an image of a group smiling during haunting humanities

Undergraduate Research

Undergraduate Research and Awards

Each year the Department of History awards a few scholarships and awards to its accomplished majors. These range from scholarships for promising students with established financial need to awards for excellent honors or 696 theses. Awards will be announced at our Annual Graduation ceremony, which takes place in May. In order to be considered for these scholarships and awards, you must be a history major and will need to submit an application. Some awards and scholarships require a statement or additional materials, as explained in the application form.

We also encourage history majors to apply for undergraduate research awards. Successful history majors have used these awards to conduct research for senior theses in locales as far flung as Africa and France, or closer to home in regional and national archives. If you are studying a less commonly taught foreign language, you may also be able to apply for a prestigious FLAS (Foreign Language Area Studies) fellowship. Several history majors have won these awards, which cover tuition for the academic year or a summer language program.

Undergraduate Research Journal for the Humanities

Zenith! Undergraduate Research Journal for the Humanities is a student-run, student-reviewed, and student-published annual academic journal featuring work from History students and undergraduates from across the Humanities.

URGH Journal cover, volume 4, spring 2020

Honors Theses

The following Honors thesis projects were defended at the completion of the 2022-2023 academic year. Learn more about History Honors here.

  • Mason E. Clark, ““Meet the New Boss: ‘The Establishment’ in 1960s and 70s American Thought” | Thesis Advisor: Professor Sheyda Jahanbani
  • Claire Ann Cox, “Decolonizing the Wakarusa Museum: The Role of Public Education and Forced Displacement Within the Settler Colonial Structure” | Thesis Advisor: Professor Kent Blansett
  • Alexandra Haggar, “Rescind Era: The Failed Efforts in Kansas to Rescind Ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, 1973-1980” | Thesis Advisor: Professor David Farber
  • Noah Hookstra, "The Tent Is Never Big Enough: Exodusters, Suffragists, and the People’s Party” | Thesis Advisor: Professor Jonathan Hagel
  • Austin J. Klinock, “Ad Astra Per Astronauta: Bringing the Public ‘Up to Space’ and Astronauts ‘Down to Earth’” | Thesis Advisor: Professor Sean Seyer
  • Anna A. Madrigal, “Repatriation Beyond the Borderlands: The Impact of the Depression of 1921 on Kansas City’s Mexican Immigrants During the Great Depression” | Thesis Advisor: Professor Jonathan Hagel
  • Nicolas Eric Pottorf, "All Is Vanity and Evanescence: Manifestations of Pure Land Buddhism Within ‘The Tale of Heike’” | Thesis Advisor: Professor Eric Rath
  • Walter R. Sours, “A College Try: The People’s College of Fort Scott, Kansas” | Thesis Advisor: Professor Jonathan Hagel
  • Brittney Madison Wilson, “Assault, Robbery, Mayhem: The Consequences of Fraternal Campus Loyalty Movements at

    the University of Kansas After World War I” | Thesis Advisor: Professor Nicholas Syrett
  • Elizabeth G. Winkelman, “The Day After Tomorrow: Climate Change & The Today of Science, Film, & Activism” | Thesis Advisor: Professor Alex Boynton

Past Honors Theses

  • Jessica Blom, “The M*A*S*H ERA: Television and the Equal Rights Movement” (2021) | Thesis Advisor: 
  • Abigail Byrd, "Directing Death: The Professionalization of Death Care in Urban Kansas' Black Communities" (2021) | Thesis Advisor: Professor Shawn Alexander
  • Austin Childs, "'Civil Rights Divided: Geopolitics of Black Transnationalism and 'The Palestine Problem'" 
  • Riana Simone Henderson, "The New Negro Woman: African-American Womanhood, Respectability, and Power in the Early Twentieth Century”  (2022) | Thesis Advisor: Professor Kim Warren
  • Anna L. Jacobson, "Lead, Leases, and Lies: Land and Power on the Quapaw Reservation in the early 20th century" (2021)
  • Morgan Kurtz, “The Luck of the Archives: An Examination of the Unusual Journey of the Colonel Hopkins Collection” (2022) | Thesis Advisor: Professor Marie Brown
  • Caleb Luck, "Humanitarian Aid or Western Manipulation? Interpretations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency in Jordan from 1979-1991" (2021) | Thesis Advisor: Professor Marie Brown
  • Joseph M. Mirakian, “Questions, Answers, and the American Dream: A Cultural History of the Quiz Show” (2022) | Thesis Advisor: Professor Jonathan Hagel
  • Mamie Lucille Murphy, “From Brick to Marble: Imperial Narrative and the Temple of Augustan Concord”  (2022) | Thesis Advisor: Professor Philip Stinson
  • Katherine Taylor Price, “Empire, Authenticity, and Urban Imagination at the 1906 Marseille Colonial Exposition” (2022) | Thesis Advisor: Professor Andrew Denning
  • Haylee Rose, “A Toast to Volstead: Neoliberal Hollywood’s Re-interpretation of the Great Depression in Gangster Films from 1980-2008” (2022) | Thesis Advisor: Professor Jonathan Hagel
  • Kaman Simmons, "Climate, Clans, and Capitalism: Structural Change in Somalia Since Independence" (2021)
  • Sloan Mae Sprau, “Towing the Line: The State of Minnesota’s Dichotomy as Both a Regulator and Promoter of Sportfishing” (2022) | Thesis Advisor: Professor Andrew Isenberg
  • Logan Woodyard Stuart, "Agricultural Higher Education in China: A Mirror to the 20th Century's Shifting Political Landscapes" (2021)