James F. Gaines, Professor of French, earned a Ph.D. (1977) and M.A. (1975) in French from the University of Pennsylvania, after having received a B.A. (1971) in French from Michigan State University. An expert in French culture and its influence, Dr. Gaines has delivered more than 30 papers at international conferences and has presented a paper in the French Senate Chambers. Most recently, he presented the paper “The Problem of the Species in Cyrano de Bergerac’s Etats et empires de la lune and Modern Science Fiction” at the Society for Seventeenth-Century French Studies annual conference at Royal Holloway College, University of London. He also has edited an international monograph series.
His published works include more than 50 articles in scholarly journals and five books, three of which are about the French playwright Molière. Most recently, he authored Moliere and Paradox: Skepticism and Theatre in the Early Modern Age (2010) and translated Alphone Daudet’s short story The Three Low Masses from the original French for The Eerie Digest (2011). In addition, Dr. Gaines currently is working on another book on the French culture. He also has traveled extensively throughout France, Belgium, Germany, Britain, Switzerland and Canada.
The recipient of several fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Council of Learned Societies, Dr. Gaines has set up study programs in both Quebec and Mexico. He served as the elected president of the Virginia Writers Club, the state’s oldest writers club, from 2008 through 2010.
He is a member of numerous professional organizations including the Modern Language Association of America, the American Association of Teachers of French, the North American Society for 17th-Century French Literature, the British Society for the Study of 17th Century French Literature and the Society for the Interdisciplinary Studies of 17th Century France.