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Honors Concentrators 2015-2016

Kristen Batko - Psychos

Primary Advisor: Oliver Thornton; Secondary Advisor: Candace Moore 

Kristen Batko's original, one-hour television drama Psychos takes place in 1948 and revolves around three characters committed to Metropolis State Hospital -- Charlotte, a Rosie the Riveter type who becomes depressed after the war when she's forced back into being a housewife and pressured to become a mother; Robert, a 17-year-old with bipolar disorder and a penchant for getting in trouble way over his head; and Evelyn, a black lesbian who was part of an underground LGBTQ movement and institutionalized by her lover's husband. 

Joseph Biglin - February 14, 1992 

Primary Advisor: Terri Sarris; Secondary Advisor: Candace Moore 

February 14, 1992 is a series of interconnected short films. Utilizing a multi-media format and dissociative editing, Biglin aims to synesthetically inspire ugly emotions—i.e. regret—while contrapuntally mixing in elements of incongruity and humor to develop an intellectual concept—that perspective assuages these feelings, life moves on. The process of creation is completely iterative and features an academic component which includes phenomenologically testing viewer’s reactions to the film, wherein Biglin responds and remakes the material to facilitate greater synesthesia. 

Andrew Day - Night Watch

Primary Advisor: Victor Fanucchi; Secondary Advisor: Mark Kligerman 

The film Night Watch is a suspenseful mystery production about a nightwatchman at a mall who begins to see a dog and fears that his past has come back to haunt him. Day modeled the film on the tone of The Twilight Zone.


Chloe Gilke -- Honors Thesis 

Primary Advisor: Yeidy Rivero; Secondary Advisor: Melanie Yergeau (English)

This thesis examines the textual representation and audience reception of autistic characters on two contemporary U.S. TV series, NBC’s Community and Parenthood. Through these test cases, Gilke discusses issues of relation: how characters within the texts engage in familial and friend relationships and how audiences relate to the characters through an encoding/decoding model. In the audience study sections, Gilke analyzes how both autistic and neurotypical viewers react to, and often identify with, the characters on screen. This thesis argues that, on the production and reception ends, personal narrative and personal experience are crucial to considering how autistic characters are written and received on television today.

Nisreen Salka -- Honors Thesis 

Primary Advisor: Dan Herbert; Secondary Advisor: Yeidy Rivero

In their exploration of the digital media space, Internet-based companies such as Amazon challenge the traditional paths of media production, distribution, and exhibition through their unique approach to creative development. Catering to the expansion of an active viewership and an increasingly fragmented market, Amazon’s model popularizes new standards of contemporary media industry culture with regard to forecasting risk of creative ventures, marketing strategies, transmedia storytelling, the consumer-producer relationship, and the amateur star system. This project will explore such industry trends as a byproduct of digital media integration among Internet-based companies and its impact on the industry’s creative output.