Thesis


A master’s thesis is the capstone of the Modern European Studies program. In researching and writing the thesis, students bring the knowledge and skills they have gained through their classes to bear on a topic of their choice. The thesis is both “broad,” in the sense that all of your studies are in the background, supporting your work, and “concentrated,” as an intensive, extended analysis of a single topic. You should start thinking about possible topics, and building relationships with potential faculty advisors, early in the program. The journey from your initial plans to a polished thesis is an important part of your studies.

The thesis is based on original research and is supervised by a faculty advisor. Students begin identifying topics (and approaching potential advisors) through the MA colloquium. In the spring semester of the colloquium, students prepare a prospectus that sets out the thesis topic and argument and outlines a plan for research. Students usually conduct thesis research during the summer and write the thesis in the following fall semester. The process, from identifying a topic to submitting the final version of the thesis, is explained in the Thesis Guidelines.

The Institute provides competitive grants to students who want to conduct thesis research in Europe during either winter, spring, or summer breaks.

2017-18 Deadlines

To submit the prospectus and thesis registration form:
August 25, 2017 to register to write in the Fall 2017 term
January 12, 2018 to register to write in the Spring 2018 term
May 11, 2018 to register to write in the Summer 2018 term

For your advisor to submit the thesis evaluation form and for you to deliver paper and electronic copies to the European Institute: 

September 22, 2017 for October 2017 graduation
January 26, 2018 for February 2018 graduation
May 11, 2018 for May 2018 graduation

Topics of past theses can be found below. The theses are available to read in the EI office. Click here for the Thesis Registration Form and Thesis Evaluation Form.

Recent European History, Society and Politics Theses

2017

Alvaro Miranda
Thesis The Pan, the Bolshevik, and the International of Good People: Revolution and Identity in Isaac Babel’s Red Calvary
Advisor Tsveta Petrova

Holly M. Porino
Thesis The Great Imperial Plants of Zola’s La Curee
Advisor Elizabeth Leake

Elizabeth Kim
Thesis Trade for Good: The Impact of the EU-Egypt Free Trade Agreement on Egyptian Labor Rights, 2004-2011
Advisor Tsveta Petrova

2016

Alexandro Pedraza
Thesis Power, Violence, and Opportunity: The Recruitment of Indigenous Soldiers in 1920s Spanish Morocco
Advisor Lisa Tiersten

Renee Pappous
Thesis “Learning to Obey The Rules for the Sake of Society”: Public Identity and Identity Formation at Constantinople Woman’s College, 1914 – 1950
Advisor Dimitrious Antoniou

Jackson Allison
Thesis Rethinking the Labor Process in Britain: Deskilling and Managerial Control, 1930-1050
Advisor Adam Tooze

Farrah Madanay
Thesis West German Physicians and the Legacy of Nazi Medicine, 1968-1989
Advisor Deborah Coen

Anne Schult
Thesis A Sense of National Decline: Populist Pundits and the Immigration Debate in Germany and France
Advisor Sheri Berman
Click here to watch Anne discuss her project.

John Barry Schuyler
Thesis Spain and the United States during the initial years of the Spanish Transition to Democracy
Advisor Tsveta Petrova

Vinicius Bivar Marra Pereira
Thesis German Influence in Brazil: between Vargas nationalism and Roosevelt’s Pan-Americanism
Advisor Volker Berghan
Click here to watch Vinicius discuss his project. 

2015

Erika Martinez
Thesis The Rockefeller Foundation Through The Dawn of the Atomic Age
Advisor Volker Berghan

Leslie Ching
Thesis The Evolution and Occlusion of Memory: A Historiography of the Events in Paris, October 17, 1961 as Depicted in Four Films
Advisor Emmanuelle Saada

Jarrett Moran
Thesis The Fall and Rise of John Ruskin, Political Economist: 1860-1905
Advisor Susan Pedersen

Michael Peragine
Thesis The Effect of Cultural Distance on Immigrant Labor Market Outcomes in Europe
Advisors Christel Kesler and Victoria Phillips

Manoj Thadhani
Thesis Yugoslav Dream Team: The Rise and Fall of the National Basketball Team and Yugoslavia’s Collapse
Advisor Aleksandar Boskovic

2014

Robert Ast
Thesis Pretty, Vacant: Brummel, Jagger, and the Dandy Mystique
Advisor Lisa Tiersten

