Spanish Department

Senior Thesis

The cornerstone of a Reed education, the senior thesis is organized as a year-long project in which students work one-on-one with a Spanish department faculty advisor to write a 50-70-page essay on a topic that they develop in consultation with the advisor. This provides an opportunity to consolidate the analytic and research skills honed in the Qual exam and previous coursework. Although the expectation is that the thesis is written in English, there is an option to write in Spanish. Students interested in writing their thesis in Spanish should consult with the Spanish department chair at the time of the Jr. Qualifying Exam.

At the end of the first semester the student hands in a chapter that includes an introduction detailing the overall objective of the project, its critical approach, and the expected arc of the argument. This document is discussed with the advisor and the first reader in a 45-minute oral examination. At the end of the second semester, after the thesis is completed, there is an hour-and-thirty-minute oral examination in which the student explains the substance as well as the process of thesis and answers questions from a committee composed by four faculty members (the advisor and first reader are members of the Spanish Department, the second reader is a member of the Division of Literature and Languages, and the fourth reader is a member of another Division). Thesis grades are assigned by the advisor in consultation with the rest of the committee.

The thesis should present a clearly-articulated hypothesis and develop it through a consistent and well-supported argument. The critical bibliography should be at least two pages long. The aspiration for the oral presentation is that the student be able to explain in detail the intellectual importance and methodology of the project.

Recent Spanish department theses

Auster Rogers. "Space and Time in Jorge Luis Borges’ Literature" (Spanish, 2022)

Imani Garrott. "Education through Experience: Learning to Skeptically Evaluate Appearances in Pedro Calderón de la Barca's Eco y Narciso" (Spanish, 2022)

Dashiell Allen. "Argentina: Politics and Aesthetics in the Constitution of a Gay Subject" (Spanish, 2021)

Nina Matthews. "Tearing Down the Wall: Volunteer Discourse in Relation to Gloria Anzaldúa’s Theory of the U.S.-Mexico Border" (Spanish, 2020)

Rugby Simon. "Roberto Bolaño’s Estrella Distante and the Chilean Neo Avant-Garde" (Spanish, 2020)

Julia Jacobson. "El fenómeno de la violencia sicaresca en Colombia: una discusión sobre el valor y las funciones de la memoria" (Spanish, 2019)

Kevin Alarcón. "Defining Arrival: Comparing Spatial Constructions in Mayra Santos-Febres’ Boat People and Javier Zamora’s Unaccompanied" (Comparative Literature, 2019)

Lyla Boyajian. "The Proliferation of Voices in La Celestina" (Spanish, 2019)

Rubi Vergara-Grindell. “As If We Were Holy”: Latinx Responses to Crimmigration Through Music and Poetry (Spanish, 2019)

Thomas Celt. "Robert Arlt's Literature Analyzed in the Light of the Critical Theory of Deleuze and Guattari" (Spanish, 2019)

Alison Fortune. "Magic Made Manifest: Using Magical Realist Playwriting to Articulate Space and Place" (Literature/Theater, 2018)

Nevada Harris. "Returning from Beyond the Pale: Critical Reflections on Violence in Salvadoran Street Gangs" (History/Literature, 2018)

Quinn Spencer. "Mapuche Poetry as Resistance against Hierarchical Spaces" (Spanish, 2018)

Taylor Lee. "Reflections on the Failures of Cinematic Modernity: An Analysis of Memorias del subdesarrollo and Invasión" (Spanish, 2018)

Thomas Celt. "The Crime of Invention: The ‘Mala escritura’ of Robert Arlt" (Spanish, 2018)

Alexi Caracotsios. "El dinero, el tiranito, y el ladrón en las Aguafuertes porteñas de Alberto Arlt" (Spanish, 2017)

Clay Loftus Wilwol. "Acerca de lo fronterizo: Reflexiones sobre la obra de Yuri Herrera" (Spanish, 2016)

Lillian García. "Roberto Arlt: A Portrayal of the Subjectivity of the Outsider in Argentina" (Spanish, 2016)

Michelle Ceballos. "Language, Gender, and Revolutionary Commitment: Woman Subjectivities in Central American Testimonial Narratives" (History/Literature, 2016)

Fedora Copley. "Indigenous hip-hop: Transnational identification and resistance to coloniality"  (Spanish, 2015)

Margaret Black. "A woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown: A critical analysis of the works of Pedro Almodóvar and Alfred Hitchcock" (Spanish, 2015)

Susana Mizrahi. "La vision estelar: Representación de la simultaneidad temporal en La media noche de Valle-Inclán" (Spanish, 2015)

Tamara Torrez-Koll. "Barbaric liberty: tropical forests in Argentina during national consolidation and modernization (1845-1926)" (History/Literature, 2015)