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 take furthest their scholarly engagement with particular materials or questions within this field. It is a chance to demonstrate the specific strengths and forms of competence—linguistic, analytic, interpretive, critical, theoretical, cultural—developed in the course of the concentration.
The senior capstone experience is generally fulfilled by a research essay completed for a 1000-level (or a 2000-level) course taken in the department. 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 length and scope of the project are determined in consultation with the faculty instructor of that course. The capstone project may be discussed with the course instructor ahead of time, or it may emerge from a final assignment submitted for the course, to be later expanded on or (if deemed already satisfactory in its length, scope and quality) retroactively validated with approval from the course instructor as meeting the capstone requirement.
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.