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Honors Theses

Below are listed the honors theses completed since 2011, along with the faculty who directed them. Each year, the Anne Hight Gore Thesis Prize is awarded to the best thesis submitted by spring graduates.


  • Andrew Bragorgos, “The Kingdome of Rayfall.” Directed by Michael Knight.
  • Kennedy Canada, “Identity and Marriage in Mrs. Dalloway.” Directed by Urmila Seshagiri.
  • Emma Greene, “Writing for the Youth of Our Own Generation: Implementing Graphic Novel Adaptations of Classic Literature into Secondary English Curriculum.” Directed by Bill Hardwig. Anna Hight Gore Thesis Prize Winner.
  • Laura Snyder, “Power, Humanism, and the Uses of Religion in the Poetry of Percy Shelley.” Directed by Gerard Cohen-Vrignaud.


  • Presley Cowan, “Niceville, TN, USA.” Directed by Michael Knight
  • Ivy Kiernan, “‘Enough is a Myth’: An Exploration of the Politics of Consent Within the Hellraiser Franchise.” Directed by Eleni Palis
  • Case Pharr, “Patterns of Emergence: Reading McTeague for Baudlerian Modernist Forms” Directed by Mary Papke. Anne Hight Gore Thesis Prize Winner.


  • Emma Adamcik, “A Maine Concerto.” Directed by Michael Knight.
  • Andrew Davis, “Trans Joy: Celebrating Diverse Transgender Narratives.” Directed by Gerard Cohen-Vrignaud.
  • Levens Herbert, “Brutalized Women of the Gothic: Gender and Romantic Horror.” Directed by Gerard Cohen-Vrignaud.
  • Jacob Hogan, “Dangerous Conceits.” Directed by Iliana Rocha. Anne Hight Gore Thesis Prize Winner.
  • Alexander Hughes, “Obsessed with Writing: A Survey of OCD Representation in Fiction and Paths Forward.” Directed by Chris Hebert.
  • Winnie Sisk, “Framing the Portrait of Life: Functions of the Embedded Texts in Vladimir Nabokov’s The Gift.” Directed by Urmila Seshagiri.


  • Alex Tate, “Neoliberalism and Social Deviance in Trainspotting, Skaboys, and The Football Factory.” Directed by Lisi Schoenbach.


  • Madison Bowling, Asleep: A Novel. Directed by Michael Knight.
  • Jenna Mangalindan, No Halo, No Alter: A Poetry Collection. Directed by Ben Lee.
  • McNeely Moore, “The Liberation of Murder and Motherhood: Female Hysteria and Crime in Toni Morrison’s Beloved.” Directed by Urmila Seshagiri.
  • Julia Weech, “Figurative Language in Cormac McCarthy’s Outer Dark and Child of God.” Directed by Bill Hardwig.
  • William White, “Silence and Sacrifice: The Tragic Daughter in King Lear and Mother Courage and Her Children.” Directed by Stan Garner. Anne Hight Gore Thesis Prize Winner.


  • Morgan Brewer, “The Space in Between: A Short Collection. Directed by Michael Knight.
  • Fiona Martin, “Queer Spacetime: Theorizing Traditional Gender in Virginia Woolf’s Orlando and Jeanette Winterson’s The PowerBook.” Directed by Gerard Cohen-Vrignaud. Anne Hight Gore Thesis Prize Winner.
  • Madeline Stephens, “The Tragic Mulatta Trope: Complexities of Representation, Identity, and Existing in the Middle of the Racial Binary.” Directed by Lisi Schoenbach.
  • Gage Taylor, “The Beer Diaries.” Directed by Margaret Lazarus Dean.
  • McClayne Thomas, “Queen O’er Myself: Echoes of Elizabeth I in The Merchant of Venice’s Portia.” Directed by Heather Hirschfeld.
  • Anita Voorhees, “Metaphor Theory and Its Relation to Social Policy.” Directed by Lisa King.


