of 19th c. Europe: how Romantics rebelled against conformity, Reason, and organized Religion; how God died for Nietzsche but came back for Dostoyevsky, only to be questioned again by Darwin; how the 1789 declaration of Human Rights didn't end slavery for several more decades in European colonies while serfdom survived in Russia; how the late 18th c. feminist discourse of Mary Wollstonecraft and Olympe de Gouges was silenced by new 19th c. mores and ever tighter corsets; how Marx challenged Bourgeois values, how democracy progressed in Europe while Europe colonized Africa. So much more happens in this century of contradictions that you simply need to take the course.

For a sample syllabus for the SENIOR COLLOQUIUM 1 (fall), click below:

COL245 18th-19th Centuries Colloquium 2022

Senior Colloquium 2: The 20th & 21st Centuries (spring)

From the Russian Revolution to the Cold War, and from the World Wars to decolonization, the legacies of the past century continue to haunt contemporary Europe. Freud's discovery of the unconscious reverberates in surrealism and the penetrating cut of Buñuel’s eyeball.  Modernist prose shimmers between tradition and innovation in the writing of Woolf and Eliot, while in the post-war years, Benjamin, Arendt, Sartre and Foucault revitalize philosophy by focusing on the everyday and our agency to change it.  If, towards the end of the century, the post of postmodernism inspires an ironic view of what is and has been possible, the post of post-colonial writers like Djebar and Rushdie offer important revisions of that past, and consequently, new visions of Europe’s present and future.

For sample of syllabi for the SENIOR COLLOQUIUM 2 (spring), click below:

COL246 20th-21st Centuries Colloquium 2022