Undergraduate Honors Thesis Projects

Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Paper

Degree Name

English Literary Studies-BA




Beth Daugherty, PhD

First Committee Member

Beth Daugherty, PhD

Second Committee Member

Shannon Lakanen, PhD

Third Committee Member

Margaret Kohler, PhD


I Am Charlotte Simmons, Literary Hybrid, College Girl Feminism

Subject Categories

Gender and Sexuality | Literature in English, North America | Poetry | Women's Studies


Übermensch: a Feminist, Literary, and Artistic Rebuke to Modern Patriarchy in the Institution of Liberal Arts Education is a multi-genre, multi-dimensional hybrid project that revels in and manipulates conventional forms of literary analysis, creative expression, and feminist politics. Through a feminist literary analysis of Tom Wolfe’s I Am Charlotte Simmons, accompanied by a creative companion of poems and personal essays, the author intends to elucidate society’s tactics of dominating, silencing and exploiting the female sex. In this way, her project intends to rationally and passionately describe the inescapable power of conformity in the lives of American college students, as well as direct attention to an environment that works to reinforce systematic forms of oppression, though specifically, the abundance of patriarchal influence. The author interrogates the relationship between woman and society, paying close attention to the modes of socialization that inhibit her ability to exist on her own terms. This project intends to rewrite, in part, the coming-of-age story of the American woman.


Virginia Valenzuela is a triple major in Creative Writing, Literary Studies, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, with a minor in Film Studies, and an Honors student. She writes most commonly in poetry and personal essay, but can’t keep her hands off of academic writing injected with a heavy dose of feminist film or literary theory. She reads almost daily, loves to dance, paint, play music, and explore new arts, seeking inspiration for experimentation of her own. Virginia will be moving back to her hometown of New York City shortly after graduation in the hopes of working in a publishing company, on the editorial staff of a magazine, and eventually, as a freelance writer, while simultaneously building experience as a poet, a critic and a spoken word performer.