Building a Different World: Allegories, Folk Tales and Design

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Senior Theses Profiles, Part 1 of 6

Significant works of historical and literary scholarship, original scientific investigation, extended creative projects—senior theses at Bard College at Simon’s Rock make for absorbing if not light reading. All B.A. students at the College complete a senior thesis, a major independent project that is the focus of students’ senior year. Conceived, organized, and carried out by each student with appropriate support from a faculty advisor, the thesis is the capstone of the student’s liberal arts and sciences education.

Continuing a celebrated tradition, Provost and Vice President Mary B. Marcy offered remarks and impressions of each of the nearly 50 theses completed during the 2009-2010 academic year to an audience of graduates, staff, and faculty in May. As she does most years, Marcy crafted categories by which to distinctly organize collections of theses. This year, the theses were presented under the tent of six categories: “Building a Different World: Allegories, Folk Tales and Design;” “Can You Hear Me Now: Identity, Communication and Creation;” “Play or State of the Play;” “Little Things and Big Things;” “An Alternative Gag to Simon’s Rock;” and “Culture Clash, Where the West Begins.” Over the next six months, the Newsroom will feature theses as presented by Provost Marcy within their assigned categories.  This month, theses featured are collected under “Building a Different World: Allegories, Folk Tales, and Design.”

Jacob MeierHappily Ever Apéritif: Food in Fairy Tales
“…food is something that signifies class, it signifies an era, it signifies culture, it signifies national identity…”
Alec SchmidtMy Fish is Swim: Analysis of Fish Locomotion through Fluid Dynamics, Physiology, and Applied Robotics
“…we don’t always think about how fish swim or how they manage things like friction of waves, sea and currents; but Alec thinks about it quite a bit”
Francis Guy DeVito Whitesell— Olympian Twilight: An Investigation into the Treatment of Philosophical Questions in Allegorical Literature
“…an original work of literature and an original work of philosophy”

Otto Stockmeier— Within a Forest: Film, Theory, and Process
“…a nuanced film that had great emotional power”

Victor MateasDesigning an Internal Attachment for Refrigerators Storing Temperature Sensitive Pharmaceuticals
“…prototypes that will make refrigerators that store Temperature Sensitive Pharmaceuticals more effective, which will ultimately save lives, particularly in developing countries…”

*All senior theses are bound and are included in the library’s permanent collection. They are available for review on premises or by contacting the library at