Alumni Update: Emma Delapré 

Submitted by Michael Rich on
French Alumna Emma Delapré

We recently checked in with alumna Emma Delapré about her experience as a French major in the Honors Program. Emma graduated in June 2022 with a double major in French Studies and International Studies: European Studies. Emma wanted to major in French as her parents immigrated from a small town on the northwest coast of France to the US over 30 years ago and she spoke French with them growing up in California. As a heritage speaker she "could speak French colloquially, but I had never formally learned how to read or write. I was essentially illiterate in French." She studied with Professor Hélène Vilavella-Collins who she says "took me under her wing and taught me the importance of grammar, as well as how to read and write in French."

Since starting at the UW, Emma had an interest in research and the French Honors Program "was a unique opportunity for me to explore my interests in depth that may only be touched on in courses due to time constraint." Initially Emma planned to do a historical comparison on the protests of 1968 in Paris to those occurring in the French port city of Brest. Emma was able to conduct interviews with protesters in the historic 1968 Paris protests. However, after delays in obtaining source materials, Emma settled on her Honors Thesis, titled Judging from Above: French Feminists & Their Influence on the Veil Debate. This project was later selected and published by the Claremont-UC Undergraduate Research Conference Journal on the European Union in October 2022. Emma recommends students interested in the Honors Program start thinking about your project ideas early and to have a back up idea.

After graduating in June of 2022, Emma accepted a position at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies as the program and outreach coordinator for the Center for West European Studies | European Union Center, the Ellison Center for Russian, East European & Central Asian Studies, and the Middle East Center. Emma notes "the study of languages and cultures has been particularly helpful for me, especially considering that French is one of the main languages of the European Union."

In June of 2023, Emma is heading to Iceland to attend and present at the 29th International Conference of Europeanists hosted by the Council for European Studies. Her presentation will be on her most recent project which examines the problematization of mosques in two European capital cities. Her project compares the implications and effects of the legal provisions currently defining the relationship between church and state in France and Greece. Looking to the future, Emma is planning on applying to Law School for the fall of 2024.

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