News: German Studies Uncategorized

Jordan Wyner ’19 Defends Honors Thesis on Franz Kafka

Congratulations Jordan! On April 23, 2019 Jordan Wyner defended his thesis on Narrating Public Space: Franz Kafka in Nationalized Prague with Highest Honors.  Like all honors theses, it is accessible from the Swem Library catalog for all to read. Below, Jordan speaks about the writing process and doing undergraduate research:

I decided to write my honors thesis out of a desire to not only to complete a long-term research project but also to relate my interests in architectural/urban history and German literature. The summer before I started compiling texts to research the project was still ill-defined. It took a trip to Prague, Franz Kafka’s birthplace, before I realized I wanted to find the traces of the city which appear in his literature. The best advice I can give is to start researching and writing early; time management is an essential skill for the completion of a successful thesis. I was awarded grant funds and fellowships to conduct research in Berlin and Prague before my senior year. My research over the summer was essential to give shape to the overall argument I wanted to advance in the thesis as well as the topics for the individual chapters. Before my first semester of senior year started I had a nearly finished introduction and I was able to get through drafts of the first and second chapter before winter break. Writing early and often ensures that you never hajordanwynerve to be too stressed about revisions and have enough space for further elaboration. Upon reflection, I have had to accept that the thesis will fundamentally remain an incomplete work; people often spend multiple years finishing a research project. The goal is to write something substantial, to introduce something insightful into the academic conversation, and recognize how you can expand upon your work.