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James Duncan Robertson

James Duncan RobertsonNovember 26, 2023

James Duncan Robertson was born in Kingston, Ontario on March 14, 1944 the son of William D. and Liza Tencer Robertson. He grew up near New Haven and graduated from Hopkins Grammar School. He entered Yale in September 1961 and joined the Class of 1966 in September 1963. He was a member of Saybrook College and a French intensive major. At Yale he was a Liberal Religious Fellow in 1961-2 and volunteered at Dwight Hall from 1963-4.

After Yale James received his Ph.D. from Princeton in French. He taught at the University of Michigan and the University of San Francisco before joining the faculty of Augusta University in 1990 where he taught French, Latin, and Spanish in the Department of English and World Languages until retiring in 2010 as Professor Emeritus of French. He was the author of “The Medieval Saints’ Lives and Lectio Divina: The Medieval Experience of Reading” and a co-editor of “The Vernacular Spirit: Essays on Medieval French Literature”. His writings continue to be quoted by medieval scholars. While his specialty was medieval studies, his scholarship and interests spanned the literature and cultures of many countries and eras. He provided inspiration to both students and faculty.

The Augusta Chronicle described him as “a generous and gentle person. He was much loved and admired by his fellow members of the Alliance Francaise. He was fluent in several languages and advocated reading texts in their original languages. He was an avid amateur musician who played piano and guitar and was a member of several choirs.”

He died in his sleep on November 26, 2023 at his home in Augusta, GA after a long illness. He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Susan Kosman Robertson, and his sons Michael and David. He was predeceased by his parents and his brother Eric.

— Benjamin Liptzin