History, Philosophy and Religion Undergraduate Research Colloquium

The Department of History, Philosophy and Religion organizes an undergraduate research colloquium  each December in the Olin room of Olin library. Students present their research completed in the 400-level Capstone Seminar. In their senior year, students are required to choose, contextualize, and explicate a set of primary sources, documents, and/or artifacts to shape an interpretation of the past.  The conference is open to friends, peers, family, and faculty. 

Sample research topics:

  • Zach L. Tusinger on Peter Stuyvesant and New Amsterdam
  • Devon McBride on the writings of South African prisoners during the Apartheid era
  • Alan Sagar on Thomas Jefferson’s writings and immersion in French culture while in France
  • Matt Frierdich on the feminism of Frederick Douglas
  • Jay Kriehbiel on the Phoenix Press run by Native-Americans
  • Stan Maxson on African-American agency and Stan Lucas--through a document in the Boston archives.
  • Lisa Hellmich on Confederate female spy Rose O’Neal Greenhow and her political writings

Learning Outcomes:

  1. To develop the skills necessary to be a researcher, including developing an argumentative thesis, finding unique evidence to analyze, and using resources to bring depth and complexity to the topic.
  2. To understand the term “Historiography/Literature review." How have scholars approached the topic previously.
  3. To interpret and contextualize primary documents and images or artifacts.
  4. To perfect oral presentation skills in class presentations and the undergraduate conference.
  5. To understand what original research entails by reading journal articles and books and analyzing their use of evidence and footnotes.
  6. To practice thoughtful revision in crafting a professional research paper.
  7. To implement, direct and write a 16-18 page research paper relying on primary and secondary sources using Chicago Manual of Style.
  8. To prepare an academic resume and finalize a program portfolio.
  9. To actively participate in Engaged Learning with peers and faculty mentor.