Ms. Harnett brings literary experience and passion to the English department

Ms. Emily Harnett – photo by Mr. Thomas Stambaugh

Ms. Emily Harnett joins the English Department to teach English II and III along with advising The Index

     Before joining Haverford, Ms. Harnett, who holds a bachelor’s degree from Penn and a masters from Yale, was a ninth and twelfth grade English teacher at Friends Central. 

     “I’m from the Philadelphia area and love living where I do in West Philly, so I wanted to continue teaching at a great school in this area,” Ms. Harnett said. “I know Haverford has great academics, and an amazing student newspaper and literary magazine, so I was excited to be offered a position at a school with a strong extracurricular literary culture.”

“The students I met during my interview were all amazingly smart and fun to talk to.”

Ms. Emily Harnett

     Starting off her new journey at Haverford, Ms. Harnett is most excited to “meet the new kids, of course — the students I met during my interview were all amazingly smart and fun to talk to, and I’m sure the rest of the student body is just as great.”

     Ms. Harnett’s passion for teaching is expansive, as she contributed to a revolutionary online English course called ModPo, or Modern and Contemporary Poetry, offered by Penn’s Kelly Writers House, as a teaching assistant for eight years. In this role, she helped expand the horizons of online learning in the humanities. English Department Chair Mr. Tom Stambaugh explained that before ModPo, many educators thought that this style of learning would not be possible in the field, especially for areas like poetry. 

     Ms. Harnett’s literary experience and passion extends beyond teaching. In May of this year, Ms. Harnett wrote an article for The New Yorker about Doris Lessing’s 1988 novel The Fifth Child. Her combined experience of writing for a renowned magazine and analyzing literature at a high level should add to Haverford’s literary community.

     Her favorite novel is Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. She believes that every line has a philosophical meaning, and that while the author had none of the same concerns or cares as many of his readers, there is still a deep connection with them.

     “Ms. Harnett brings to our department a passion for literature and an impressive academic background,” Mr. Stambaugh said. “Early on, we hope that she can help complement our current curricula with some contemporary poetry, one of her many areas of expertise. We find her early in a promising teaching career, so we hope she finds Haverford a happy intellectual home.”

Author: Agustin Aliaga '21

Editor-in-Chief Agustin Aliaga has written for The Index since 2018. He previously served as Managing Editor and the paper’s first Academics Editor.