Erica Chanin
Thesis Utilization of Economic Sanctions and Soft Power Leveraging by the European Union in the Yugoslav Dissolution and Its Impact on the War in Kosovo
Advisors Kimberly Marten and Tanya Domi

Youri Chung
Thesis The Structural Limits of the EU Normative Foreign Policy: The Debate Over the 2008 Beijing Olympics Boycott
Advisor Victoria de Grazia

Toni Ciprian-Matthews
Thesis Endogenous Shocks and Banking Unions: Lessons of the European Financial Crisis
Advisor Seamus O’Cleireacain

Halley Farrell
Thesis Subverting Imagery of the Feminine Divine in Spanish Cinema: Religious and Cultural Critique in the Films of Luis Buñuel and Pedro Almodóvar, 1958-1999
Advisor Lisa Tiersten

Serena Israni
Thesis The Self-Interested Trade Policies of the European Union and United States
Advisor Seamus O’Cleireacain

Vanessa Johnston
Thesis The Roaring Twenties, American Mass Culture, and the Weimar New Woman
Advisor Volker Berghahn

Whitney Jones
Thesis Culture, Society and Politics in Post-Cold War Germany: The Role of the U.S. Military
Advisor Volker Berghahn

Nicole Krieg
Thesis Neorealism Now: Fascism in Vittorio De Sica’s Late Work
Advisor Elizabeth Leake

Jixiu Li
Thesis Articulation of Normative Power Through Foreign Policy: How Can the European Union Act as the Agenda-Setter in its Relations with China?
Advisor Seamus O’Cleireacain

Amelia Purtill
Thesis 1968 Through the Years: Germany’s “Achtundsechtzigers” and the Struggle with the Nazi Past
Advisor Volker Berghahn

Richard Smith
Thesis Defining Bosnia: Race, Identity, and Anthropology in Habsburg Occupied Bosnia, 1878-1908
Advisor Deborah Coen

2013

Kelly Cocuzza
Thesis Italian Particularism: How a Social Crisis Becomes a Cultural Trauma—Italy and Its Migrants
Advisor Barbara Faedda

Ilias Dourmousoglou
Thesis The Greek Crises: A Social, Economic, Political and Cultural Study since 1967
Advisor Stathis Gourgouris

Cody Franchetti
Thesis Nominalism and History
Advisor Samuel Moyn

Christopher Kreiler
Thesis European Banks: Regulation and Reform
Advisor Irene Finel-Honigman

Andrés Lyon Valdivieso
Thesis Acedia: Dante’s Commedia and Beckett’s How It Is
Advisors Teodolinda Barolini and Edward Mendelson

Dafina Nedelcheva
Thesis Crossing Imagined Borders: History and Memory of Aegean Refugees in Post World War II Bulgaria
Advisor Volker Berghahn

Linyao Tang
Thesis Common Agricultural Policy Reforms: Legacies and Implications for the Future
Advisor Seamus O’Cleireacain

Boyd van Dijk
Thesis Caught Between the Great Powers: The Birth of Human Rights and the Netherlands, 1940-1950
Advisor Samuel Moyn

2012

Lycourgos Sophoulis
Thesis Recurring Dilemmas and Romantic Digressions: Orthodoxy and Nationalism in the Early Neohellenic Kingdom
Advisors Volker Berghahn and Christine Philliou

Johan Warodell
Thesis Joseph Conrad and Sense-Impressions
Advisor Edward Mendelson

Miriam Wray
Thesis Ornament and Fashion in Hermann Broch’s The Sleepwalkers from an Aesthetic, Historical and Social Perspective
Advisor Mark Anderson

2011

Darrell Dela Rosa
Thesis Biofuel Bust: The Adverse Effects of European Energy Policies
Advisor Glenn Sheriff

Veronica Mayer
Thesis Crisis of Nationalism: The Impact of Trafalgar on British and Spanish Self-Conceptions
Advisor Monica Cohen

Evan Saperstein
Thesis How the Top Bottomed Out: The Turkish Government’s Unexpected Embrace of Grassroots Anti-Semitism
Advisor David Cuthell

Lorna Schmidt
Thesis The Evolution and Regulation of Consumer Credit in the United Kingdom, Italy, France and Germany, 1800s-2008
Advisor Victoria de Grazia

Marguerite Van Cook
Thesis Wordsworth’s Cloak of “Duffil Grey,” or The Passions of Capitalism
Advisors Marianne Giordani and Stathis Gourgouris

