Examples of Past SWAGS Theses

Below are examples of honors theses submitted by SWAGS/WAGS majors. Complete theses are available in Archives and Special Collections in Frost Library.

“We Write to Survive”: Legacies of Black Feminist Writing Traditions

By Julissa Fernandez '22

Thesis Advisor: Professor Jen Manion

Abstract: The questions I seek to answer in this thesis are: How does the element of writing lived experience advance the theoretical framework of Black Feminist Thought? How does the framework of Black Feminist Thought and the writing of personal narrative extend to woman of color feminism? Lastly, how am I an inheritor of the writing traditions of women of color?

Queering Queer Health Care: an expansion of embodied subjectivities in gender-affirming medical care

By Alexandra (Sasha) Williams '22

Thesis Advisor: Professor Katrina Karkazis

Abstract: Drawing on feminist, queer, and anthropological theory and ethnographic experience, I critique contemporary standards of medical care for queer people seeking gender-affirming treatment. I explore how biomedical understandings of queerness limit providers' ability to care for queer patients, covering current efforts to include trans patients in biomedical research.

The Anti-Monogamy Framework: Reimagining Relationality

By Lisa Zheutlin '22

Thesis Advisor: Professor Jen Manion

Abstract: The anti-monogamy framework is a queer feminist undertaking that elucidates the political grasp of monogamy and questions why dominant culture and society prioritizes romantic, coupled, sexual love above all else, why other nourishing forms of love are not similarly valorized, both interpersonally and structurally.

Ideological Influences on International Family Planning Policy and Their Effect on Women’s Reproductive Agency

By Benedite Dieujuste '20

Thesis Advisor: Professor Amrita Basu

Abstract: How has international family planning policy (IFFP) developed and what have been the major ideological influences? How have women been affected by family planning policy and how have they responded to these influences?

From Roe v. Wade to June Medical Services LLC v. Russo:
Reproductive Rights, Reproductive Justice, and the Constitutional Right to Abortion

By Emily Hirtle '20

Thesis Advisors: Professors Amrita Basu and Jennifer Hamilton

Abstract: This thesis examines the current watershed moment in reproductive politics as the Supreme Court hears June Medical Services LLC v. Russo. It asks: how is the right to abortion in jeopardy, if Roe v. Wade established it as a constitutional right nearly 50 years ago? This thesis historicizes June by analyzing Roe’s construction of the abortion right using a combination of reproductive rights and reproductive justice scholarship.

Examining the Operationalization of “Sex” and “Gender”: Definitions within a Healthcare Framework

By Elinton Lee '20

Thesis Advisor: Professor Khary Polk

Abstract: This thesis explores the terms “sex” and “gender” as they have been defined and operationalized within a healthcare context. The importance for more thorough discussions on how sex and gender are used is clarified by: (1) Analyzing studies that show health outcome disparities as a result of sex and gender influence and (2) looking at the NIH 2016 SABV policy as a locus for an overarching definition by a healthcare institution.

"Transing" Jewish Gender Roles: The Potentials of Emasculation and Deviance

By Theo Peierls '20E

Thesis Advisor: Professor Krupa Shandilya

Abstract: What are the radical potentials of how Jewish gender is understood, and of Jewish gender deviance? What fears prevent embracing these potentials? In this thesis, I explore these questions through a historical and contemporary framework, and by engaging with Biblical texts, trans theory, and Jewish gender theory, as well as through personal interviews with people navigating these questions and questions of Jewish gender roles.

Is Jesus a Feminist? Feminist and Womanist Theologians' Answer to the Question of Reconciliation

By JoDeanne Francis '17

Thesis Advisor: Professor Michèle Barale

Abstract: My own journey and experiences have prompted the question of the reconciliation of feminism and Protestantism - a question that I believe impacts both feminists and Christians in as well as outside of the academy.

“It’s Revolutionary To Connect With Love”: Kinship, Extralegality, and Utopia in Trans Liberation Movements

By Amira Lundy-Harris '16

Thesis Advisor: Professor Aneeka Henderson

Abstract: This project explores what models of trans activism are possible within the context of kinship networks in queer and transgender communities of color that challenge injustice in the present but also present a vision for the future. My research focuses on the ways in which kinship networks provide the opportunity for people to create spaces of utopia, using extralegal means.

“Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things”: Gender, Genre, and Disability in A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin

By Maia Mareš '14

Thesis Advisor: Professor Michèle Barale

Abstract: I explore the intersection of masculinity and disability in George R.R. Martin’s popular fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire. After reading the series, I noticed that all the disabled characters within it were men and that most of the major point-of-view male characters were disabled.

Eco Fashion: Engendering Ethics and Sustainability in the Global Apparel Industry

By Lacie Goldberg '13

Thesis Advisor: Professor Paola Zamperini

Abstract: The topic of my senior honors thesis in Women’s and Gender Studies is Eco Fashion and the political, economic, and social underpinnings of the global production of apparel. My thesis investigates the human and environmental costs of the globalized fashion industry from the production phase to fashion consumption, and lastly, consumer usage and disposal phases.

We Wanted to Be Like Them: Nigerian Women's (In)Access to Formal Education

By Germaine M. Habell '13

Thesis Advisor: Professor Margaret R. Hunt

 Introduction: In August of 2012 I traveled, for the second time, to Ikenne, Ogun State, in western Nigeria. Ikenne is my mother’s hometown, and I was fortunate to visit her for the summer and spend time at Mayflower Private School, where she is the principal. Having been to Ikenne and Mayflower two years prior, I was eager to continue my conversations with some of the women who work at the school as childcare providers, cooks in the cafeteria, groundskeepers, and in other positions often deemed low skilled.

Listening Differently: the Feminist Verses of Alice Fulton

By Claudia Wack '13

Thesis Advisor: Professors Michèle Barale and Krupa Shandilya

Abstract: Contemporary poet Alice Fulton is nothing if not unconventional. Her poems are dense and obtuse: she revels in a decidedly maximalist aesthetic, jam-packing her lines with information and wordplay. She gravitates towards material that most poets don’t normally feature, including exaggeratedly violent imagery and kitschy references to American pop culture.

The Yellow Actor, the Black Mask, and the White Stage: Gender and Race in Hip-Hop Culture

By Andrea Park '12

Thesis Advisor: Professor Krupa Shandilya

Introduction: I am a child of a generation when MTV still aired music videos, when the sexy, cool princess of R&B, Ashanti, reigned supreme on the radio airwaves, and when cars with spinners, diamond-encrusted bling, and fancy cribs were emblems of pop-cultural cool. As a younger sister who idolizes her brother, the beats of hip-hop legends Tupac, Nas, and Notorious B.I.G. were as much part of my musical upbringing as Britney Spear’s innocently promiscuous “Hit Me Baby One More Time,” or my mother’s furious Chopin nocturnes that she played on our baby grand Steinway on quiet Sunday afternoons.