Senior Honors Thesis 2012

Class Instructor: Macarena Gomez-Barris

Presentation: Thursday, April 26, 2012, 2:30-4:30pm, KAP 445

Noël Ann Arreola

Cat Daddy When I Dougie:

Representation and Performance in Los Angeles Urban Dance Micro-Cultures

Noël Arreola anxiously awaits graduation with a double major in American Studies and Ethnicity and Psychology this May. A dancer since she could walk, Noël is excited that her passion for dance combines with her academic interests to further examine an online youth phenomena. Noël's project explores the implications of location and race within the viral visual representations of dance trends ranging from jerking to the cat daddy, in an effort to deconstruct the bold imagery behind these micro-cultures. While Noël is uncertain of her concrete path beyond USC, she is confident that her passion and scholarly intuition will lead her to a life full of exploration and joy!

Thesis Adviser: Sarah Banet-Weiser

Jasmine Elise Davis

Cultural Power and the Politics of 2008: Understanding the Success of The Rachel Maddow Show

Jasmine will be graduating this May with a major in American Studies & Ethnicity and a French minor. She developed a deep interest in political power while teaching in Tanzania during the summer of 2011. Following this passion, she focused her thesis on the political culture of the United States in 2008 and its interplay with cable news. She hopes to translate her political and philanthropic interests into a career in public policy or non-profit management.

Thesis Adviser: Julia Himberg

Wanjiku Elizabeth Karanja

The Rebuttal

Wanjiku is a senior in the American Studies and Ethnicity department and will graduate in May of 2012 with a B.A. in African American Studies and Ethnicity, a minor in International Relations, and a minor in Cinematic Arts. Her thesis, entitled 'The Rebuttal', focuses on Black Masculinity within Gangsta Rap of the late 1980s to early 1990s. In her research she reads and interprets the genre as it relates to and connects with the histories of resistance within Black male identity in the Western world. She is also currently researching the juvenile justice system in California through the support of Mellon Mays Fellowship Foundation.

Thesis Adviser: Kara Keeling

Jaleel Rouson Mackey

Collision at a Crossroads: University Park's Expansive Security within a Community of Color

Jaleel is a first generation college student from Lancaster, California, majoring in American Studies and Ethnicity with a minor in Architecture. While searching for an intersection between his two fields of study, he discovered commonality along the paths of campus development/expansion and—its inextricable companion—security. In using the University of Southern California as a microcosm to explore these ideas, Jaleel illuminates the intricacies of the Department of Public Safety and USC’s Master Plan to explore the racial tensions woven into the narrative of USC and its relationship with the surrounding community.

Thesis Adviser: Macarena Gomez-Barris

  • Department of American Studies & Ethnicity
  • University of Southern California
  • 3620 South Vermont Avenue
  • Kaprielian Hall 462
  • Los Angeles, California 90089-2534