fbpx Ellen M. Wolff | Phillips Exeter Academy

Ellen M. Wolff

Instructor in English
Dean of Faculty
Thomas S. and Elinor B. Lamont Professor of English
Appointed
1995
Ellen M. Wolff

"I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you — Nobody — Too?
Then there’s a pair of us?
Don’t tell! they’d advertise — you know!"
—Emily Dickinson

Education

B.A. Colgate University

M.A. University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

Ph.D. Brandeis University

Biography

Born in New Jersey, Ms. Wolff grew up just north of New York City and attended public schools in Suffern, New York. She spent summer vacations at the Jersey Shore and on Cape Ann, Massachusetts. She’s worked as a concession stand manager, a paralegal, a welder, a waitress, an advertising manager, a cashier and a clerk. She holds degrees from Colgate University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Brandeis University. Her academic specialties are literary modernism and Irish literature, which she taught years ago at Boston College and Holy Cross.

Ms. Wolff began teaching at Exeter in 1995. She’s lived in Wheelwright Hall and Dunbar Hall, where she was dorm head. She’s offered senior electives (Modern Irish Writers, Post-colonial Literatures in English, Graphic Narrative/Literary Comics) and a Senior Studies course called What Is Education For? She’s participated in faculty study tours to Korea, Japan and India, and has taught at School Year Abroad (Spain). She’s served on many school committees and advised many student clubs.

Ms. Wolff continues to pursue her interest in Irish studies, turning her dissertation into a book (An Anarchy in the Mind and in the Heart: Narrating Anglo-Ireland) and giving presentations on Irish literature in Ireland and in the United States; her most recent trip to Ireland took her to the Samuel Beckett Summer School at Trinity College, Dublin.

She’s taken art history courses at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and has begun exploring the archives at the Cape Ann Museum. She’s a longtime fan of choreographer Mark Morris. Her favorite place to swim is an old spring-fed granite quarry in Rockport, Massachusetts. She likes walking at Little Boar’s Head and planting things in her garden; if they grow, that’s fine, too.