The capstone course of our program has several distinguishing features:
• First, Elon’s interdisciplinary capstone is designed to serve as a culminating experience that engages the modes of inquiry, knowledge and communication skills acquired throughout a student’s academic career. It also challenges students to consider, to varying degrees, ethical reasoning, personal and social responsibility, and global citizenship.
• Second, these courses are all interdisciplinary. Interdisciplinary courses stress integrating and applying knowledge to problems larger in scope than a single discipline can handle.
• Third, these courses are writing-intensive seminars. The courses use a variety of writing styles to promote high-level critical thinking while providing upper-level writing experiences and instruction, enabling students to develop a mature writing and thinking process.
The topics of capstone seminars are chosen by individual faculty members and vary from semester to semester. More than 25 different topics are offered each academic year, offering students a wide range of choices.
Capstone seminars are open to students in the third or fourth year of study. Students who have questions about their eligibility should see the Director of General Studies.
Faculty interested in proposing new capstone courses may use the following link:
Seminar Application (for faculty)
These topics may, or may not, be offered in the future.
This interdisciplinary seminar explores the male and female experience of coming of age in America. We will study major psychological and sociological theories of adolescence, and examine how the transition from childhood to adult life is represented in literature and film. This course is writing intensive. This course is writing intensive. Open to students in the third of fourth year of study. Counts toward Women’s/Gender Studies minor.
This course will examine the role of invention and technology in society. Synthesizing elements of engineering, computer science, economics, history, business, and sociology, this course investigates technology both as a reflection of and as a catalyst for cultural identity and social change. Recent topics have included virtual worlds, artificial life, cyborgs, the do-it-yourself hacker ethic, posthumanism, resistance to change, and the diffusion of innovations. Using a combination of reflective and researched essays, live action role playing games, video games, films, simulations, and presentations, students will reconcile their own technology experiences with the common portrayal of technology in history and in contemporary culture. This course is writing intensive. Open to students in the third of fourth year of study.
What is beauty? How does beauty function as a political force within society? This class will explore a variety of issues surrounding beauty, including: the political implications of beauty norms; the sociology of beauty, including the connections between beauty and racism; the claim that beauty is part of our genetic heritage; and the philosophical claims concerning beauty and justice. This course is writing intensive. Open to students in the third of fourth year of study. Counts toward Women’s/Gender Studies minor.
Freedom of expression is a particularly relevant issue during times of war. We’ll explore the tension between the public’s right to know and issues of national security. We’ll address issues such as hate speech, pornography and campaign finance reform in terms of the value of the speech and benefits and harms to society. We’ll also look specifically at new media issues such as libel, privacy and obscenity in the digital age. Those on the fringe who challenge the traditional way of thinking about freedom of speech will take a central role in this course. This course is writing intensive. Open to students in the third of fourth year of study.