College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

Humanities and Communication

Fall 2016 Capstones

  • Professor Ernest Stromberg

    Pain and suffering are unavoidable elements of the human experience. Over the course of a lifetime, everyone experiences injury, illness, isolation, disappointment, and loss. At the macro level, war; geographic displacement and forced migration; institutional discrimination, racism, injustice, and oppression; poverty; and environmental catastrophes create cultural trauma and suffering. In this Capstone Seminar, we will explore the ways in which the areas of study encompassed by the Division of Humanities and Communication provide a means both to understand human trauma and suffering and equipment to alleviate or even heal from our individual and collective traumas and suffering. We will consider, among other topics, the ways in which literature and the arts may be medicine, the role of communication in creating or easing suffering, the relationship of our identities to suffering, justice and restorative justice, philosophical insights into the causes and cures for human suffering, and the role of creative expression in alleviating suffering.

    Senior Projects

    • Bennett, Joey K. (Journalism & Media Studies), “Listening Carefully: How do we recover from trauma?”
    • Bostjancic, Bryan S. (Practical and Professional Ethics), “Changing the Mindset”
    • Butler, Megan R. (Pre-Law), “Avengers Assemble...In Therapy”
    • Cave, Christian S. (Literary and Film Studies), “Home”
    • Coker, Allison R.
    • Cortez, Javier S. (Pre-Law), “Trauma and Recovery in the Hospice Environment”
    • Costa, Tyler S. (Literary Film Studies), “Closeted Trauma”
    • Fahrner, Stefan D. (Journalism and Media Studies), “Through the Lens of Trauma”
    • Guzman, Jacob A. (Journalism and Media studies), “Suicide Memoir”
    • Hager, Myles A. (Literary and Film Studies), “The Healing Power of Sports”
    • Handy, Mackenzie K.
    • Kemp, Hailey M. (Journalism and Media Studies), “Playing Pretend”
    • King, Kendall R. (Writing and Rhetoric), “Trauma and Invisible Scars”
    • Lara Martinez, Maritza (Chicano/a Studies), “Living with Trauma”
    • LeKander, Madison M. (Creative Writing & Social Action and Practical & Professional Ethics), “Beautifully Broken”
    • Magana, Natalie S. (Practical and Professional Ethics), “Home is Where the Hope is”
    • Masarweh, Leena A. (Concentration Chicano Studies), “The Trauma on Children in Mexico City”
    • Munguia, Jose J. (Practical and Professional Ethics), “PTSD in Salinas”
    • Nichols, Lauryn S. (Practical and Professional Ethics), “Endorphins Help to Heal”
    • Nichols, Melissa H. (Practical and Professional Ethics), “Understanding Trauma and Healing Through Jacob’s Heart”
    • Norrod II, Byron A. (Writing and Rhetoric), “Back to Humanity: A Schizophrenic Autobiography”
    • Puruncajas, Kimberly N. (Practical Professional Ethics), “Education as Healing”
    • Ruiz, Karina (History, Oral History, & New Media; Creative Writing & Social Action), “Susto, Mal de Ojo, and Curanderismo”
    • Smith, Peyton N. (Practical and Professional Ethics), “Life after the Industry: The Trauma Faced by Women in Porn”
    • Vasconcelos, Aaron W. (Creative Writing and Social Action), “Yellow Footprints”
    • Velasco, Briana M. (Writing and Rhetoric), “Native Americans and Generational Trauma”
    • Velazquez, Joseph M. (History, Oral History, and New Media), “The Otherside”
  • Professor Qun Wang

    This Senior Capstone Seminar is designed to encourage students to place the study of self and society in cultural, historical, political, and/or economic contextualization. The School of New Criticism, for instance, posits that "the complexity of literature lies in its use irony and paradox." Thanks to the development of some of the contemporary theories such as post-modernism and new historicism, we start to look at how culture, history, politics, and economic stratification not only inform but also help define literary representations of society. Or in British culturalist Raymond Williams's words, to avoid reducing the concept of "typicality" to "art as the typification (representation, illustration) not of the dynamic process but of its (known) laws" is to define "typicality" as "a constitutive and constituting process of social and historical reality" "specifically expressed in some particular 'type.'" This seminar will explore and address some of the critical issues in literary and cultural studies such as: how is human experience represented and/or (mis)re-presented in literature? How is border crossing defined in literary studies? Why are cultural negotiations critical in understanding today's society? Is the reader response tradition in literary criticism valid? How do we define our relationship with some of the great literary works? How does that understanding help us find our own identity toward the eventual goal of the achievement of self-actualization?

