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Department of French and Italian

Honors, Awards, Activities

Annual Prizes | Departmental Honors | Cercle Francophone| French Government Culture Lab | Writing and Tutoring Centers

Annual Prizes 2013-2014

AATF Outstanding Senior award Eunice Ro
2nd year language (upper 100 level)  Rachel A. Girty
3rd year language (200 level) Shuang Gao
3rd year literature (200 level)  Amelia Corwin
4th year language (300 level) Andy Donaldson
4th year literature (300 level) Danny Dongru Wang


Dean's Awards


Distinguished Essay in English on a French subject: Graham Graves Horn, "Reframing the New: More and Montaigne and the Savage Lens” (Nazarian, French 371)


Distinguished Essay in French: Eunice Ro, "Honors Thesis" (Fort, French 440)




Annual Prizes 2012-2013

Oustanding Achievement in French:


AATF Outstanding Senior award Elizabeth Gore
CultureLab Andrea Azem
Distinguished Graduate Essay Matthew Brauer
Distinguished Graduate Essay Joseph Derosier
2nd year language (upper 100 level)  William Cook
3rd year language (200 level) Natalie Gallon
3rd year literature (200 level)  Peijing Xi
4th year language (300 level) Danny Dongru Wang
4th year literature (300 level) Anca Ulea
Business French Madelaine Bryen


Dean’s Awards

Distinguished Essay in French (for honors theses or essays written in French 396 or 397):

Svetlana Rusakova, “Démystification du spectacle” (Winston, French 397)


Annual Prizes 2011-2012

Oustanding Achievement in French:


AATF Outstanding Senior Award Kate McGarrahan
Ad Hoc prize for Outstanding service to department Kristin Lawson
CultureLab Veronica Benduski
Distinguished Graduate Essay Emilie Cappella
2nd year language (upper 100 level)  Greer DuBois
3rd year language (200 level) Aria Jelinek
3rd year literature (200 level)  Quinn Hegarty
4th year language (300 level) Graham Duff
4th year language (300 level) Rebecca Gausnell
Business French Kristin Lawson


Dean’s Awards

Distinguished Essay in English on a French subject (for essays written at the 200 or 300 level): Ashley Greenwell, “The equivalence of Arthurian society and its effect on structural balance,” Hiley (French 370)

Distinguished Essay in French (for honors theses or essays written in French 396 or 397):

Kate McGarrahan, "Consommation de l'image et publicité dans le monde moderne" (Honors Thesis)


Annual Prizes 2010-2011

Oustanding Achievement in French:


AATF Outstanding Senior award  
2nd year language (upper 100 level)  Isaac Rottman
3rd year language (200 level) Mauricio Masi
3rd year literature (200 level)  Daniella Sosa
4th year language (300 level) Tim Hugues
4th year language (300 level) Aria Fiat
Business French Katherine McGarrahan


Dean’s Awards

Distinguished Essay in English on a French subject (200 and 300 level)
Nicholas TEDDY, “Queer Panopticum : the diffusion of homosexual narratives in Proust’s RTP” (Ginsburg, French 374)

Distinguished Essay in French (includes honors theses, 396 and 397) Elena ALEKSANDROVA, “La transcendance culturelle et temporelle des fables” (Qader, French 396)



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Departmental Honors

The Honors program in French and Italian gives outstanding students the opportunity to carry out a course of independent study on a topic of their choice under the supervision of a faculty member.

Juniors who have a grade point average of 3.4 or higher in the major
are invited by the Director of Undergraduate Studies or any other faculty member of the department to consider writing an honors thesis in their senior year. If they decide to do so, they should declare their intention of doing honors work no later than the spring quarter of their junior year by contacting the DUS and submitting a brief proposal on the topic they wish to investigate. Based on this description and in conversation with the student, the DUS will assist the student in finding a thesis director. Often students already have someone in mind for this work. In this case, a formal request by the DUS and the student will be made to the particular faculty member. After these preliminary processes are completed, the student may register for a 399 with his/her thesis director.

