The History department had its first round of senior thesis presentations last night. The presentations, beginning at 7:00pm, ran over the course of two and half hours.
Senior Abigail Starcher started off the event with her thesis presentation: “The Voice of Italian Fascism: A Study of Modernist Classical Music under the Fascist Regime, 1922-1945.” Ms. Starcher’s thesis examined the works of three Italian composers, Alfredo Casella, Gian Francesco Malipiero, and Luigi Dallapiccola, during the period of 1922-1945. She argued that, in spite of their use of foreign musical ideas, these composers were aspiring to an Italian fascist aesthetic that would be the vehicle for placing Italian music on par with that of other European countries
Senior Joseph Haas followed Ms. Starcher’s presentation, bringing the audience back seven hundred years with his thesis: “Pope Innocent III and His Reassertion of Papal Authority in King John’s England.” Mr. Haas looked at Innocent III’s papacy, specifically with regard to the dispute over the election of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Opponents of Innocent III, Mr. Haas explained, have pointed to his actions during the conflict as evidence of the pope’s desire to extend his rule over all of Europe. But when Innocent’s words and actions are looked at in context, Mr. Haas argued, it becomes clear that Innocent was seeking only to restore the authority that belonged to the Church.
Returning to the 20th century, senior Leea Stroia presented her thesis: “‘A Whole Sweet Countryside Amuck with Murder’: Violence, Memory, and Brutalization in the Poetry of the First World War.” Ms. Stroia showed, in her thesis, how the poetry of World War I offers insight into the unprecedented nature of the war and how, when viewed as a whole, it chronicles the change over time in the perception and experience of those fighting. She focused on the works of poets Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, and Edmund Blunden.
Senior John Madden followed Ms. Stroia with a presentation of his thesis: “How the Railroad Shaped the West.”
The night concluded with a presentation by senior Chloe DiMarzio entitled, “Capturing the Courtly Ethos in 14th Century England: Geoffrey Chaucer’s Perceptions of Chivalry and Love.”
The History Honors Thesis is an optional course open to History Majors in their Senior Year. It is intended for students interested in further studies in History or a cognate discipline, or for those who wish to pursue a particular historical topic in some detail. The Senior Thesis is a substantial piece of research, and is assessed based on an essay of no less than 50 pages and a public presentation of research. It requires an element of original research, to be agreed with the individual supervisor. For more information about the History Major at AMU, visit here.