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Senior Capstone Experience

Independent Study and Literary Scholarship Guided by a Faculty Mentor

Senior Capstone Experience

The Senior Capstone Experience (SCE) in English is an opportunity for English majors to bring their research and interpretive abilities, their writing skills, and their understanding of the literary tradition to bear on a long-term, independent project in the form of an essay and annotated bibliography that will serve as the culmination of their literary studies at Washington College. The SCE for English majors exemplifies each student’s accumulated knowledge and mastery of literary analysis. We challenge and guide you in doing work that is publishable quality. It may even get you published.

Published SCEs in English

Some Recent SCE projects published in the Washington College Review

"Unsex me here": The Inordinate Criminalization of Female Violent Offenders in Shakespeare's Macbeth, King Lear, and Titus Andronicus, Annalie Buscarino '21 [joint thesis with Sociology]

The Politics of Rhetoric: Reagan's Rhetorical War on Nicaragua, Victoria Cline '19 [joint thesis with Political Science]

Moonlight and Dust: The Ethereal Sister-Brides of Dracula, Leah Duff '21

Breaking the Cage of Structural Codes in Anne Carson's 'Autobiography of Red', Laiken Harrison '19

The Body as an Abode of Freedom: Redefining the Female Self through Angela Carter's Nights at the Circus, Nicole Hatfield '21 

"True solace is finding none": Grief Through the Seasons of Gretel Ehrlich's The Solace of Open Spaces, Rebecca Kanaskie '21

The Author is Dead, Long Live the Author: Alt Lit, Authorship, and the Objectification of the Self Through Art, Charlotte Lindsay '19

'He for God only, shee for God in him': The Sexual Contract of Milton's Paradise Lost, Rebecca Sachs '17 [joint thesis with Political Science]

The “Ungeziefer” and the Insect: The Social Connotations in the English Translation of “The Metamorphosis," Eman Simms '19

The 'Dreamlike Downward Career of a Girl: Compounding Trauma in Jean Rhys's Voyage in the Dark, Abby Wargo '20

Prize-Winning SCEs in English

The Lamond Senior Capstone Award provides a $500 award for the SCE judged by faculty to be superior, given in memory of beloved Washington College English professor Bennett Lamond

  • 2022: Erica Quinones, Revelation to Revolution: In Search of Queer Liberation through Self-Actualization, Self-Definition, and Group Mobilization in Science Fiction Narratives.” Advisor: Professor James Hall
  • 2021: Jacquelyn Smith, “’Unhappy Beauty’: Evaluating the Transition of Chaucer’s Emelye in The Knight’s Tale to Shakespeare’s Emilia in The Two Noble Kinsman and the Impact of Her Increased Voice.” Advisor: Professor Courtney Rydel
  • 2020: Sophia Grabiec, 'Viney' Intricacies: Medusa and Eve's 'Wanton' Gardens in Paradise Lost. Advisor: Professor Katie Charles
  • 2019: Erin Caine, "'Each Comes to Daylight': Lost Generations of Queer Continuity in Woolf and Cunningham." Advisor: Professor Kim Andrews
  • 2018: Brooke Schultz, "The 'Propoaganda Spirit': Sophie Kerr, Middlebrow Modernism, and the Emergence of a Feminist Voice." Advisor: Professor Elizabeth O'Connor

Thesis Deadlines

For students graduating December 2022

November 26, 2021 Select area of interest and SCE advisor. With advisor's agreement, notify associate chair.
February 18, 2022 Thesis proposal due.
April 29, 2022 Annotated bibliography due.
November 25, 2022 Completed theses due

For students graduating May 2023

February 18, 2022 Identify SCE topic and advisor, and submit an abstract identifying a potential argument and line of inquiry.
April 29, 2022 Proposal due.
November 25, 2022 Annotated bibliography due.
April 7, 2023 Completed theses due.

For students graduating December 2023

November 25, 2022

Identify SCE topic and advisor.  With SCE advisor's agreement, submit an abstract identifying a potential argument and line of inquiry to the link on Canvas.

February 10, 2023 Proposal due.
April 28, 2023 Annotated bibliography due.
November 24, 2023 Completed theses due.

For students graduating May 2024

February 10, 2023

Identify SCE topic and advisor.  With SCE advisor's agreement, submit an abstract identifying a potential argument and line of inquiry to the link on Canvas.

April 28, 2023 Proposal due.
November 24, 2023 Annotated bibliography due.
April 5, 2024 Completed theses due.

For students graduating December 2024

November 24, 2023

Identify SCE topic and advisor.  With SCE advisor's agreement, submit an abstract identifying a potential argument and line of inquiry to the link on Canvas.

February 9, 2024 Proposal due.
April 26, 2024 Annotated bibliography due.
November 29, 2024 Completed theses due.

For students graduating May 2025

February 9, 2024

Identify SCE topic and advisor.  With SCE advisor's agreement, submit an abstract identifying a potential argument and line of inquiry to the link on Canvas.

April 26, 2024 Proposal due.
November 29, 2024 Annotated bibliography due.
April 4, 2025 Completed theses due.

 

Need help?

Refer to the SCE Guidelines for detailed instructions including how to prepare a proposal and how to submit the completed SCE.

SCE Guidelines