Thesis Archives Search


This search engine will let you explore the over 1800 theses written in Honors at The University of Maine since the Program’s inception in 1935. You may search our thesis archives based on any of the fields listed above.  If the thesis is available at the Reynolds Library (Thomson Honors Center) or Fogler Library (Special Collections), the information will appear below the bibliographic data.  At last count, we had about 1800 theses in the Reynolds Library.

If you have information to add, or if we don’t have your thesis listed in our database, please let us know through our Alumna/us Connection Form.

Search Results

‘SKINS’: A CONTEMPORARY MORAL PANIC

Author:   Jenna L. Hoops
Major:   Mass Communication      Graduation Year:   2012      Thesis Advisor:   Eric E. Peterson

Description of Publication:  


Location of Publication:       fogler    reynolds
URL to Thesis:  

“As We Are” Creating, Directing, and Producing a Jukebox Musical During COVID-19

Author:   Amber Hagin
Major:   Communications      Graduation Year:   2021      Thesis Advisor:   Christopher White

Description of Publication:  
From every moment of life there are lessons that can be learned from ourselves and those around us. ‘As We Are’ is a jukebox musical inspired by these lessons. This musical touches upon the power of friendships, self-love, spiritual connection, loss, and mental health topics such as body image, and addiction. ‘As We Are’ takes place in a modern setting accessed through the digital world during COVID-19. The purpose of this creative thesis was to produce a musical that could connect the lives of students during the distance forced by the COVID-19 pandemic. This thesis discusses the trials and tribulations of creating, directing and producing a jukebox musical during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Location of Publication:  
URL to Thesis:   https://digitalcommons.library.umaine.edu/honors/663/

“Phone Bad”: A Mixed-Methods Exploratory Case Study Analysis of Social Media and Ostracism

Author:   Emmeline Willey
Major:   Media Studies & Journalism      Graduation Year:   2021      Thesis Advisor:   Kathleen L. Ellis

Description of Publication:  
Foundational theories of social psychology were written before the existence of social media. As evolving technology has created an environment where users maintain constant social contact, there exists a need for research concerning how human social needs manifest in an online environment, and even moreso for how constant interconnectedness affects people. Previous research indicates a positive correlation between experienced ostracism and social media addiction. However, social media usage tends to be high among users who feel connected, as well as users who feel disconnected, thus indicating that the link between social media and social disconnection may be a ‘chicken-and-the-egg’ situation. This mixed-methods quantitative and qualitative study seeks to identify correlation between ostracism and disordered social media usage, and to illuminate new trends for further exploration. The COVID-19 pandemic presents a unique circumstance wherein people have been restricted from public spaces and gatherings for over a year, therefore relying on social media more than ever for interpersonal fulfillment. Quantitative deductive data were collected with a survey utilizing the Social Media Usage Disorder Scale (SMDS) in terms of both before and during the pandemic, and the Ostracism Experience Scale for Adolescents (OES-A). The survey sought to identify whether there was a correlation between experienced ostracism and disordered social media usage among undergraduate students, and whether participants had experienced a change in disordered social media usage before versus during the pandemic. Qualitative, inductive interviews were conducted with ten volunteers from the survey, and analyzed in terms of an exploratory case study examining each individual’s relationship with social media, reasons for usage, and their perception of its effects. Common occurrences between interviews are sorted in the qualitative discussion. The interviews aimed to illuminate new links between lifestyle factors or other predispositions that might affect an individual’s social media usage in a number of ways including: type of platform used, effects of certain platforms, and the individual’s feelings toward their own usage. This study provides implications for further research on the usage of social media and its effects.

Location of Publication:  
URL to Thesis:   https://digitalcommons.library.umaine.edu/honors/690/

“But you have to have been there to know what we are talking about”: An Examination of the Rhetorical Environments of Cults and Other Extremist Groups and How They Lead to Violence

Author:   Katherine Camille
Major:   Communications      Graduation Year:   2021      Thesis Advisor:   Nathan Stormer

Description of Publication:  
Popular culture often cites charismatic leaders as the catalysts for violent acts in cults and other extremist groups. This explanation is insufficient and oversimplified, and this thesis challenges the idea that a single speech or person can move a large group to act violently and without their own best interests in mind. This thesis examines two well- known cults: The Peoples Temple and Heaven’s Gate, to determine what compelled their followers to commit violent acts 3⁄4 particularly mass suicide. I then take this analysis and look at QAnon, a far-right conspiracy theory group, whose participation in the January 6th, 2021 insurrection is explained by my analysis of the cause of cult violence. This thesis explains how Kenneth Burke’s theory of the psychology of form and Jenny Rice’s theory of rhetorical ecologies interact to create a rhetorical environment in which it is almost impossible for members to do anything but act violently—toward themselves or others.

Location of Publication:  
URL to Thesis:   https://digitalcommons.library.umaine.edu/honors/641/

“PERSUADING THE SECRET”: IN SEARCH OF MAINE’S HERMITS

Author:   Taylor Cunningham
Major:   English & Anthropology      Graduation Year:   2016      Thesis Advisor:   Sarah Harlan-Haughey

Description of Publication:  
I have been working on this project for nearly three years now. The journey feels like a long one—with various roads, some yet to be traveled, detours, and dead ends. Largely, it has been a process of trial and error, as I learned to navigate the boundless, at times overwhelming, depths of research—within archives, old newspapers, photographs, poems, fiction, informal conversations and formal interviews—hoping to make some sense of what hermit characters mean to the state of Maine.

