Student Spotlight: Senior Thesis and Colloquium-Jakob '20

Senior Thesis and Colloquium is the culmination of a seven-year journey. Bosque seniors undertake a yearlong independent research project and deliver their findings in a twenty-page research essay, as well as in a public presentation at Colloquium. Over the course of the year, students will submit a formal prospectus, conduct text-based research and fieldwork, and test their arguments at a defense.

In the weeks leading up to Colloquium on May 13 and 14, the BUZZ will feature the thesis topics of Bosque’s seniors and provide insight into these student-researchers as they work toward the completion and presentation of their finished work.

Jakob ‘20 
How do modern political linguistic metaphors express themselves in the political dialogue of the late Roman Republic?

About Jakob’s Thesis:
Using the linguistic analysis techniques of George Lakoff from his book Moral Politics, Jakob is analyzing the writings of Cicero and Sallust to determine the political metaphors of the late Roman Republic. Using this primary source material, he will search for predominant moral metaphors in the descriptions of political events and see if they align with moral metaphors in the United States as described by George Lakoff. He will be looking for elements of the American moral metaphor which, according to Lakoff, is “the nation as a family.” He will also seek to analyze the text for other potential dominant metaphors.

Jakob is interested in this topic because he believes that the way people construct narratives is important to constructing collective understanding. He posits that “the collective understanding” becomes history and, through repetition, is calcified as truth. Jakob believes that understanding how narratives of the past grew and changed helps demystify the narratives of the present. 

Researcher Bio:
Jakob participates in the tech club and runs tech in all of the theater shows. He also does track. He has been involved in these activities since middle school. Jakob plans on studying Ancient History at Hendrix College.