Honors Thesis and Independent Study

Any faculty member with research interests that intersect with WGSS may supervise a student research project. A WGSS major’s Honors Thesis may be a year-long project or a one-semester project (fall semester plus Winter Study). Independent Studies are 1-semester projects and can be conducted by a student in any major. Research projects may consist of a conventional research paper or another mode of presentation (e.g. art, music, poetry, theater, fiction). Refer to the course catalog for more details.

If you are interested in doing a thesis or independent study, talk to a faculty member whose teaching and/or research area aligns with a potential research topic.

Key dates for full-year honors theses, 2023-2024

TBA: Initial proposal due
TBA: Revised proposal/plan of action
TBA: Progress report
TBA: Progress report and one draft chapter (or equivalent)
TBA: Thesis due
Last two weeks of classes TBD: Presentations

Do you have question about your thesis?

Contact theses​@williams​.edu.

As a reminder, a wealth of information about the thesis submission process is available on the Special Collections theses site.

When submitting theses, students identify conditions that may impact open access. Please discuss open access with your advisee and watch for an email asking you to review the selected access conditions.

Please contact Jessika Drmacich if you have further questions about legal, ethical, and research considerations for born-digital access to scholarship.

Recent WGSS theses and independent studies

(Re)claiming Our Bodies, (Re) Connecting with Ourselves, & (Re)Possessing Our Power: A Second Mirror Stage for Vulva Owners.
by Alex Bernstein

Liminal Relationality: Disrupting the Binaries of Being.
by Hannah Moore

Sovereignty and Censorship: Excavating Korean Women’s Liberation from Nationalist Historiography (1910-1945).
by Syke An

Queer Temporality And Rural Space: Theorizing Futurity From The Perspective Of Rural Oregon.
by Olivia Goodheart

“The Forest is Ours”: Toward a New Visual Politics of Sovereignty within Indigenous  Photographic Projects.
by Julia Blike

Queer Arab identities in postcolonial literature.
Saadia Yacoob (Religion), advisor

Defining femininity for the Korean military bride: Uncovering a history of control at the U.S.-Korean Border
Scott Wong (History), advisor

Desire, consumption and agency: Anti-blackness in “interracial” pornography
Greg Mitchell (WGSS), advisor

Carceral feminists at home in the U.S. of A.: Sex work, sex trafficking discourse, and the Trafficking Victims Protection Act
Greg Mitchell (WGSS), advisor

“I Ain’t Sorry”: An exploration of black female agency and romantic love in Insecure, The Bachelorette and Lemonade
María Elena Cepeda (Latino/a Studies) and Vivian Huang (WGSS), advisors

Choice without access: Abortion in Berkshire County
Kim Gutschow (Religion, Anthropology & Sociology), advisor

The health status of transgender adults in the U.S.
Lucie Schmidt (Economics), advisor

Mulata não: Afro-Brazilian women and the concept of racial democracy
Roger Kittleson (History), advisor

Disrupting the gatekeeper role: Sexual scripts embedded in shameful silences in sex education in the United States
Kiaran Honderich (WGSS), advisor

Mistress of evil, mother of good: Queer potentialities and subversion in Disney’s Maleficent
María Elena Cepeda (Latino/a Studies), advisor

Evaluation of sexual assault prevention at Williams
Sarah Bolton (Physics, Dean of the College), advisor

Off the record: Intimacy and discourse at Williams College
Greg Mitchell (WGSS) and Amy Holzapfel (Theater), advisors

Underground landscapes
Greg Mitchell (WGSS), advisor

Race, Gender, and Sexuality in U.S. Music Video: Theory and Method
María Elena Cepeda

Inverting Sexual Scripts Using Popular Music
Scott Wong (History), advisor

Readings in gender and sexuality
Greg Mitchell (WGSS), advisor

The Manic Pixie Dream Girl: a question of agency
Amy Hozapfel (Theater), advisor

Queer Science Fiction
Greg Mitchell (WGSS), advisor

Sexuality Studies Podcast
Greg Mitchell (WGSS), advisor

Epidemic politics: Representation and resistance in the first decade of AIDS
Sara Dubow (History), advisor

Revolting bodies: Female body politics and prostitution in nineteenth century New York and London
Gretchen Long (History), advisor

“Why don’t you take a seat?” Dateline’s To Catch a Predator, vigilantism, and narratives of sexual predation
Gail Newman (German), advisor