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French at Carthage

French Senior Theses

Every Carthage student is required to submit a senior thesis or capstone project to demonstrate their mastery of their chosen area of study. Here is a look at the projects Carthage French majors have created for this requirement.


  • Rachael Kimmerling: “Les Mots écrits et les mots dits. Le dilemme dialectique chez Fontenelle.” Fontenelle’s dialogue between Margaret of Scotland and Plato raises fundamental questions concerning the quarrel between the Ancients and Moderns, the tension between physical and intellectual beauty and the problematic role of the philosopher in his society. My interpretation speaks to these questions as I read between the lines to respond to these questions and uncover the role Fontenelle plays within his own dialogue.
  • Chad Kelterborn: “Echapper à l’Emprisonnement : Les Leçons de vie de trois personnages incarcérés.” An analysis of the personal transformation of the main characters in Le Comte de Monte-Cristo de Dumas, Le Dernier Jour d’un condamné de Hugo et L’Étranger de Camus reveal lessons about life.
  • Jenny Fyfe: “L’Importance du déchiffrement des codes dans la communication des Francais.” This thesis discusses the fact that French is a high context language and what it means for North-Americans and non-French to assimilate to French culture.


  • Joelle Dahl: “La Foi des Protestants du Chambon” (The Faith of the Protestants of Le Chambon). The study of the town of Le Chambon during World War II and an explication of the good that happened there.
  • Jesse Daniel: “Le Rôle des écoles d’immersion au Canada: Une approche modernisée d’acquérir une langue seconde.” A study of how immersion schools in Canada effectively preserve the French Language and prepare students for the future.
  • David Komperda: “Breizh Atao? Le passé et l’avenir du Mouvement Breton” A survey of the independence movement in Brittany from the end of World War II to the present day. After examining the movement’s effect at both political and cultural levels over time, this thesis will try to predict whether the movement can succeed or Brittany’s regional identity will be lost.
  • Emily Kolesar: “Des racines et des ailes: les mentalités française et américaine par rapport à la terre.” This thesis compares the relationship that the French and Americans each have with their land. The French attitude towards their land is a vertical one: centuries of history and culture have rooted the French to their soil. In contrast, the American attitude towards their land can be characterized by horizontal movement, as evidenced by the urge to explore new territories, exemplified by the notion of Manifest Destiny. These differing attitudes are reflected linguistically in many French and American idiomatic expressions.


  • Caroline Dolan: “Écrire une vie: Rousseau dans le rôle de Dieu dans Les Rêveries du promeneur solitaire”
  • Janice Fox: “Le Français comme langue identitaire au Maroc”
  • Sam Haswell: “Un encadrement douteux? Toulouse Lautrec et l’absinthe”
  • Leslie Sink: “La Femme dans La Fausse Conversion de Théophile Gautier: une belle représentation par les hommes, pour les hommes.”
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