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Dr. Mahalia Gayle

Lakeside School of Seattle, WA


Mahalia Gayle graduated from the Lakeside School of Seattle, Washington.

Mahalia, is an independent scholar, teacher, and translator. Born in Seattle to Panamanian and Jamaican parents, she is a first-generation American. She attended Broadview-Thomson Middle School before her initiation to the independent institutions of University Preparatory Academy and Lakeside School. Although being a member of a minority group in these institutions required some initial adjustment, the intellectual stimulation she found there soon vanquished most feelings of being an outsider.

Her interest in French was sparked during a trip she took to Europe with the Seattle Girls Choir. She later earned a B.A. at Princeton University, after which she worked at the Elliott Bay Book Company for a time. Ever curious, she went on to earn an M.A. and Ph.D. at Harvard University in Romance Languages and Literatures. Today, she is a committed independent scholar who is at her desk early every morning. Among her many interests is the intersection of politeness, feminism and human rights, the politics of reading, and the relationship between language, identity, and authority.

A book to which she is a central contributor-- Rethinking Politeness with Henri Bergson—has just been published by Oxford University Press and another book she has translated from the French is forthcoming in September.

After teaching in various schools in Boston and New York, she has recently moved back to Seattle and is excited to learn firsthand what Seattle Academy is doing in the classroom and in the community.


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