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Steven Hoelscher, Chair Burdine 437, Mailcode B7100, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-7277

Annual American Studies Honors Symposium

Thu, April 17, 2014 • 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM • Burdine 214

Undergraduate honors students present their research.

The Department of American Studies is delighted to host its Third Annual Honors Thesis Symposium on Thursday, April 17, from 5:30 to 7:30 PM, in Burdine 214. Five honors thesis students will present papers based on their yearlong research projects.

Taj Bruno’s thesis, “Latkes for Santa: An Analysis of the American Jewish Perspective on Christmas,” explores the curious historical relationship between the American Jewish community and the celebration of Christmas.

Alyse Camus’ thesis, “From Kuznetsky Most to Brooklyn Bridge: Mayakovsky’s Discovery of America,” examines the Russian poet Mayakovsky and his trip to the United States in 1925 as a lens into his personal history, the histories of the United States and the Soviet Union, and his observations about industrialization and racism during his travels.

Melissa Herman’s thesis, “The Scene Aesthetic: How Indie Rock is Helping Re-Segregate Austin,” explores the ways in which the success of ACL and SXSW has further fostered an environment of exclusion for Austin’s Black and Latino residents, while socially and financially benefitting the city, its image and a large proportion of its White residents.

Morgan Machiorlette’s thesis, “Underfunded, Unequal, and Unheard: The Realities of Low-Income Students in the Philadelphia Public School District,” considers how financial deficits and blighted community environments negatively affect students and consequently perpetuate the cycle of poverty in low-income Philadelphia public schools.

Thomas Smith’s thesis, “Punk Capital: How the Nation’s Capitol Became a Leader in the Punk Movement of America,” examines the relationship between the rise of Punk music and the growth of new social justice movements in Washington, D.C., from 1978 to 1993.

Following the presentations, there will be a discussion and a reception to celebrate a job well done.


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