Thesis Topics

You are invited to pursue any topic that falls under the English department’s purview, and the Honors Committee will assume that you will pursue it with scholarly rigor, intellectual seriousness, and artistic integrity. You should follow your own interests and commitments in defining your project, though you should avail yourself of the advice of those faculty members whose expertise will help you focus your ideas and give them depth. Again, we welcome critical, creative, interdisciplinary, mixed genre, and hybrid creative/critical projects. Most successful applicants have derived their projects from interests developed during their time as English majors at Georgetown. During the actual writing of the thesis, of course, you will work closely with a faculty mentor.

Here is a partial list of the kinds of literary and interdisciplinary topics that Honors students have pursued over the past few years:

  • Polyphony in the novels of Cormac McCarthy
  • Women in post-Stonewall gay male literature
  • Madness and skepticism in Hamlet and Don Quixote
  • Dialogism in Toni Morrison and Christa Woolf
  • The Booker Prize as post-colonial phenomenon
  • Jazz in the Harlem Renaissance
  • The scientific revolution and 18th-century narratives
  • Irvine Welsh and dialect writing
  • Sound and structure in scripts
  • Identity and memory in Maxine Hong Kingston
  • Influence of the internet on writing
  • The written legacy of oral narratives in Amerindian culture
  • Medieval women troubadours
  • African-American women writers and their Biblical heritage
  • Adult-child discourse in real-life conversation and classic children’s literature
  • The role of bible-making in the works of Blake, Wordsworth, and Hardy
  • Morality plays in the Middle Ages and the twentieth century

In addition, Honors students have written short story collections, memoirs, and collections of poetry. Students have also written hybrid creative/critical projects, such as a critique of postcolonial memoir within a postcolonial memoir. Those students who propose creative projects should have developed their skills through taking courses with the Georgetown English Department creative writing faculty or through participation in campus and professional journals and other creative venues.