What does it mean to do honors in CCSRE?
The honors program in CSRE gives graduating students the opportunity to pursue sustained independent research on race and ethnicity with the support of a faculty advising team, an interdisciplinary cohort of peers, and CCSRE staff. Honors students synthesize the skills and insights they have cultivated over the course of their Stanford career to design and produce unique and impactful projects.
Honors applications are open to students who have a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.5 in the major and 3.3 overall. Students in any major or program may apply to complete an honors project in CCSRE; students who are not CCSRE majors are required to complete certain coursework in addition to their major requirements (see below).
Students wishing to enter the honors program in Fall 2023 must submit their applications here by Monday, May 8, 2023. Applicants must submit a transcript and a project proposal. Applicants’ proposed faculty advisor must confirm their willingness to supervise the project. Note that the faculty advisor for the honors thesis must be an Academic Council faculty affiliate of CCSRE or a CCSRE Associate Director, whether or not the student is majoring in CSRE or its affiliate programs. Second readers may be Academic Council faculty members or any Stanford academic staff.
CSRE honors students must enroll in CSRE 201X in the fall, 201Y in the winter, and 201Z in the spring. These courses, which meet in person on a weekly basis, provide invaluable peer and faculty support to honors students as their projects unfold. Note that CSRE 201Y and CSRE 201Z do not count toward the 60 units required for the CSRE major but do count toward the 180 units required by the bachelor's degree. A thesis must receive a grade of B+ or above for its author to receive honors in CSRE.
The honors colloquium, held towards the end of Spring Quarter, affords students an opportunity to present their research to the Stanford community.
We are now accepting applications for the CCSRE Honors Program for AY 2024-25.
Application Deadline: Friday, May 10, 2024 at 11:59pm
Find more information on Honors requirements, consult the Honors Tab in the CSRE Bulletin.
Interdisciplinary Honors for Non-CSRE Majors
The Interdisciplinary Honors Program in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity is intended to complement core curricular requirements in any major. Students who participate in the interdisciplinary honors program receive their degree from their program of study with departmental honors in CSRE. Prior to graduating, Interdisciplinary Honors students must complete CSRE 196C, “Introduction to CSRE,” and at least one additional CSRE Comparative Core course. All other requirements of the Honors program (listed above) apply.
IDA Creative Honors
The IDA Senior Honors Thesis provides qualified students with the opportunity to pursue original research that combines creative and research-based methods. In addition to the general honors requirements listed above, students who wish to participate in the IDA/CCSRE program must have taken at least 25 units of IDA-approved courses prior to their senior year.
The creative honors thesis consists of two components: the creative work itself and a written rationale (also known as the Critical Statement of Artistic Intent). The creative work is as rigorous and time-intensive an endeavor as a traditional written thesis project. IDA/CCSRE theses have included bodies of visual art, scripts for TV pilots, soundscape experiences, novels, and music albums. IDA students meet regularly with a creative cohort in addition to completing 201X, Y, and Z with CSRE honors writers.
Bing Honors College
Students who intend to write a senior honors thesis have the opportunity to participate in Bing Honors College in the weeks preceding Fall Quarter of their senior year. BHC is a fully funded experience; room and board are provided at no expense to honors writers. BHC provides students an extended period of focus in which they work closely with a faculty member to design and launch their thesis projects.
If you intend to write a thesis in CSRE and are interested in taking advantage of a fully funded opportunity to devote two weeks to your project, please apply to BHC on the Bing Honors College website.
Honors Theses 2023
Pamela Beltran-Mayen, "Progress and Neglect Within the Same City: Analyzing the Perspective of the Community in Southwest Detroit on Gentrification"
Southwest Detroit, a predominantly Latine neighborhood, is located near Detroit’s rapidly gentrifying downtown area. In response to devastating economic challenges, Detroit has taken a “growth first” approach to revitalization. In the past decade, this approach has become apparent through the city’s focused investments of its limited resources in Downtown Detroit and the improvement of pathways to the business district, such as the construction of the Gordie Howe International Bridge. Drawing on the concept of revitalization as a paradox and the significance of culture and place, I investigate how residents of Southwest Detroit have been affected by these changes and how their sense of belonging and place is affected. I conducted 21 semi-structured interviews to study how residents in Southwest Detroit perceive these changes. The findings of this study suggest that the “growth first” approach results in poor infrastructure outcomes within Southwest Detroit due to disinvestment and exacerbates issues, including legal insecurity, displacement, and pollution. This approach has also brought gentrification to Southwest Detroit, along with a declining sense of belonging and sense of place among Southwest Detroit residents. This study furthers research on the role of gentrification in shaping belonging and attachment to place. Within Detroit, it contributes to expanding conversations about revitalization beyond Black-white relationships by capturing the perspectives of a predominantly Latine community.
Elsie DuBray, "Tatanka Awicagli na Mahpiya Ile Win: An Intergenerational Story of Buffalo Restoration and Lakota Futures"
This thesis explores the potential of Buffalo restoration to lead the Lakota people to a healthful Lakota future. Through background and socio-cultural context, storytelling and the intergenerational life-story analysis of the author and her father, and a discussion of medical anthropology and radical hope, this thesis aims to assert Buffalo restoration as mechanism towards realizing a radical reconceptualization of Lakota public health.
