Senior Conference and the Senior Thesis

Since 1982, the present Senior Conference format has been an integral part of the Anthropology major at Bryn Mawr College. This year-long seminar is designed to launch students on a substantial research project, which culminates in the production of a thesis presented at the end of the second semester. A key element of the conference is that students work with primary data and original sources, be they, for example, ethnographic observations gained through participant observation, archival materials from local institutions, skeletal elements from museum collections, or artifacts from field excavations. Some students coordinate their Senior Conference research project with a study abroad program.

A book titled Encounters with American Ethnic Cultures (Philip L. Kilbride, Jane C. Goodale and Elizabeth R. Ameisen, eds.), comprised of BMC anthropology senior theses, was published by the University of Alabama Press in 1990.

Some thesis titles selected from the 600 senior theses in the departmental library are:

  • "I Have Made a Footprint": Exploring Neighborhoods of Women
  • Lithic Technology and Raw Material Economy in the Middle Paleolithic and Middle Stone Age: An Interregional Perspective
  • An Analysis of the Geological and Cultural Stratigraphy of Eastern State Penitentiary
  • Elements and Expressions of Thai Ethnicity in an American Setting
  • Humor as Social Commentary: A Study of Late Night Comedy and the People Who Watch It
  • The Path of Reconciliation and Healing: Conflict Resolution among Liberian Immigrants and Refugees in a Philadelphia Church Community
  • Dental Enamel Hypoplasias as Indicators of Stress in a Population from Hasanlu, Iran
  • The Metaphor of the Gaeltacht: Creating Language Loyalty among Irish-Americans
  • Childhood Foodways & Dietary Preferences at a West Philadelphia Public School
  • "About Us, By Us, For Us, Near Us: Community Theater About the Expression of African-American Identity":
  • Irish Americans and Irish Dance: A Study in Self-Chosen Ethnicity
  • "...women are closer to health:" a cross-cultural study of the relationship between women's status in their community and their health seeking behavior in India and Kenya
  • Multiethnicity in the Eastern Valleys: A Bioarchaeological Study of a Prehistoric Bolivian Mortuary Community
  • Regular or Decaf?: Flexible Systems of Everyday Life in a Dunkin' Donuts Shop

Contact Us

Department of Anthropology

Dalton Hall
Bryn Mawr College
101 N. Merion Avenue
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

Phone: 610-526-5030
Fax: 610-526-5655