2010

Kenneth Alston
Thesis Dirigisme: Through the Lens of Nicolas Sarkozy
Advisor Irene Finel-Honigman

Allison De Seve
Thesis Non-Pacifists for Peace: The Peace Now Movement of 1943-1944
Advisor Nancy Collins

Virginia Howard
Thesis Trafficked Women in the European Union: The Natashas and Victim-Centered Criminal Justice
Advisor Michael Stanislawski

Katherine Minette
Thesis The German Question: Helmut Kohl and the Push for Unification
Advisor Volker Berghahn

2009

Adee Braun
Thesis Constructing the Hungarian Nation: British Travelers’ Perspectives of Hungarian National Identity Under the Dual Empire
Advisor Volker Berghahn

Ali Mortezai
Thesis Concepts of Freedom in the Philosophy of Martin Heidegger: An Auseinandersetzung
Advisor John Rajchman

J. Armand Musey
Thesis Underlying Causes of the Disparity Between the French and English Surrealist Movements
Advisor Linn Cary Mehta

Richard Seidlitz
Thesis Russophilia in France, 1870-1910
Advisor Samuel Moyn

Wakako Suzuki
Thesis The Narrative Techniques of Modern Literature
Advisor Mark Anderson

Kristin Wood
Thesis The Cracked Cauldron: An Investigation of Madame Bovary’s Philosophical Realism
Advisor Monica Cohen

2008

Heather Higgins
Thesis The Search for Identity in the Works of Five East European Novelists
Advisor Ivan Sanders

Gabriela Maj
Thesis “Las, Dąb i Róg” (The Forest, the Oak and the Deer’s Horn): The Role of the symbol of the Forest and Polish National Identity
Advisor Zoë Crossland

Kerry McElroy
Thesis A Defensive Modernism: Popular Culture, Cinema, and the Absence of a British Avant-Garde
Advisor Michael Golston

Anthony Roman
Thesis The Italian Marshall Plan Films: The Handmaiden of Recovery
Advisor Victoria de Grazia

Shalini Tripathi
Thesis Ionesco’s Béringer Plays: The Evolution of an Everyman
Advisor Shawn-Marie Garrett

James Weidner
Thesis Central European Literary Connections Between a Vacant Moral Center and the Rise of Nazism
Advisor Ivan Sanders

A master’s thesis is the capstone of the Modern European Studies program. In researching and writing the thesis, students bring the knowledge and skills they have gained through their classes to bear on a topic of their choice. The thesis is both “broad,” in the sense that all of your studies are in the background, supporting your work, and “concentrated,” as an intensive, extended analysis of a single topic. You should start thinking about possible topics, and building relationships with potential faculty advisors, early in the program. The journey from your initial plans to a polished thesis is an important part of your studies.

The thesis is based on original research and is supervised by a faculty advisor. Students begin identifying topics (and approaching potential advisors) through the MA colloquium. In the spring semester of the colloquium, students prepare a prospectus that sets out the thesis topic and argument and outlines a plan for research. Students usually conduct thesis research during the summer and write the thesis in the following fall semester. The process, from identifying a topic to submitting the final version of the thesis, is explained in the Thesis Guidelines.

The Institute provides competitive grants to students who want to conduct thesis research in Europe during either winter, spring, or summer breaks.

2017-18 Deadlines

To submit the prospectus and thesis registration form:
August 25, 2017 to register to write in the Fall 2017 term
January 12, 2018 to register to write in the Spring 2018 term
May 11, 2018 to register to write in the Summer 2018 term

For your advisor to submit the thesis evaluation form and for you to deliver paper and electronic copies to the European Institute: 

September 22, 2017 for October 2017 graduation
January 26, 2018 for February 2018 graduation
May 11, 2018 for May 2018 graduation

Topics of past theses can be found below. The theses are available to read in the EI office. Click here for the Thesis Registration Form and Thesis Evaluation Form.