Location of Publication:       fogler    reynolds
URL to Thesis:   https://digitalcommons.library.umaine.edu/honors/382

“Putting Out Fires”: An Original Situational Comedy Pilot Episode Examining Modern Motherhood

Author:   Keely Gonyea
Major:   Media Studies      Graduation Year:   2020      Thesis Advisor:   Jennie Woodard

Description of Publication:  
Even in an age of easily accessible and ever-changing digital content, television remains one of the most influential modes of media. Shows, on television and on streaming services, play key roles in informing their audiences of societal conventions. Situational comedies are an easily identifiable genre on television and their popularity has not wavered as seen by their steadfast presence during primetime viewing slots. This thesis explores and analyzes how situational comedies have created spaces for potentially harmful stereotypes for their female characters, specifically mothers. The creative work of this thesis offers an original situational comedy pilot episode that looks to provide an example of a mother character that evades and defies the stereotypes that would be expected of her.

Location of Publication:  
URL to Thesis:   https://digitalcommons.library.umaine.edu/honors/592/

“SIN AZUCAR NO HAY PAIS”: HOW SUGAR AFFECTED CUBAN POLITICS, ECONOMICS, AND SOCIETY FROM 1762-1992

Sugar has been central to Cuba’s political economy for centuries. Both the cultivation of cane and its manufacture into sugar has provided employment and vast revenues to the rural citizenry of this tropical island. This thesis explores the origins and development of this industry through Cuba’s history, focusing on the period between Britain’s occupation of Havana in 1762 and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. Spain expanded sugar production in the late 18th and 19th centuries by liberalizing trade regulations and providing slave labor to plantation owners. The race and class inequalities of this system erupted into revolution when sugar’s value on world markets dropped during the late 1800s. The United States intervened militarily in Cuba’s fight for independence when it detected a threat to American-held assets. The Cuban Republic was established under the auspices of the Platt Amendment, allowing the United States to shape Cuban politics and economic development to favor its growing share of the supply and demand of Cuba’s cane sugar. The plantations of the 19th century were consolidated by corporations, such that an entire region’s economy might depend on the employment and services offered by one mill company. The State Department’s flexible interpretation of the Platt Amendment sanctioned U.S. intervention in Cuban affairs to maintain the safety of American assets. This created political and social instability during the first half of the 20th century, as autocratic regimes with U.S. backing used repression to maintain stability and power. After the ousting of Batista’s regime, Fidel Castro drastically reformed Cuban agriculture, nationalizing most of the island’s farmland. The Soviet Union (and other socialist countries under its influence) became the Cuban agricultural system’s keystone, buying vast quantities of sugar at advantageous
rates, and providing the machinery, oil, and chemicals necessary to sustain the new communist-organized, modern sugar industry. After decades of growth, the industry came crashing down when the USSR dissolved, taking with it Cuba’s main source of revenue and agricultural inputs. This left Cuba, before an objectively successful country within its region, was brought to the brink of ruin because of this incident and the “Special Period” that followed.

Author:   Gareth Warr
Major:   Political Science      Graduation Year:   2015      Thesis Advisor:   Stefano Tijerina

Description of Publication:  


Location of Publication:  
URL to Thesis:  

“The Art of Breathing”: An Original Manuscript of Contemporary Feminist Poems

Author:   Bria Lamonica
Major:   English      Graduation Year:   2020      Thesis Advisor:   Kathleen L. Ellis

Description of Publication:  
Thesis not permitted to be published online.

Location of Publication:  
URL to Thesis:  

“THE SUN SHINES, AND HITLER IS MASTER OF THIS CITY” THE APPEAL OF NAZISM TO GERMAN YOUTH DURING THE 1920S AND 30S

The focus of this Honors Thesis is the study and explanation of the reasons for the strong endorsement of National Socialism and Nazism by the youth of Germany during the late 1920s and the 1930s. Understanding why a comparatively well-educated and politically-conscious cohort of young men and women would accept and champion the cause of the developing Nazi Party en masse begs an exploration of the greater context of the social and political environment of Germany during this time period. The reasons behind the overwhelming support of the Party by young German men and women after the Great War reflect the overall social and cultural movements of the time, and stand testament to the ongoing gender and class struggles of the generation that had grown up in the shadow of the stinging defeat of World War I. The state of the German economy and the great political and social unrest following the war, in addition to the motif of youthful idealism, are all causes for the public sanction of Nazism; and in this Thesis I shall seek a greater understanding of these and myriad accompanying nuances.

Author:   Abigail Elise Bowden
Major:   History      Graduation Year:   2015      Thesis Advisor:   Richard Blanke

Description of Publication:  


Location of Publication:       fogler    reynolds
URL to Thesis:  

“Things are Going to Get a Lot Worse Before They Get Worse”: Humor in the Face of Disaster, Politics, and Pain

Author:   Sierra Semmel
Major:   Journalism      Graduation Year:   2020      Thesis Advisor:   Holly Schreiber

Description of Publication:  
From the Holocaust and slavery victims to medical professionals to firefighters, coping humor has been used throughout history even in the darkest of times. While it is common among victims of unfavorable situations, it is also utilized by late-night television shows to package the news of the day in a format that both addresses the issues and eases the emotions surrounding them. This thesis critically analyzes selected clips from late night shows and sketch comedy surrounding three different news events: Brett Kavanaugh’s Senate Confirmation Hearings, the Boston Marathon bombing, and Hurricane Sandy. By studying a political event, a domestic terrorist attack, and a natural disaster, this research examines the use and effects of coping humor across different types of events. In each chapter, the comedians studied employ humor tactics that respond to the needs and emotions of the audience. Whether used to distract, to vent, or to build connections, coping humor helps viewers grapple with current events. By easing the negativity surrounding the event, the comedians provide viewers with a space to safely digest and understand the news, acknowledge painful absurdities, and foster a feeling of community and connection.

Location of Publication:  
URL to Thesis:   https://digitalcommons.library.umaine.edu/honors/625/