Poojit Hegde, "Unity and Struggle Beyond Borders: An Examination of Anti-Hindutva Activism in the United States"
This thesis is an endeavor to study the organized resistance against Hindutva in the United States, exploring the development of contradictions between Hindutva and anti-Hindutva movements, as well as explaining current contentions within the anti-Hindutva movement. I start by tracing the historical development of global Hindutva, from its origins in India towards its current manifestations in the United States. Then, through a combination of analysis of semi-structured interviews from representatives from three anti-Hindutva organizations (Ambedkar King Study Circle, Hindus for Human Rights, and Indian American Muslim Council), as well as the examination of digital documents and reports, I explore the current landscape of anti-Hindutva activism in the United States. In particular, I consider how the issues of Hindu majoritarianism and caste discrimination have mobilized South Asian American and Indian American communities to oppose Hindutva both in India as well as within the United States. I specifically argue that the current anti-Hindutva movement has increasingly resisted against the expression of Hindutva politics within the United States through analyzing two key incidents - the protests against the appearance of a bulldozer at an Indian Independence Day rally in August 2022 at Edison, NJ, and the February 2023 passing of an ordinance against caste discrimination in Seattle. I also explore contentions within the anti-Hindutva movement in the United States, explaining how the relationship between caste and Hindutva has led some anti-Hindutva organizations to emphasize the distinction Hindutva from Hinduism, while others have offered a deeper critique of caste violence that opposed Hindutva, but also investigates the Brahmanical origins of caste and its relationship to Hinduism. Despite certain disagreements about the relationship of caste, Hindutva, and Hinduism, I maintain that critical unities between organizations have featured prominently in the successful actions against Hindutva in the United States. I also note how these solidarities have extended beyond just the issues of Hindutva, arguing that the fight against Hindutva in the United States has become increasingly connected to other struggles for liberation, from anti-capitalist struggles to the battle against racism.
Evan Kanji, "All the Water in the World, and None of it to Drink: Community Perspectives and the Suburban Role in the Detroit Shutoff Crisis, the Lifeline Plan, and a Just Water Future"
All the Water in the World and None of it to Drink is story of what happens when structural racism, disinvestment, and local and state policy decisions align to cut off the water of 141,000 in the Great Lakes State's largest city over a decade. But more than that, it's a story about how we have created the conditions for widespread failure in disinvested cities, and then act with shock and disdain when their local structures fail.
In 2022, Detroit put in place a water assistance plan that, on the surface, was everything activists ever asked for. But one year in, problems and distrust persist. What does it take to move forward after a decade of harm? And what do the suburbs and bigger governments owe the city?
Isabella Nguyễn Tilley, "'There Will Be Fire': (Re)imagining Vietnamese American Citizenship through Literature"
Informed by the current trend in Asian American studies to question Asian Americans’ and Asian Americanist scholars’ attachments to ‘America,’ this thesis considers how Vietnamese American literature currently contributes to the negotiation and imagination of Vietnamese American citizenship, and the possibilities for this literature to contribute to utopian political projects that imagine a world beyond the U.S. nation-state. In the Introduction, the thesis examines dominant narratives about the Vietnam war to understand Vietnamese American positionality, then analyzes Vietnamese American literature, theorizing that dominant narrative forms (most notably, the ocean-crossing chronotope) have emerged within V.A. literature and problematizing their dominance. The bulk of the thesis is a collection of three original short stories, which are foregrounded with sociopolitical context. The stories explore model minority subject formation and patriarchy, the climate crisis and displacement (and the generic possibility of speculative fiction for Vietnamese American literature), and intergenerational trauma and relationships.
Ximena Sanchez Martinez, "The Next Step: Reframing the Vulnerability and Difficulties of Undocumented Students Through Higher Education Milestones"
Over the last decade, undocumented students have been given access to the American dream of pursuing higher education which opens the doors to economic and social mobility. While undocumented students can pursue higher education, they can only achieve half the dream. The existence of education access policies is not enough for these students to access the benefits of higher education. This project seeks to understand the experiences of undocumented students as they pursue higher education with the existence of the following education access policies: Assembly Bill 540 and the California Dream Act. These two laws open the doors to higher education for undocumented students in California by providing access to in-state tuition and state financial aid, respectively. Through this project, I sought to learn what barriers these policies fail to address and how the experience of undocumented students differs with DACA and no DACA. My thesis will center on three higher education milestones: high school to college, navigating undergrad, and post-college graduation. I structured my interview guide around these three milestones to understand how my participants experienced these transitions. In the 11 interviews I conducted, I found themes of self-advocacy, exclusion from the typical college experience, the necessity of high levels of resilience, and differences in how both groups of students (DACA and no DACA) experience the transition post-college graduation. Undocumented students must achieve high levels of resilience and self-advocacy to persevere through the barriers they face pursuing higher education. I argue that pursuing higher education provides undocumented students without DACA protection from the limitations of their immigration status while DACA students are able to access the benefits of higher education. Lastly, I conclude that the existence of education access policies is not sufficient to support the journey of undocumented students pursuing higher education.
