Modern and Classical Languages
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Paula Ruth Gilbert

Paula Ruth Gilbert

Paula Ruth Gilbert

Professor

Nineteenth-Century French studies, Quebec studies, women writers, Literature, Society, and the Arts; Women and Gender Studies (joint appointment): Violence and Gender; Violent Women; Narrative, Gender, and Human Rights; Cultural Studies; New Century College

Paula Ruth Gilbert (Ph.D. French, Columbia University) is Professor of French, Canadian, and Women and Gender Studies in Modern and Classical Languages/Women and Gender Studies and a faculty affiliate in Cultural Studies and New Century College.  She served as Associate Dean (1985-1987) and then Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 1987-1991.   Professor Gilbert teaches courses on North American francophone women writers, Quebec Studies, Gabrielle Roy, women and violence, nineteenth-century French novel and poetry, European Symbolism and the arts, nineteenth-century Paris, nineteenth-century France through film and opera, violence and gender, women who kill, stories of gender and human rights, and introduction to Women and Gender Studies. She was the recipient of a GMU Teaching Excellence award in 1999.  She specializes in Quebec Studies and French and Francophone women writers, nineteenth-century French Studies and the study of Paris, gender and violence, and gender and human rights narrative. She has published numerous articles and essays and has written or edited several books, including: The Aesthetics of Stéphane Mallarmé in Relation to His Public; The Literary Vision of Gabrielle Roy: An Analysis of Her Works; Traditionalism, Nationalism, and Feminism: Women Writers of Québec; Women Writing in Quebec: Essays in Honor of Jeanne Kissner; Doing Gender: Franco-Canadian Women Writers of the 1990s; Violence and Gender: An Interdisciplinary Reader; Violence and the Female Imagination: Quebec's Women Writers Re-frame Gender in North American Cultures (McGill-Queen's UP, 2006); Transatlantic Passages: Literary and Cultural Relations between Quebec and Francophone Europe (McGill-Queen’s UP, 2010); Confronting Global Gender Justice: Women's Lives, Human Rights (Routledge, 2010), along with numerous articles.  She is currently working on a book-length study, "Narrating Female Lives:  Human Rights Violations against Women and Girls." Her research has been supported by grants and fellowships, including NEH.  She was a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the International Gender Studies Centre at Lady Margaret Hall/Oxford University for the fall 2011 semester. She is currently partnering with this Oxford University center on a long-term project, "The Burmese Female Ancestor and Heritage Project," for which she co-organized and participated in a workshop at the University of Yangon in October 2014, the first such workshop on oral history methodology.  She is also heading a "Burmese Interest Group" at Mason for this project and broader academic relations between Yangon and Mason.  Paula Gilbert has lived in France and has traveled widely throughout the world--western and central Europe, Central and South America, North and Sub-Saharan Africa, South, East, and Southeast Asia, the Himalayan kingdoms, and Australia/Papua New Guinea.  She was the Academic Faculty Director of the Mason Honors Program in Oxford in 2002, the summer Paris programs in 2005 and 2009, and the Paris semester programs in 2006 and 2007. 

Professor Gilbert was the recipient of the 2010 David J. King Award for her overall impact on educational excellence at George Mason.  She was chosen to give a talk at the first TEDx George Mason Conference in 2012.  She was inducted as a Mason Inn Well Author in 2012.  She was nominated by the University and was a finalist for the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Virginia State Council of Higher Education (SCHEV) Outstanding Faculty Award.