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Karen Simroth James

Associate Professor, General Faculty and Director of the Language Program

Office Address

375 New Cabell Hall

Spring 2024 Office Hours

First week of the semester

Tuesday, Jan. 16, 4:00-5:00pm

Wednesday, Jan. 17, 1:00-3:00pm

Thursday, Jan 18, 12:30-1:30pm and 3:30-5:00pm

Regular spring semester hours

Tuesdays, 3:30-4:30pm

Thursdays, 12:30-1:30pm

and by appointment (in office or in Zoom)


  • Bachelor of Arts (BA), University of Virginia
  • Master of Arts (MA), University of Michigan System : Ann Arbor
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Virginia

Teaching and Research Interests

Pedagogical training and mentoring of graduate student instructors; experiential learning and meaning making in the language learning process; diversity, equity, and inclusion in world language pedagogy; French for professional purposes in the college curriculum; instructional technology for language acquisition and humanities education. Additional research interests: sixteenth-century French literature; history of the book in early modern France. 

Click here to read about Professor James’s experiences with a Global Mentor in FREN 3037 (French for Global Development). 

Representative Courses


  • Intermediate French
  • Finding Your Voice in French
  • French for Global Development and Humanitarian Action
  • What’s love got to do with it? – Renaissance Poetry in Vieux Lyon (UVA in Lyon)


  • Theories and Methods of Teaching French


Arts & Sciences Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Grant: DEI Curricular Initiative, French Language Program, 2023-2024

All-University Teaching Award, 2023 

Jefferson Scholars Foundation Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2023 

Global Mentor Program Award (UVA Global Affairs), Spring 2022. With the support of this award, Moussa Yéro Bah served as Global Mentor in FREN 3037, French for Global Development and Humanitarian Action, sharing insights from her work as a broadcast journalist and activist working for women’s rights, reduction of gender-based violence, and support for victims of sexual violence in Guinea.

Global Mentor Program Award, (UVA Global Affairs), Spring 2021. With the support of this award, Abiol Lual Deng (UVA French ‘05) shared her expertise and extensive experience in humanitarian roles in West and Central Africa with students in FREN 3995/3037, French for Global Development.

Learning Technologies Incubator Grants, University of Virginia, 2016-2017, 2015-2016. Electronic Portfolios in Language Teaching, Learning, and Assessment.

The Renaissance in Print: Sixteenth-Century French Books in the Douglas Gordon Collection 

  • Reference Materials Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, with Mary B. McKinley, 2006-2008.
  • Florence Gould Foundation grant awards to the University of Virginia Library and the University of Virginia Department of French for digitization of rare printed French books in the Douglas Gordon Collection, 2003-2005; 2005-2007.

Representative Publications

“ePortfolios in a World Language Learning Curriculum,” with co-authors Emily Scida (Spanish) and Yitna Firdyiwek (Arts and Sciences Instructional Design and Technology). Chapter 3 in ePortfolio-as-Curriculum: Diverse Models and Practices, edited by Kathleen Blake Yancey. Stylus, April 2019.

“Making the Stones Speak: The Curious Observations of Gabriele Simeoni,” Itineraries in French Renaissance Literature, Essays for Mary B. McKinley, Eds. Jeff Persels, Kendall Tarte, George Hoffmann. Leiden: Brill, 2018. 398-420.

“E-Portfolios for Assessment of Student Learning in World Language Programs.” Co-authored with Emily Scida (Spanish) and Yitna Firdyiwek (Instructional Design and Technology). The Language Educator (ACTFL magazine), vol. 11, no. 2 (March/April 2016), 30-34.

“Rare Books and Web Pages for Teaching Early Modern Women Writers.” Co- authored with Mary B. McKinley. Teaching Women Writers of the Renaissance and Reformation. Ed. Colette Winn. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2011. 363-370.

Pernette du Guillet: Complete Poems, A Bilingual Edition. Other Voice in Early Modern Europe. Toronto: Centre for Renaissance and Reformation Studies, 2010. Bilingual edition of Du Guillet’s Rymes (1545), with critical introduction and notes, in collaboration with Marta Finch (poetry translations).