Honors, Awards, Activities

Graduate Student Essay Prize

The graduate faculty of the Department of French and Italian announces a prize for the best graduate student paper written for a French department seminar between the spring quarter of the previous year and the winter quarter of the current year, in English or French. Eligible submissions are those by students in French or CLS/French in the first three years of graduate study, excluding prospectuses, papers for independent studies (499) and French 495, incomplete work, and work written for courses in other departments. A French graduate seminar is one carrying the rubric "French." Courses cross-listed between French and another department are eligible. Spring quarter papers are eligible for submission for next year’s competition. No formal nomination is required, although professors teaching graduate courses will be asked to encourage students whose final papers were particularly strong to submit their work. Submissions are due late in the spring quarter (date TBA), and will be judged by the graduate faculty. The author of the winning submission will receive a cash prize of $250 at the end-of-year party, and will be ineligible to compete in the following year’s competition.

Faculty/Student Colloquia

This graduate student initiative, bringing together graduate students and faculty, provides a collegial and relaxed setting for members of the department to engage with each other’s research and offer feedback and support. Additionally, it provides a forum for graduate students to hone their presentation skills. Each quarter, one faculty member and one graduate student present ongoing research to the department. To promote extended dialogue between the graduate students and the faculty, each session includes a student respondent who will launch the discussion.

Graduate Student Conference

The department encourages graduate students to organize yearly a conference around a topic of their choice. The conference allows students to define a collective intellectual project and learn to plan and organize such events, so important for their future professional lives.


The Graduate Student/Faculty Forum provides an additional venue for dialogue beyond the classroom. Graduate students and faculty meet over twice a quarter for a discussion of their ongoing research, current trends in scholarship, and other aspects of academic life.

Ad hoc Events:

During the academic year, the department invites a number of speakers both nationally and internationally, suggested by the faculty and the graduate students. The Events Committee in charge of scheduling these events is comprised of faculty members and student representatives. The department also closely collaborates with The Program in African Studies, Comparative Literary Studies, Rhetoric and Public Culture, French Interdisciplinary Group and other programs to invite speakers and partake in conferences. When organizing conferences and speaking engagements, faculty and students work closely together. Graduate students are always involved in programs organized by faculty, not only as assistants but also as participants.

For a list of events, please see our Events page.