The senior capstone is a research project, a translation or a piece of creative work undertaken by all concentrators of French and Francophone Studies in their final year. As a culminating piece of work for their concentration, it is a conceptually rigorous, in-depth treatment of a subject (or a body of work) within French and Francophone Studies, and an opportunity for concentrators to demonstrate the specific strengths and forms of competence—linguistic, analytic, interpretive, critical, theoretical, cultural—developed in the course of the concentration. The learning goals of the capstone project include: building on writing proficiency in French, demonstrating critical reasoning skills, and showing, in writing, the ability to engage thoughtfully with salient questions of French and/or Francophone culture.
The senior capstone experience is usually fulfilled by a research essay completed for a 1000-level (or a 2000-level) course taken in the department during the senior year. In some cases, where appropriate to the course materials and focus, the capstone project may take the form of a work of translation or a piece of creative writing. The project will be 8-12 pages in length and will be written in French. By mid-semester, students will submit to the professor of the course a 300-word statement of the objectives and methods of the project. Students will then meet with the professor to discuss plans for the project. At the end of the academic year, students will give a presentation of 5-7 minutes on their projects at the annual Senior Forum. The professor evaluating the project will inform the DUS of successful completion of the capstone project.
In the case of students pursuing Honors, the senior thesis fulfills the role of the senior capstone.
The senior capstone is intended as a meaningful scholarly experience where concentrators may follow their intellectual passions and best express their growth as students of French and Francophone Studies. Concentrators are advised to discuss their plans for the senior capstone with the Concentration Advisor at the end of their junior year or the beginning of their senior year.