Can you hear me now? Identity, Communication, and Creation

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A Profile of Senior Theses: Part 2 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 BA 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;" [hyperlink to archive] "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 "Can You Hear Me Now: Identity, Communication, and Creation."

Harrison Thurman Simple and Impossible: The Stories and Novels of Jonathan Safran Foer
A look at the work of Jonathan Safran Foer and analyzed both the texts and work of Foer's life; then he created his own critical memoir...Listen
Kate O'KeefeAn Exploration of the Mexican Mural Movement Viewed through the Lens of the Syndicate's Manifesto
...A look at the murals created during the Mexican Revolution...compared to what the Syndicate's Manifesto said they were trying to accomplish in the Revolution...Listen
Lily RuffnerTransparency: Writings on Dance
...A thesis that wrestled with the mind/body dichotomy experienced between intellectual work and dancing...Listen
Harry MarkerTextual Harassment
...A look at mixed media in contemporary fiction...Listen
Elisabeth GroebelThe Persistence of Desire: Passion and the Prosaic in John Updike's Fiction
A thesis that considers John Updike’s work with an emphasis on relationship, marriage, infidelity, desire, and lossListen
Gabriel SalgadoThe Curious Case of the Cosmic Race: Mestizaje and National Identity in Post-Revolutionary Mexico
A thesis about the development of Mexican identity and nationalism in the 20th century through the evolution of the MestizoListen
Jessica LiStrange Fruit: An Exploration of Cultural Difference Through Figurative Ceramics
Her figures invited the viewer to reflect on him or herself and to understand the nature of difference and the nature of connectionListen
Laura Kessel I Want to Squeeze My-Hands: A Look at Autism and Augmentative and Alternative Communication
A thesis that looks at autistic children and how they communicateListen
Nicole W. TennermannYouth-Staff Relationships in Juvenile Correctional Facilities: An Institutional Ethnography of the Black Canyon School
A thesis that considers young people at a juvenile correctional facility and the creation of community and relationships within that facilityListen
Laura CheungUn-Nailin' Palin: The Making and Unmaking of a Woman in Politics
One of the powers of Laura’s thesis was that she looked at Sarah Palin by deconstructing her and saying it’s not as simplistic as we’d like to believe, whether it’s the way she is gendered by the media or the simplistic interpretations of her history.Listen

*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