Junior majors familiarize themselves with the resources useful in research in Francophone language, civilization, and literature, and complete a one-semester independent project, often a paper on a cultural or literary topic or a translation.
With the guidance of a faculty member, all seniors complete a two-semester project that typically culminates in a paper, written in French, on some aspect of language, literature, or culture. It is not unusual for students who study and travel abroad to develop interests that are later explored in depth in their senior I.S. projects.
Recent I.S. projects, for example, include an inquiry into the collective memory of the Algerian War; studies of the cinematic work of Agnès Varda; a translation of a text by Jonathan Safran Foer; a comparative study of children's literature in France and the U.S.; a critical and autobiographical exploration of the concept of the Parisian flâneur; an examination of the effects of early language immersion on college students of French; an analysis of the conception of national identity in the Ivory Coast; an exploration of satirical views of marriage during the French Revolution; and an analysis of the political effects of music festivals in contemporary France.
Recent French Independent Study theses (found at Open Works).