Honors Theses 2022
Josiah Rodriguez, "Mohala Nā Pua Kahiki: An Exploration of the Kanaka ʻŌiwi Past in Diaspora"
This thesis is a twofold project - at once, Mōhala Nā Pua Kahiki is the cultivation of a research methodology centering Kanaka Maoli epistemology and ontology and the application of this methodology to understand the Kanaka Maoli diaspora in California through a multidisciplinary lens. Firstly, this thesis investigates personal contradictions in the discipline of history that conflict with Kanaka Maoli epistemes of relationship and multiplicity. From there, using the Hawaiian ethnolinguistic orientation to time, where ka wā mua (the time before) is the past and ka wā hope (the time behind) is the future, a philosophical foundation for research is constructed that allows researchers to apply to the past the same theories of knowledge used to produce beliefs about the natural world. This thesis constructs a methodology using foundations of research proffered by Hawaiian scholars in history, Hawaiian studies, ecology, and culture studies that incorporates methods from a number of disciplines and sets forth principles using Hawaiian cultural values. By exploring a personal relationship in relation to research subjects, kilo mua serves to allow Hawaiians to procure and articulate a stronger proximity to Hawaiianness through the attainment of ʻike about the past. The second component of this thesis is an application of kilo mua to the Hawaiian diaspora. Three research sites, dubbed wāhi, which combines the Hawaiian words for time and place, are explored: a traditional moʻolelo called “Ka Ipumakani a Laamaomao”, a brief study of William Heath Mahi Davis, and ethnographic interviews conducted with diaspora Hawaiians. Through these wāhi, the Hawaiian cultural motifs of moʻokūʻauhau (genealogy), kuleana (responsibility), and ʻike (knowledge) are explored reflexively both in regards to the wāhi as well as the author’s personal journey, which is investigated through autoethnographic asides that bookend each chapter.
Kevin Calderon, "Recuerdos: Queer Central American Identity Formation in/through Photography"
What does it mean to be a Queer Central American? This photo exhibition is an elevation of my family’s personal photography as part of a transnational, intergenerational journey in/through Queerness. Being Central American is already fraught with colonial and imperial trauma; US imperialism and the dispossession of land from Campesinos, nation-states that employ a culture of fear and silencing to further their political projects, and a culture that centers religiosity with oftentimes anti-Queer/Trans sentiment/social structures. Put into conversation with my own photography of Queer Central Americans, I ask us to complicate our understandings of Diaspora, Family, and what it looks like to be Queer Central American today by applying Queer framework of orientation and using photography as a mode of analysis.
Joshua Pe, "Revoked Refuge: How Deported Cambodian American Refugees Negotiate the Contradictions Between Citizenship and Belonging"
Since 2002, the United States has deported over 1,000 Cambodian American refugees back to Cambodia, with many of these refugees being from the 1.5 generation, having arrived in the US in the 1980s as children with few memories of Cambodia. Southeast Asian American studies scholars and immigration scholars have primarily focused on 1st and 2nd generation Southeast Asian refugees’ resettlement, incorporation into the US, and remembrance of historical trauma. This project seeks to understand the experiences of the 1.5 generation who called the US home but have now been deported back to Cambodia, the country they once fled from. How does this group understand their political and social membership to the US and to Cambodia given their deportation? Between June 2021 and January 2022, I conducted 8 one-time virtual interviews, 7 with deported Cambodian American refugees and 1 with a Laotian American refugee awaiting deportation. I asked questions about growing up in the US, life in Cambodia now, and thoughts on the criminal legal and immigrant control systems. I find themes of refugees’ continued movement between countries and internally within the US, statelessness and community exclusion, and hope in the ongoing search for a refuge. These results further our understandings of how the war in Southeast Asia, US policy, and Cambodian policy continues to impact the lives of these refugees and demonstrates the divide between political-legal and social membership to the US and Cambodia.
Brentley Sandlin, "Sandlin Honors Thesis: Urban Indigenous Self-Expressionism from 1960s to Present and its Impact on Indigenous Identity"
This paper aims to study how urban North American Indigenous communities represent their identities and cultures; specifically, it will analyze how these practices have evolved since the rise of Native activism in the mid-20th century, catalyzed by the creation of the American Indian Movement (AIM) in the late 1960s. As there is little existing research in this field, especially by Indigenous scholars, my argument will be primarily circumstantial and will advocate for further development of the analysis. Furthermore, as my research is interdisciplinary, I will utilize multiple theoretical frameworks and contextual analyses to develop my argument and subsequent close visual analysis. More specifically, I will utilize the frameworks from the fields of visual studies and Native studies in formulating my work. I assert that AIM and the rise of Native representation has forced the American public to reconcile with contemporary self-representation which has subsequently shaped modern Native and urban Native identity.