  • Ashley Baker, “No Good for Us.” Directed by Michael Knight.
  • Emily Ferrell, “The Politics of Storytelling in Julia Alvarez.” Directed by Liliana Gonzalez.
  • Ellen Hill, “‘Deceptive Intimacy’: Narration and Machismo in the Works of Junot Díaz.” Directed by Bill Hardwig. Anne Hight Gore Thesis Prize Winner.
  • Catherine Sharp, “Women of the South: A Creative Exploration of the Identity of Women in the Southeastern U.S.” Directed by Chris Hebert
  • Sophia Shelton, “Heavy Water: A Novel, Chapters 1-8.” Directed by Chris Hebert.
  • Amelia Winburne, “‘A Purpose We Haven’t Yet Divined’: A Comprehensive Literary Analysis of Mac Wellman’s A Murder of Crows in Relation to American Experimentalism and Postmodern Theatrics.” Directed by Stan Garner.


  • Peter Cates, “The Rhetoric of Indigenous Pedagogy in Quebec’s Education System.” Directed by Lisa King.
  • Taylor Gray, “East Tennessee Library Association Strategic Communications Plan 2017-2018.” Directed by Russ Hirst.
  • Brenna Hosman, “Three Stories: An Exploration of Voice and Perspective in the Fiction Narrative.” Directed by Chris Hebert.
  • Michael Houle, “Queer Affect in T.S. Eliot’s Early Poems.” Directed by Ben Lee.
  • Becca Payton, “Jane Austen’s Politics as Determined by an Examination of Three of Her Novels.” Directed by Misty Anderson.
  • Noreen Premji, “The Intersectionality Between BLM and Muslim Communities: An Analysis of the Black Lives Matter Movement in Relation to Sapelo Square and MuslimARC.” Directed by Lisa King.
  • Bridget Sellers, “Down the Well: Embedded Narratives and Japanese War Memory in Haruki Murakami.” Directed by Amy Elias. Anne Hight Gore Thesis Prize Winner.
  • Courtney Whited, “Preserving the Flood: Bringing the Biblical Flood Narrative into Modernity.” Directed by Mary Papke. Anne Hight Gore Thesis Prize Winner.


  • Megan Faust, “From Oakland to the Ivy League: The Interaction of Race and Place in Fruitvale Station and Dear White People.” Directed by Urmila Seshagiri.
  • Shelby Garland, “The Dangers of Xenophobic Rhetoric in American News: A Rhetorical Analysis of Japanese-American Internment as It Relates to the Current Situation of Muslim Americans.” Directed by Lisa King.
  • Rachel MacLean, “The Manichean Allegory and Imperial Ideology in the Works of H.G. de Lisser.” Directed by Michelle Commander. Anne Hight Gore Thesis Prize Winner.
  • Shelby Tansil, “Black Tie Poems: An Exploration of Formal Poetry.” Directed by Art Smith.


  • Emily Chapin, “‘It Was My First Day’: Beginnings and the Legacy of Colonialism in Lucy.” Directed by Urmila Seshagiri.
  • Alexandra Chiasson, “‘Hardscrabble’: Exploring Appalachian Identity and Ecofeminist Criticism.” Directed by Bill Hardwig.
  • Kendall Jaggers, “Slaves to What They Could See: The Role of Perception in the Constantly Changing Political Geographies, Racial Categories, and Social Attitudes in the Works of William and Ellen Craft, Charles Chesnutt, and Colson Whitehead.” Directed by Katy Chiles. Anne Hight Gore Thesis Prize Winner.
  • Marian LaForest, “Guiding Transhumanism: The Necessity of an Ethical Approach to Transhumanism.” Directed by Amy Elias.
  • Amanda Steele, “This Must Be the Place: Branding a Successful Music Festival Utilizing the Principles of Relationship Marketing and Nudge Theory.” Directed by Stan Garner.


