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French Departmental Honors and the Honors College

Departmental Honors in French offers exceptional students an opportunity to challenge themselves further through a combination of graduate-level coursework, independent research, and a thesis. Honors is designed to offer students more flexibility, more independence, and a greater challenge to our majors while working in close contact with a faculty mentor.

Departmental Honors Requirements

Each spring, the Faculty recommend and vote to invite high ability French majors (usually juniors) to Departmental Honors. To qualify, a student must maintain a GPA of a least 3.5 in French, and a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. Students may also self-nominate. Students receive a letter of invitation from the Chair and should meet with their Honors Advisor to design and plan their program.

Candidates for Honors in French must first take a 500-level course or a 600-level graduate seminar and earn a minimum grade of B+. Admission to graduate courses is subject to permission of the instructor. In order to take a graduate seminar at Miami, students must submit a petition to the Graduate School, which requires approvals from the Department Chair, and the instructor. This course is typically taken in the Fall and may count toward the major in place of one 400-level seminar.

The second step is to take a three-hour independent research course (FRE 480) with a faculty mentor. By working one on one with an advisor, the candidate researches and writes a thesis, which represents an original research topic developed by the student in the context of this course. The thesis consists of a 25-30 page document with bibliography. Specific requirements will need to be followed when formatting your thesis. Please consult carefully with your advisor when preparing your thesis!

The last requirement is an oral defense of the Honors thesis with the advisor and two other faculty members who serve as readers. Following the defense, students must submit a bound copy of the thesis to the department.

Students who earn Department Honors are relieved of having to write a thesis in the capstone and will instead write shorter papers as for a normal 400-level course.

Graduating seniors who successfully complete Departmental Honors are recognized at the departmental awards ceremony and at commencement and will have the notation "Departmental Honors in French" on their transcript.

Interested students should speak with the honors advisor, Dr. Mark McKinney, for more information.

Past Thesis Topics

Lydia Campe, Le politique imaginaire : les racines de l'extrême droit, (Audrey Wasser, Mark McKinney, Elisabeth Hodges), 2023.

Emma Knipp, L’asexualité : l’individu ace et une narration asexuelle dans un roman contemporain pour les adolescents, (Anna Klosowska, Elisabeth Hodges, Audrey Wasser), 2022.

Grace Johnson, Surmonter la mort. Une enquête sur les mécanismes de défense contre la mort trouvée dans la littérature française d’enfance et de jeunesse du XIXe au XXe siècles, (Jonathan Strauss, Elisabeth Hodges, Audrey Wasser), 2021.

Sydney Chuen, Exploration de la chronopolitique dans le temps narratif des bandes dessinées, (Mark McKinney, Elisabeth Hodges, Jonathan Strauss), 2020.

Lauren Racela, "J'ai touhours su qui tu es": L'identité, le genre, et le discours transgenre dans "L'enfant de sable" et Hedwig and the Angry Inch," (Audrey Wasser, Anna Kłosowska, Jérémie Korta), 2018.

Abigail Carr, Les Simulacres: Changements de Réalité de l'Intelligence Artificielle et l'Intelligence Humaine (Audrey Wasser, Anna Kłosowska,Jérémie Korta), 2016.

Piritta Helena Porter, Labeled by Language: Linguistic Identity in Azouz Begag's Le Gone du Chaâba (Guillaume Paugam, Mark McKinney, Jonathan Strauss), 2014.

Zac Tabler, Manifestations of the Invisible: Ethnicity and Multiculturalism in Brittany, France (Anna Klosowska, Mark McKinney, Guillaume Paugam), 2014.

Dana Cretu, L'Importance du sexuel dans les textes d'Annie Ernaux (Jonathan Strauss, Claire Goldstein, Elisabeth Hodges). 2011.

Emily A. Philips-Roth, Expressions of Identity in Madeleine de lÁubespine's Mirror Poetry (Anna Klosowska, Claire Goldstein, Sven-Erik Rose), 2011.

Zoë Ciambro Hesp, La science et la société subjective: Les effets culturels de la phrénologie pendant la monarchie de juillet (Jonathan Strauss, Elisabeth Hodges, Guillaume, Paugam), 2010.

Janine Saliba, Medical Approaches to Cultural Differences: The Case of the Maghreb and France (Jonathan Strauss, James Creech, Mark McKinney), 2010.

Lauren M. Fleming, Faux Amis? Intercultural and Interpersonal Relations Between Americans and the French(Patricia Reynaud), 2009.

Sara E. Hathaway, Suspended in Space: A Critical Analysis of Paul Auster'sCity of Glassand Georges Perec'sEspèces d'espaces (Elisabeth Hodges, Claire Goldstein, Anna Klosowska), 2009.

Alexandra L. Newman, "Parce que t'es une fille!" : La féminité dans Les années Spoutnik (Mark McKinney, Michel Pactat), 2009.

Shelly Alpeter, L'écriture ou la vie. Une question d'autorité chez Jorge Semprun (Elisabeth Hodges, Jim Creech, Mark McKinney), 2007.

John M. D'Amico, Gustave Moreau and Timeless History (Jonathan Strauss, Elisabeth Hodges, Clive Getty), 2007.

Gina M. Stamm, Communicating the Unknown: Construction of Identity in André Breton's Nadja (Jonathan Strauss, Jim Creech, Sven-Erik Rose), 2007.

The Honors College

Miami launched a redesigned residential Honors College in Fall 2021, which fosters rigorous academic inquiry for a community of learners who participate in innovative and interdisciplinary research-oriented curriculum with talented faculty.  We look forward to supporting the new Honors College, as we have in the past, by offering innovative teaching and learning opportunities.