Majors and Minors in French and Francophone Studies have many different kinds of opportunities for student research. All of our advanced courses at the 300 and 400 level incorporate a research component, from traditional research papers and oral presentations (en français, bien sûr) to group projects, performances, and publications. Some advanced students may elect to pursue an independent study with an IWU faculty member, and others may choose to conduct research with an off-campus faculty member while studying abroad in France or another French-speaking country. Students are encouraged to share their research with the broader IWU community in one of several forums available.
The John Wesley Powell Student Research Conference allows students to showcase their independent work from classes through either a poster presentation or a formal research talk. Recent examples include "What's in a Name? The French Champagne Industry and the Battle for AOC" by Hannah Becker '11, and "The Nose Knows: Business, National Identity, and the French Perfume Industry" by Whitney Wilkerson '13.
Many students find the Senior Research Honors Thesis at IWU to be the culmination of years of study dedicated to mastery of the French language and to discovery of French and Francophone literature and culture. The following sampling of student research honors papers represents the diversity of undergraduate scholarship from our collection in French & Francophone Studies at Illinois Wesleyan University.
•Francophone Women's Writing and Caribbean Identity: Maria Klingele (Scott Sheridan, faculty advisor), "Voice and Resistance in Maryse Condé's Le Cœur à rire et à pleurer: Dynamics of Race, Gender, and Écriture Féminine "
•French Language and Public Policy: Laura Cohen (Scott Sheridan, faculty advisor), "The French Identity Crisis: Fending off the Franglais Invasion"
•North African Women's Rights and Postcolonialism: Caroline Rohloff (Scott Sheridan, faculty advisor), "Reality and Representation of Algerian Women: The Complex Dynamic of Heroines and Repressed Women"
•West African Economics and World Trade: Anne Fell (Scott Sheridan, faculty advisor), "Trade Liberalization and Environmental Justice in the Ivoirian Cocoa Industry"
•Quebecois Literature and Narratology: Karla Stoesser (Scott Sheridan, faculty advisor), "L'intertextualité dans les œuvres d'Anne Hébert: Le lien entre la voix poétique, la voix narrative, et la voix féminine"
•French Education and Teaching Materials: Jacelyn O'Roark (Scott Sheridan, faculty advisor), "Second Language Acquisition and Its Practical Application: Evaluating French Textbooks at the Secondary School Level"
The Ames Library is proud to archive these and other honors projects in Digital Commons @ IWU, the University's online archive of student, faculty and staff scholarship and creative activity.
"The Research Honors process showed me how capable I was of designing, supporting, and defending a research topic that was unique to my interests and prior studies in the department. It was the perfect manifestation of the critical thinking and research skills that IWU students are pushed to develop, and I am now confident in my ability to successfully pursue large, independent projects in the future, whether during graduate studies or in future employment."
- Laura Cohen '12,
currently a graduate student at McGill University in Montreal