Recent European History, Society and Politics Theses

2017

Alvaro Miranda
Thesis The Pan, the Bolshevik, and the International of Good People: Revolution and Identity in Isaac Babel’s Red Calvary
Advisor Tsveta Petrova

Holly M. Porino
Thesis The Great Imperial Plants of Zola’s La Curee
Advisor Elizabeth Leake

Elizabeth Kim
Thesis Trade for Good: The Impact of the EU-Egypt Free Trade Agreement on Egyptian Labor Rights, 2004-2011
Advisor Tsveta Petrova

2016

Alexandro Pedraza
Thesis Power, Violence, and Opportunity: The Recruitment of Indigenous Soldiers in 1920s Spanish Morocco
Advisor Lisa Tiersten

Renee Pappous
Thesis “Learning to Obey The Rules for the Sake of Society”: Public Identity and Identity Formation at Constantinople Woman’s College, 1914 – 1950
Advisor Dimitrious Antoniou

Jackson Allison
Thesis Rethinking the Labor Process in Britain: Deskilling and Managerial Control, 1930-1050
Advisor Adam Tooze

Farrah Madanay
Thesis West German Physicians and the Legacy of Nazi Medicine, 1968-1989
Advisor Deborah Coen

Anne Schult
Thesis A Sense of National Decline: Populist Pundits and the Immigration Debate in Germany and France
Advisor Sheri Berman
Click here to watch Anne discuss her project.

John Barry Schuyler
Thesis Spain and the United States during the initial years of the Spanish Transition to Democracy
Advisor Tsveta Petrova

Vinicius Bivar Marra Pereira
Thesis German Influence in Brazil: between Vargas nationalism and Roosevelt’s Pan-Americanism
Advisor Volker Berghan
Click here to watch Vinicius discuss his project. 

2015

Erika Martinez
Thesis The Rockefeller Foundation Through The Dawn of the Atomic Age
Advisor Volker Berghan

Leslie Ching
Thesis The Evolution and Occlusion of Memory: A Historiography of the Events in Paris, October 17, 1961 as Depicted in Four Films
Advisor Emmanuelle Saada

Jarrett Moran
Thesis The Fall and Rise of John Ruskin, Political Economist: 1860-1905
Advisor Susan Pedersen

Michael Peragine
Thesis The Effect of Cultural Distance on Immigrant Labor Market Outcomes in Europe
Advisors Christel Kesler and Victoria Phillips

Manoj Thadhani
Thesis Yugoslav Dream Team: The Rise and Fall of the National Basketball Team and Yugoslavia’s Collapse
Advisor Aleksandar Boskovic

2014

Robert Ast
Thesis Pretty, Vacant: Brummel, Jagger, and the Dandy Mystique
Advisor Lisa Tiersten

Erica Chanin
Thesis Utilization of Economic Sanctions and Soft Power Leveraging by the European Union in the Yugoslav Dissolution and Its Impact on the War in Kosovo
Advisors Kimberly Marten and Tanya Domi

Youri Chung
Thesis The Structural Limits of the EU Normative Foreign Policy: The Debate Over the 2008 Beijing Olympics Boycott
Advisor Victoria de Grazia

Toni Ciprian-Matthews
Thesis Endogenous Shocks and Banking Unions: Lessons of the European Financial Crisis
Advisor Seamus O’Cleireacain

Halley Farrell
Thesis Subverting Imagery of the Feminine Divine in Spanish Cinema: Religious and Cultural Critique in the Films of Luis Buñuel and Pedro Almodóvar, 1958-1999
Advisor Lisa Tiersten

Serena Israni
Thesis The Self-Interested Trade Policies of the European Union and United States
Advisor Seamus O’Cleireacain

Vanessa Johnston
Thesis The Roaring Twenties, American Mass Culture, and the Weimar New Woman
Advisor Volker Berghahn

Whitney Jones
Thesis Culture, Society and Politics in Post-Cold War Germany: The Role of the U.S. Military
Advisor Volker Berghahn

Nicole Krieg
Thesis Neorealism Now: Fascism in Vittorio De Sica’s Late Work
Advisor Elizabeth Leake

Jixiu Li
Thesis Articulation of Normative Power Through Foreign Policy: How Can the European Union Act as the Agenda-Setter in its Relations with China?
Advisor Seamus O’Cleireacain

Amelia Purtill
Thesis 1968 Through the Years: Germany’s “Achtundsechtzigers” and the Struggle with the Nazi Past
Advisor Volker Berghahn

Richard Smith
Thesis Defining Bosnia: Race, Identity, and Anthropology in Habsburg Occupied Bosnia, 1878-1908
Advisor Deborah Coen

2013

Kelly Cocuzza
Thesis Italian Particularism: How a Social Crisis Becomes a Cultural Trauma—Italy and Its Migrants
Advisor Barbara Faedda

Ilias Dourmousoglou
Thesis The Greek Crises: A Social, Economic, Political and Cultural Study since 1967
Advisor Stathis Gourgouris