    Senior Projects

    • Abel, Scott (Practical and Professional Ethics), “The path of Least Resistance. A Student’s Guide for Working Smarter, not Harder”
    • Agrimson, Julie (Pre Law), “The People Who Influence Our Lives”
    • Alciati, Jonathan (Practical and Professional Ethics), “Growing Pains: The Many Steps Towards Self Discovery”
    • Arias, Kimberly Anne (Pre Law), “It Takes a Village: Identity Through Helping the Community”
    • Barnes, Wesley (Practical and Professional Ethics), and Brent Clay (Practical and Professional Ethics), “’Hooked’ on Self Identity”
    • Baty, Brianne (Practical and Professional Ethics), “More Than Half of a Whole: A Twin’s Search for Identity”
    • Borquez, Sibel (Pre Law), "Epiphany through Chaos"
    • Caskey, Brandon (Practical and Professional Ethics), “A Beginner’s Guide to Self-Identification through Nature”
    • Garibay, Elizabeth C. (Creative Writing and Social Action), “On the Trope of Identity”
    • Dixon, Taylor (Practical and Professional Ethics), “Who is Really Behind the Username? (Re)affirming Oneself in the Digital Age”
    • Green, Bernard (Journalism and Media Studies), “Serving the Diverse People of Monterey County”
    • Godusi, Nima (Practical and Professional Ethics), “Feeling on an Island”
    • Jensen, Rahni (Journalism and Media Studies), “Making It (Im)Possible: In a World that Pushes Back, Step Forward”
    • Kurosawa, Aki (Women’s Studies), “Self-Identity & Self-Esteem through Reculturalization: We are sometimes not who we think we are
    • Lopez, Bryan (Chicano/a Studies), “Don’t forget your roots: ‘keeping traditions alive’”
    • Maldonado, Dominique (Literary and Film Studies), “Pink Glasses: A Work in Progress"
    • Mathis, Haley (Journalism and Media Studies), “Becoming Me~ Poems and Short Stories of a Girl Learning to Love Herself”
    • Maus, Keith (Practical and Professional Ethics), “Past, Present, Future: How Time Affects Identity”
    • Mehtlan, Alicia (Journalism and Media Studies), “Growing Together: A Journey to Self-Discovery”
    • Melchor, Berenice (Creative Writing and Social Action), “Medical Cannabis, Depression and Self-Identity: A Journey Home”
    • Norman, Natalie (Writing and Rhetoric), “Me and You and Everyone We Know: A Deeper Look into The Human Experience That Shapes Our Identity”
    • Perez, Edward (Practical and Professional Ethics), “Words Are Sometimes Mightier Than Weapons”
    • Razo-Gomez, Katherin (Chicano/a Studies), “The Mexican-American Educational Pipeline and the Journey to Reclaiming Identity and (Re)-presentation for First-Generation Chicanx Students in K-12 Public Educational System”
    • Salcido, Breanna (Practical and Professional Ethics), “Getting to the Finish Line”
    • Thompson, Brianna (Practical and Professional Ethics), “A Character Study in Self-Identity”
    • Ward, Racquel (Creative Writing and Social Action), “Beautifully Scarred: The Journey through Recovery and Loving Thy Self”
    • Webb, Susan (Literary and Film Studies), “Redefining Identity: A path to self-discovery”
    • Xiong-xyooj, Peter (American Multicultural Studies), “Taboo-a Fictional Graphic Novel”