The senior thesis is a yearlong research project on a topic of the student’s choice. Seniors work closely with their professors—many of whom have shaped the course of their Reed education in the tight-knit classics department—as well as with their adviser.
The senior thesis provides the opportunity for deep and sustained work on a topic you are really interested in, working in close collaboration with your faculty adviser. The senior thesis is a challenging but very rewarding academic endeavor. Below are some titles of recent classics senior theses to give you an idea of the diversity of topics that are possible. These and other classics senior theses are housed in the Thesis Tower in the Reed Library. For more information on the timeline of the senior thesis process, review the online senior handbook provided by the registrar’s office.
Recent Classics Senior Theses
Hayley Curtis, “The Cento Probae: Creative Appropriation in Late Antiquity”
Liam Dulany, “Singing the Unspeakable: Metapoetics and Multivalence in Lucan’s Bellum Ciuile”
Duncan Feiges, “On the Ruin of Britain: Reassessing the End of Roman Britain 400–700 CE”
Wenqian Liu, “Medical and Cosmetic Tools and Implements from Gabii”
Alexander Poston, “Traces of Stoic Philosophy in Cicero’s De Legibus and De Re Publica”
Yeşim Yilmaz, “Penelope, Klytaimnestra, Helen”
Lex Ladge, “Memory Objects: A Study of Attalid Memory and Object Creation under Philetairos and Attalos I”
Marnie Leven, “Knowledge Is Power: An Examination of the Roman Empire's Rhetorical Imperialism of the Chinese Empire”
Rikki Liu, “The Epistula ad Floram: Appealing to an Intellectual Woman in the Competitive Religious Marketplace of Second Century Christianity” (Classics/Religion)
Kaylee Ma, “Imagining and Imaging the Past: Archaeological Reconstructions of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Oplontis”
Elliot Menard, “Ovid is Divo Backwards: the Ovidian Orpheus' Influence on the Birth and Evolution of Opera”
Kirk Svensson, “Hesiod's Works and Days: A Discourse on Ethics”
Olivia Churchwell, "Of Ignorance, Equally Fatal: Re-examining Aeschylus' Iphigenia as a Political Body"
Shin Dickens, “Identifying Seth: An Examination of Curse Tablets in the Ancient Mediterranean” (Classics/Religion)
Griffin Hancock, ”Ego Mulier: The Construction of Sacred Gender Non-Conformity in the Roman Empire”
Lina Neidhardt, “Sulpicia on Her Own Terms”
Costanza Rasi, “Theatricality in Tacitus' Neronian Annales”
William Wu, “Superbia and the Roman Disease in Sallust's Bellum Iugurthinum”
Genevieve Marie Hook, “Making Italy Great Again: the Aeneid as Mythological Justification for Roman Power and Land Occupation”
Ying Ying (Amelea) Ng, “Poetic Justice: Declamatory Rhetoric and Poetry in the Songs of Orpheus”
Lewis Sears Sherman, “The Endurance of Truth: Views on Law and Knowledge in Plato and al-Farabi”
Bailey Rose Boatsman, "Sticking it to the Men: Transgressive Women on the Greek Tragic Stage"
Yelena Jeanne Erez, “It’s the Thought that Counts: Living in Accordance with Reason In Stoic Philosophy"
Carolyn Louise Foerster, "Caesar et suos: Charisma, Pietas, and Discipline in the Gallic War" (Classics/Religion)
George Walter Johnson, "Medicine in the Iliad"
Anya Elizabeth Logan, "The Honeyed Cup: Lucretius’s Use of Myth"
Alex Joseph McGrath, "Gangsta’s Paradise Popular Politics and Gang Violence in the Late Roman Republic (63–52 BCE)"
Warren James Peterson, "Omens and Intertexts: Interpreting Signs and Language in the oἰωνοϲκοπικά"
Haley Jean Tilt, "Living and Dying Young: Conceptions of Child Development in Africa Proconsularis"
Nicholas Brancaccio, “Life in Second Exile: Xenophon’s Reconception of Panhellenism in the Anabasis”
Marilyn Carlin, “Tragic Gender Performance in Aeschylus’s Agamemnon”
Christopher Embrey, “Social Unity, Class Conflict, and Aristotelian πόλις”
Zachary Garriss, “Acerrimus”
Laura Moser, “Madness and Meaning: Signs of Epic and Tragedy in Sophocles’ Ajax”
Johanna Burgess, "The Management of Artistic and Architectural Heritage as a Base of Power in Early Imperial Rome"
Jaye Whitney Dale Debber, "Forces in Opposition: The Polis and the Dionysiac in Euripides' Bacchae"
Heather Hambley, "Gender and Genre in Ovid's Heroides 16 and 17"
Benjamin Stephens, "The Social and Economic Reforms of Diocletian"