Geraldine Pittman de Battle
While she was a graduate 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.
Geraldine 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 ranged in scope from English Romantic Poetry to modern fiction, often with a focus on women’s roles, both as characters and as authors. She directed senior Plan projects examining a wide variety of themes in the 18th-, 19th- and 20th-century novel. Geraldine frequently worked with faculty members from diverse areas of the curriculum, exploring literature in its historical, philosophical or religious context. Her courses on Latin American fiction inspired a number of Plans involving languages and social history as well as literature.
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.