Honors in French Studies

The Honors designation in French Studies is a recognition of outstanding scholarship in the field, as evidenced by academic achievement, critical thinking, and intellectual initiative. Highly qualified majors, selected by the French Studies faculty during the spring semester of their junior year, are invited to consider participating in the Honors program, which candidates undertake in addition to the requirements for the major.

The Honors program in French Studies consists of an individual research project mentored by a faculty member in the department. The Honors project, which is completed over one year, culminates in a thesis written in French.

The Honors research begins with intensive preparatory work in the spring and summer preceding the senior year.

The fall semester is devoted to directed reading (FRH 390; 1.5 credits) under the mentorship of the faculty director. At the end of the semester, the student takes a written exam, and submits an annotated bibliography and an abstract of the thesis.

During the spring semester, the Honors student writes the thesis following a schedule established by the faculty director and the student (FRH 391; 3 credits). At the end of the semester, the student presents the thesis orally to the faculty committee.

Recent French Studies Honors Theses

  • Jack Lloyd, “Vers une presse identitaire : Le cas de Gai Pied et d’Action dans la lutte contre le sida en France” (2021)
  • Andie Espinosa, “‘Nana est une invention…’ : Le regard masculin et les rumeurs dans Nana d’Émile Zola (1880)”, (2020)
  • Libby Morris, “‘L’inconséquence française’: l’oppression systématique des femmes dans Lettres d’une Péruvienne” (2019)
  • Emily Goodman, “Georges Perec et la pièce qui manque du puzzle” (2016)
  • Kate McCrea, “Une crise de désespoir : L’inégalité sociale des banlieues françaises dans Chroniques d’une société annoncée” (2015)
  • Chelsea Eversmann, “’L’identité Suisse romande” (2013)
  • Isabel Ortiz, “L’Interdite de Malika Mokeddem : La poursuite de l’identité dans le désert” (2013)

Mentored Research in the French Studies Department

The French Studies Department mentors students who wish to apply for funding opportunities for independent research. We also work closely with students who present their work at conferences.

Students in our department have won prestigious WFU fellowships for independent summer research projects under the mentorship of French Studies faculty members. The Wake Forest Research Fellowship and the Wake Forest Arts and Humanities Research Fellowship provide opportunities for intensive scholarship on campus. The Richter Scholarship Program supports globally-oriented independent study in other countries.

Many of our French students have presented research – projects from a past French course, or results of their funded summer research project – at the annual Undergraduate Conference on Languages and Cultures (UCLC) at Elon University.

I love the one-on-one attention I receive from my professors. If I ever need advice on future career plans, a mentor for a research project, or just someone to talk to about how my semester is going, I know I can always count on the professors in the French Studies department.

Mariana Trabanino, French Studies major (’21)

Examples of Funded Student Research Mentored by French Studies Faculty

  • Thayli Martinez-Dormez (undeclared), Wake Forest Research Fellowship, summer 2022: “Indigenous Sexualities: Queer Affect in Mexican and Central American Cultural Production” with Dr. Ryan Schroth
  • Mariana Trabanino (French Studies major ’21), Wake Forest Arts and Humanities Research Fellowship, summer 2020: “The Evolution of the Banlieue Narrative through Contemporary French Cinema”
  • Sarah Dancy Blackburn (French Studies major ’20), Richter Scholarship: independent research on climate change and wine production in Burgundy, France
  • Ashley Laughlin (French Studies major ’17), Richter Scholarship, summer 2016: research on bande dessinée in Lyon and Paris