Find out more about past and present undergraduate research in German and Slavic studies.

Why Write An Honors Thesis?

  • You enjoy writing research papers!
  • You excel when working independently!
  • You feel passionate about developing a research project based on a in-depth topic related to Germanic or Slavic languages, literatures, or cultures!

Requirements

Students who wish to undertake a senior honors thesis project must have a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher and a GPA of 3.5 or higher in their GSLL major. Students must identify already in the spring semester of their junior year a research topic of potential promise and then secure a faculty advisor within the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures with expertise in that field. Find the complete schedule of deadlines here.

Honors Thesis Handbook & Contract

Writing an honors thesis involves independence, drive, commitment, and timeliness. In order to assist students and their advisors with the the writing process, the Department maintains an official Handbook for Students Writing an Honors Thesis that should be consulted throughout the entire process. In addition to the handbook, students should be mindful that enrollment in honors thesis courses, 691H in the fall semester and 692H in the spring semester, is contingent on the submission of the department’s Honors Thesis Contract by the first day of classes.

Current Honors Theses

Megan Cross, “Norbert Bisky”

Advisor: Priscilla Layne
Abstract: I am interested in exploring the cultural, historical and social forces that influence artistic practice in Germany today, and I would like to approach this research through a focus on the work of Norbert Bisky. Born in Leipzig in 1970, Bisky’s father was a member of the SED party and a professor of film and television – signaling close ties to the GDR. Bisky’s family dynamics will be interesting to study, as the East German regime informed much of Bisky’s early work, and although he attended art school after reunification in 1994, his style has been described as similar to that of socialist realism. As Jurriaan Benschop writes, Bisky felt he had to “paint the GDR out of [his] soul,” but much of his more recent work focuses on themes of “violence, death, intoxication, and physicality” (Norbert Bisky Benschop, Jurriaan. Artforum international 51.9 (May 2013): 341). This shift is interesting and plays into historical narratives that I would like to explore further, like the differences between socialist art and fascist art, and how those elements are present and/or absent from contemporary German art like Bisky’s.

Nate Wagner, “Pop Plays Politics: The German Literary Archive and the Paralysis of Pop before and after the Fall of the Wall”

Advisor: Richard Langston
Abstract: This honors thesis examines the literary and musical work of Sven Regener (1961- ) and Schorsch Kamerun (1963- ), lead singers of the German bands The Element of Crime and Die goldenen Zitronen, respectively. Both active musicians since the 1980s and novelists since the 2000s, Regener and Kamerun have designated the nexus of pop music, politics, and everyday life in the 80s as central concerns in their storytelling. This project interrogates how these two writers and musicians remember the political in the 80s differently and how these differences correspond to the actual crisis that afflicted their pop music in the early 90s.

Past Honors Theses

GSLL Honors Theses, 2015-2016
GSLL Honors Theses, 2014-2015
GSLL Honors Theses, 2013-2014