A Humanities capstone presents a version of the Capstone Experience that directly responds to the SUA institutional mandate to “develop and refine research, writing, and analytical skills congruent with the educational mission of SUA,” to “enhance students’ ability to formulate and research a question or set of questions and from this to produce a coherent and substantial treatment of the chosen topic,” and to “successfully apply the relevant theoretical and other literature in the field pertaining to the project.”
During your senior year at Soka University, you will explore a topic of your choice during your Capstone Experience. In this year-long project you will gain in-depth knowledge about a topic chosen by you and your faculty mentor within your field of concentration, drawing upon all the skills and knowledge you have developed during your career at Soka.
In the Humanities concentration, we focus on the study of how people process, record, and document the human experience. Specifically, the disciplines that make up the humanities aim at developing, enlarging, and refining historical, artistic, philosophic, and cultural understanding. Humanistic critical education demands in-depth reading, analytical comprehension, and the articulate probing of themes, genres, traditions, media, ideologies and other imaginative, representational, and material structures.
The hallmark of research in Humanities is the choice of a thesis that possesses intellectual significance and a demonstration of this thesis through clear writing and rigorous thought. This is why Humanities students are asked to choose a capstone topic that will enable them to state a clear-cut thesis and investigate a variety of scholarly sources in the attempt to support or amend it. Ideally, the successful capstone would create a persuasive argument that stands upon the writer’s critical reflection, documentary evidence, and intellectual synthesis.
The exact nature of the Humanities capstone project will depend on the agreement reached between the student and the mentor. To comply with accreditation requirements and the SUA course credit expectations and policies, Humanities capstone projects normally are 30 pages (MLA or Chicago Manual format, double-spaced) and include a significant bibliography that includes milestone works of scholarship in the relevant field.
The selection of milestone works, scholarship review, and preparation of the bibliography are three essential tasks that are normally to be accomplished during CAP390 (fall semester) and CAP400.01 (winter block). These two courses carry a work load commensurate with a four-credit course. Students are expected to utilize the winter block to complete all or most of the research for their capstone and to make considerable progress in the writing phase of the project.
The Humanities concentration requires that, in addition to the letter grade, Humanities capstone mentors submit a 4-5 paragraph Narrative Review elucidating the substance of the capstone project, the pertinent criteria of evaluation, and the outcomes. The Capstone Narrative Review is appended to the existing Humanities Capstone Grade Submission Form. It is not featured on the student’s official transcript.
Selected Previous Topics
Previous Humanities capstone topics have included:
- The Power of Uncanny Women: Analysis of Japanese Horror Film and Argentine Fantastic Literature
- Sigmund Freud’s Unconscious and the Collective Pursuit of Hysteria
- Montaigne and Me, Intimate but not Sexual
- What a Time to Be Alive: An Exploration of All Things Millennial: An Audio Podcast
- A Dialogue on Dance: Funding, Advocacy, and Participation
- White Rabbit Knows Everything—A Short Novella