Cody Franchetti
Thesis Nominalism and History
Advisor Samuel Moyn

Christopher Kreiler
Thesis European Banks: Regulation and Reform
Advisor Irene Finel-Honigman

Andrés Lyon Valdivieso
Thesis Acedia: Dante’s Commedia and Beckett’s How It Is
Advisors Teodolinda Barolini and Edward Mendelson

Dafina Nedelcheva
Thesis Crossing Imagined Borders: History and Memory of Aegean Refugees in Post World War II Bulgaria
Advisor Volker Berghahn

Linyao Tang
Thesis Common Agricultural Policy Reforms: Legacies and Implications for the Future
Advisor Seamus O’Cleireacain

Boyd van Dijk
Thesis Caught Between the Great Powers: The Birth of Human Rights and the Netherlands, 1940-1950
Advisor Samuel Moyn

2012

Lycourgos Sophoulis
Thesis Recurring Dilemmas and Romantic Digressions: Orthodoxy and Nationalism in the Early Neohellenic Kingdom
Advisors Volker Berghahn and Christine Philliou

Johan Warodell
Thesis Joseph Conrad and Sense-Impressions
Advisor Edward Mendelson

Miriam Wray
Thesis Ornament and Fashion in Hermann Broch’s The Sleepwalkers from an Aesthetic, Historical and Social Perspective
Advisor Mark Anderson

2011

Darrell Dela Rosa
Thesis Biofuel Bust: The Adverse Effects of European Energy Policies
Advisor Glenn Sheriff

Veronica Mayer
Thesis Crisis of Nationalism: The Impact of Trafalgar on British and Spanish Self-Conceptions
Advisor Monica Cohen

Evan Saperstein
Thesis How the Top Bottomed Out: The Turkish Government’s Unexpected Embrace of Grassroots Anti-Semitism
Advisor David Cuthell

Lorna Schmidt
Thesis The Evolution and Regulation of Consumer Credit in the United Kingdom, Italy, France and Germany, 1800s-2008
Advisor Victoria de Grazia

Marguerite Van Cook
Thesis Wordsworth’s Cloak of “Duffil Grey,” or The Passions of Capitalism
Advisors Marianne Giordani and Stathis Gourgouris

2010

Kenneth Alston
Thesis Dirigisme: Through the Lens of Nicolas Sarkozy
Advisor Irene Finel-Honigman

Allison De Seve
Thesis Non-Pacifists for Peace: The Peace Now Movement of 1943-1944
Advisor Nancy Collins

Virginia Howard
Thesis Trafficked Women in the European Union: The Natashas and Victim-Centered Criminal Justice
Advisor Michael Stanislawski

Katherine Minette
Thesis The German Question: Helmut Kohl and the Push for Unification
Advisor Volker Berghahn

2009

Adee Braun
Thesis Constructing the Hungarian Nation: British Travelers’ Perspectives of Hungarian National Identity Under the Dual Empire
Advisor Volker Berghahn

Ali Mortezai
Thesis Concepts of Freedom in the Philosophy of Martin Heidegger: An Auseinandersetzung
Advisor John Rajchman

J. Armand Musey
Thesis Underlying Causes of the Disparity Between the French and English Surrealist Movements
Advisor Linn Cary Mehta

Richard Seidlitz
Thesis Russophilia in France, 1870-1910
Advisor Samuel Moyn

Wakako Suzuki
Thesis The Narrative Techniques of Modern Literature
Advisor Mark Anderson

Kristin Wood
Thesis The Cracked Cauldron: An Investigation of Madame Bovary’s Philosophical Realism
Advisor Monica Cohen

2008

Heather Higgins
Thesis The Search for Identity in the Works of Five East European Novelists
Advisor Ivan Sanders

Gabriela Maj
Thesis “Las, Dąb i Róg” (The Forest, the Oak and the Deer’s Horn): The Role of the symbol of the Forest and Polish National Identity
Advisor Zoë Crossland

Kerry McElroy
Thesis A Defensive Modernism: Popular Culture, Cinema, and the Absence of a British Avant-Garde
Advisor Michael Golston

Anthony Roman
Thesis The Italian Marshall Plan Films: The Handmaiden of Recovery
Advisor Victoria de Grazia

Shalini Tripathi
Thesis Ionesco’s Béringer Plays: The Evolution of an Everyman
Advisor Shawn-Marie Garrett

James Weidner
Thesis Central European Literary Connections Between a Vacant Moral Center and the Rise of Nazism
Advisor Ivan Sanders

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