“Where Was Jim Crow? Living in Wright’s America.”

Thu, Sep 28    7pm
Dianne Harris is Dean of the College of Humanities at the University of Utah, where she is also a Professor in the History Department. She holds a PhD in Architectural History from the University of California, Berkeley. Her scholarship, which has a broad temporal and geographic reach spanning from 18th-century Lombardy to the postwar United States, is united by a constant interest in the relationship between the built environment and the construction of racial and class identities. She is particularly well-known for her scholarly contributions to the study of “race and space.” Focusing on the visual, the material, and the spatial, her work consistently seeks answers to questions about the ways representations, objects, and built forms (cities, buildings, landscapes) contribute to the formation of social and cultural histories. In addition to her numerous scholarly articles, her award-winning publications include the co-edited volumes Villas and Gardens in Early Modern Italy and France (Cambridge University Press, 2001), and Sites Unseen: Landscape and Vision (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2007). She is editor of a multidisciplinary volume on the Pennsylvania Levittown titled Second Suburb: Levittown, Pennsylvania (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2010). She is the author of The Nature of Authority: Villa Culture, Landscape, and Representation in Eighteenth-Century Lombardy (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2003), and Maybeck’s Landscapes: Drawing in Nature (William Stout Publisher, 2005). Her most recent book, Little White Houses: How the Postwar Home Constructed Race in America, was published by the University of Minnesota Press in 2013. Dean Harris is a past-president for the Society of Architectural Historians, for whom she also served as Editor-In-Chief for a major, Mellon Foundation-funded digital humanities initiative called SAHARA. She is editor for the University of Pittsburgh Press’s “Culture, Politics, and the Built Environment” series. Harris served on the Advisory Board for the Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture at Columbia University from 2009-2012, and as Chair of the Board from 2012-2015. She is also the recipient of a 2006 Iris Foundation Award from the Bard Graduate Center, New York, for outstanding scholarly contributions in the history of art, decorative arts, and cultural history. She has also been the Principal Investigator for several large grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, including a $3 million grant to create the “Humanities Without Walls,” a consortium of humanities centers at 15 research-extensive universities throughout the Midwest and beyond—an unprecedented experiment in cross-institutional collaboration in the humanities and arts. Dean Harris currently serves on the boards of the National Humanities Alliance, and the Utah Humanities Council. In 2016 she was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve on the National Council on the Humanities. Starting November 1st, she will begin in a new position, serving as a Senior Program Officer at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.