The honors project is produced through two quarters of 399 which will count towards the 15 required credits for the major in French. It
can build on but must not duplicate previous work done abroad or in a 300-level course.

Guidelines for students and thesis directors:

The honors thesis should be at least 25-30 pages long. It cannot be a simple collection of data or summary of primary or secondary sources, but must show strong evidence of significant research, interpretation, analysis, and original thought. It must be written in correct French.

The Student must get in contact with his/her thesis adviser before the end of the spring quarter of  the Junior year in order to discuss his/her idea with the advisor and receive instructions for preliminary reading and research. At the beginning the following fall quarter, the student should have a clear idea of the problem he/she wishes to explore and have a two page preliminary proposal ready for the thesis advisor.

By the end of fall quarter, students are required to have a bibliography and a 10 page paper reporting on their preliminary findings and their argument. This paper must elaborate on the original proposal and show progress in the ways in which the student has conceptualized the
problem under study. At this time, an evaluation will be made as to whether the paper can be expanded into an honors thesis.  If it is judged not to be of honors caliber, the student will receive one credit for the work done in the fall quarter

By the beginning of winter quarter, the student must determine who will be the second reader of the thesis. The second reader must be a member of the French department and will be chosen in consultation between the student and his/her advisor. It is the responsibility of the student to approach this faculty member in a timely fashion and ask him/her to read the thesis for the final report. Students may have a third reader on their committee, especially if the thesis is highly interdisciplinary. This third member can be from outside the French department.

By the end of  winter quarter, students are required to have completed the first draft of the thesis. The spring quarter will be dedicated to revisions of the thesis for final submission to the Honors Committee for evaluation. As soon as the DUS receives the deadlines for submission from WCAS, he/she will communicate them to the thesis director.

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Cercle Francophone

The cercle francophone is a student-organized club sponsored by Margaret Dempster ( and Aude Raymond ( and other language faculty in the French department. The group meets on a regular basis to have an opportunity to speak French in a relaxed and fun setting. Activities include film screenings, preparing and enjoying French cuisine, guest speakers and outings to French cultural events in Chicago. In addition to the cercle francophone events, students have a weekly opportunity to engage in informal French conversation with students and instructors at lunches held in the dining room of the International Studies Residential College. For information about the French Table lunches, contact Margaret Dempster (

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French Government Culture Lab

Every year the Department selects one or more undergraduates to be the recipients of the French Government "Culture Lab." This fellowship allows students to improve their understanding of French culture by spending a short period in one particular region of the country. The fellowship pays all their expenses while in France. Funds for the students' travel to France are provided by the Department from the Norman Spector Scholars' Fund. The selection process takes place and is announced in the winter quarter. Interested students should contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies in French,Doris Garraway (, for details about the application.

Writing & Tutoring Centers

Did you know that the Department of French and Italian provides free tutoring to students currently enrolled in 100-level French courses? The FIT Tutor Center, housed in Crowe 2-113, offers drop-in tutoring in all aspects of the French and Italian programs, including the opportunity to practice language skills with your peers. Tutors are available Monday through Friday. Please contact the FIT office at 847-491-5490, or refer to the Tutor Center door, for a complete schedule of availability.

The French Writing Center

The French department hosts a French Writing Center with Patricia Scarampi.

The mission of the center is to help students in French courses 210 and above (but excluding 301, 302, 303) to improve their overall writing ability, become more self-reliant writers and gain a better comprehension of French grammar and writing styles.

Here is how it will work:
Once you have prepared a first draft of your paper, you can sign up for a half-hour session (no more than one per week) using the doodle link below at least 24 hours in advance.  

Doodle link for spring 2015:

During the session the professor will help you with questions of structure, vocabulary and style – and grammar when necessary. Bring a paper copy of your essay along with the topics and the instructions given by your professor. You are encouraged to bring your own laptops. If your essay is longer than 3 pages, please identify the passages that you would like to work on and the language related questions you have. Please be aware that this is not a proof-reading service!

Come to Crowe 2-117 for your appointment.

In Crowe 2-113 you will find grammar manuals and dictionaries available for consultation outside of your appointment hours.

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