Academics Geraldine Pittman— Literature
Contact Geraldine Pittman; 802-258-9239
While she was agraduate student at the University of Southern Illinois, Geraldine helped to establish an undergraduate Honors Program that was roughly equivalent in size to the whole of Marlboro College. "It was there that I experienced the kind of teaching that I prize here at Marlboro: the opportunity to work very closely with a student on a project in which we are both interested," she said.
She has based her teaching on a quotation from one of her own teachers, Mark Van Doren: "The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery." Geraldine’s courses range in scope from English Romantic Poetry to modern fiction, often with a focus on women’s roles, both as characters and as authors. She has directed senior Plan projects examining a wide variety of themes in the 18th-, 19th- and 20th-century novel. Geraldine frequently works with faculty members from diverse areas of the curriculum, exploring literature in its historical, philosophical or religious context. In recent years her courses on Latin American fiction have inspired a number of Plans involving languages and social history as well as literature.
Student Plans and Collaborations
- An investigative look at the signification of dreams through dramatic and colonial literature in conjunction with Freudian interpretation. Karim Lahlou '11, psychology & literature.
- An exploration of identity, metaphor and judgement in modernist literature and philosophy, including an examination of Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse. Michael Mirer '11, literature & philosophy.
- A study of Czech and Soviet cultural identity in the 20th century through literature and film. Will Jenkins '10, cultural history & literature.
- A study of literature and history focusing on narrative emplotment in the political history of Charles Stewart Parnell and the fiction of James Joyce. Tiffany Phelan '09, literature & history.
Long active with the National Endowment for the Humanities, Geraldine is past president of the Vermont Council on the Humanities. She is also a citizen member of the Vermont Bar Association. She has studied at Columbia, Stanford and Harvard Universities. She spent the summer of 1987 as a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow at Dartmouth’s Dante Institute.
B.A., Southern Illinois University, 1958; M.A., Southern Illinois University, 1965; Advanced graduate study, Southern Illinois University and Columbia University; Marlboro College, 1969 –