Students may apply for the Dietrich College Senior Honors Thesis Program. The Senior Honors Program is an opportunity for the college's most accomplished and promising seniors to work independently, with the close guidance of a faculty member, in the design and completion of a year-long scholarly or creative project.
The following Global Studies seniors are currently pursuing a Dietrich College Senior Honors Thesis:
Casey Devine, DC '17
Thesis Title: Language Policy and Identity in France and Québec
Thesis Advisor: Rémi Adam van Compernolle
Thesis Abstract: My thesis will explore how language policy has been used to maintain and promote the cultural value of the French language through analyzing two pieces of language legislation. The first, passed in 1977 in Québec (La Charte de la Langue Française), dictated that French be the only official language of the Québec province; the second, passed in 1994 in France (La Loi Toubon) sanctioned that the French language must be present on all public signage, all official government documents, in all workplaces, in public schools, and in commercial communications. Both of these laws were passed with the intent of protecting the French language from English. I will analyze the historical precedent, contemporary debate and public opinion surrounding these laws to determine what the relationship between 20th century language policy and French/Québecois identity is.
Kayla Lee, DC '17
Thesis Title: Understanding the Economic Self-Sufficiency of Adult Bhutanese-Nepali Refugees in Pittsburgh through English Language Proficiency: Towards a Theory of Refugee Self-Sufficiency
Thesis Advisor: Kenya Dworkin
Thesis Abstract: On the topic of refugee integration in the United States, English language proficiency is widely seen as a key factor in achieving economic self-sufficiency. The U.S. government and resettlement agencies prioritize finding jobs for refugee adults. Refugees are usually only able to obtain entry-level jobs because of their limited English language proficiency. Some critics have expressed concern that the high emphasis on employment does not provide refugee adults the opportunity to learn English. Refugee children, at least, have public schooling that allows them to reach higher levels of English language proficiency more quickly. Using ethnographic methods (i.e. participant observation and interviews), this research project will explore the validity of this correlation in the local context, with Bhutanese-Nepali refugees in Pittsburgh. In addition, this study will identify and analyze the factors that influence the Bhutanese-Nepali refugees’ understanding of economic self-sufficiency in relation to English language proficiency.
Diana Yuh, DC '17
Thesis Title: Flexible Citizenship and Politics of Belonging: Gendered Migration of Chosonjok Women
Thesis Advisor: Judith Schachter
Thesis Abstract: Chosonjok are Chinese nationals of Korean descent, who have been migrating in large numbers to South Korea since the opening up of Sino-Korean relations in the 1990s. Despite their shared ethnic identity, the immigration of Chosonjok population has generated much disdain from the South Korean community. In my research project, I will investigate the Chosonjok return migration as a gendered phenomenon, and the ways in which South Korean perceptions of nationhood relate to and influence the migration experiences of Chosonjok women. In particular, I want to explore how Chosonjok women construct flexible citizenship through active manipulations of race, ethnicity, gender and kinship. I hope this project will help contribute to the emerging discourse on flexible citizenship and transnationalism by exploring the close connections between migration, citizenship, nationhood, and belonging.