  • Grant Anderson, “A Transnational Novel in Disguise:  The Influence of Brazil in Nella Larsen’s Passing.” Directed by Katy Chiles. Anne Hight Gore Thesis Prize Winner.
  • Logan Brooks, “Inherent Incarceration: Modernizing Richard Wright’s Native Son in the Contemporary Colorblind America.”  Directed by La Vinia Jennings.
  • Katherine Cahill, “Reigning over Reality:  Power and Performance in Shakespeare’s Henry VIII and Richard III.” Directed by Anthony Welch.
  • Stephanie Derochers, “From Otranto to Hogwarts: The Progression of Gothic as ‘Feminine’ Literature.” Directed by Amy Billone.
  • Andrew Emitt, “Power to The Permissive:  Female Spectators from Eliza Haywood to Romy and Michele.” Directed by Gerard Cohen-Vrignaud.
  • Anna Carleton Forrester, “The Irony in Venice: Antonio’s Melancholy Untangled.” Directed by Rob Stillman.
  • Katherine Frazier, “The Peter Pan Paradox:  A Discussion of the Light and Dark in J.M. Barrie’s Shadow Child.” Directed by Amy Billone.
  • Megan Gentry, “Rejecting Shadow for Substance:  Marriageable Love within the Novels of Louisa May Alcott.” Directed by Dawn Coleman.
  • Carson McKinney, “James Baldwin and the ‘Midnight Fiction.’” Directed by Ben Lee.
  • Katheryn Peck, “Language, Race, and Body Rhetorics: Relationships of Hegemony in Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium.” Directed by Lisa King.
  • Brandyn Whitaker, “An Analysis of the Duality and Conflicting Nature of Water in the Works of: Stephen Crane’s ‘The Open Boat,’ Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and Joyce Carol Oates’ Black Water.” Directed by Mary Papke.


  • Meg Goddard, “Reading Parenthood and the Pregnant Body in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Titus Andronicus.” Directed by Anthony Welch.
  • Miranda Jones, “Uncommon.” Directed by Michael Knight.
  • Rachel Radford, “Awaiting the Seer: Emerson’s Poetic Theory.” Directed by Dawn Coleman.
  • Bert Ruyten, “Tracing the Historical Division Between the Sciences and the Humanities:  An Exposition of T. H. Huxley’s: ‘Science and Culture.’” Directed by Rob Stillman.
  • Christopher Thomas, “Bias and Propaganda.” Directed by Lisa King.
  • Ron Walters, “Pirates, Peeling Skin, and the ‘American Race’:  American Identity, Federalism, and White Worker Politics in The Algerine Captive.” Directed by Katy Chiles. Anne Hight Gore Thesis Prize Winner.
  • Alyssa Watson, “The Seeds of Mars.” Directed by Margaret Lazarus Dean.


  • Ashley Batts, “Fire on the Mountain, Clear Light of Day, and Fasting: An Exploration of Indian Motherhood in the Fiction of Anita Desai.” 
  • David Bernard, “Early Modern Social Context and its Influence on Shakespeare’s Depiction of Rape.” Directed by Heather Hirschfeld.
  • Jenny Bledsoe, “Imagining Devotion in Late Medieval England: Narratives of the Life of St. Margaret of Antioch.” Directed by Thomas Heffernan. Anne Hight Gore Thesis Prize Winner.
  • Christopher Cameron, “‘A Duodecimo Edition of New Jerusalem’: Contemporary Utopian Discourse, Julius Wayland, The Coming Nation and the Ruskin Colony.” Directed by Janet Atwill.
  • Benjamin Heller, “Large Glass Windows.” Directed by Margaret Lazarus Dean.
  • Laura Miller, “Virginia Woolf’s Journey to the Lighthouse: A Hypertext Essay Exploring Character Development in Jacob’s Room, Mrs. Dalloway, and To the Lighthouse.” Directed by Urmila Seshagiri.
  • Willoughby Parker, “Authenti/cities: Curious Urban Engagements, Paris to Brooklyn.” Directed by Lisi Schoenbach.
  • Jayme Watson, “Euripidean Drama in Contemporary Adaptation:  Embracing the Female Sexuality of Cassandra, Andromache, and Phaedra.” Directed by Mark Luprecht.
  • Allison Yilling, A Time of Greeting, “Planting Season”“The Auguries”–“Homecoming.” Directed by Allen Wier. Anne Hight Gore Thesis Prize Winner.