Every year, Blue Mountain College recognizes the excellence of one of it’s faculty members teaching in a humanities subject (language, literature, history, philosophy, religion, etc.) On March 18, Dr. Galliher became the proud recipient of this year’s 2019 Humanities Teacher Award. She is pictured here with Dr. Enzor before the event began.
As part of the award ceremony, Dr. Galliher presented a paper which demonstrated her command of and passion for her subject area, which are both earmarks of a superior educator. Her paper, titled “…” explored the similarities between the well known novel The Scarlett Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and the comparatively unheard of novel Hagar: a Story of To-day” by Alice Cary.
Both of these novels tell the story of young women who are seduced by ministers and subsequently abandoned. The difference is that in The Scarlett Letter, written by a male author, Dimmesdale is made into an empathetic character through the intensity of his suffering, which even rivals that of Hester. In Hagar, the minister is portrayed much more harshly. He is a demonic figure who abandons Elsie (who would later rename herself Hagar, after the concubine of Abraham) not once, but twice, the second time directly after he has murdered the infant daughter she had just born him.
Dr. Galliher contrasts the attitudes of these two novels not to levy any criticism against The Scarlett Letter, but to show that the criticisms against Hagar are unfounded and the rejection of the novel from many anthologies and classrooms can be more accurately attributed to gender bias.
Throughout the presentation, Dr. Galliher displayed the same enthusiasm and love for sharing knowledge that she shows in the classroom. Congratulations are in order, so if you have a class with her, let her know you appreciate her!