Marta Sutton Weeks Distinguished Visitor
Neil Harris is Preston and Sterling Morton Professor of History at the University of Chicago. He is an intrepid interdisciplinarian, a boundary crosser who was certainly years (if not decades) ahead of today's academic fashion for moving across departmental lines. He has conducted forays into little-studied areas of American culture, his range being deep and wide. In the arts, he has written extensively about art collectors and collecting, about museum practices both yesterday and today, about design, and about such rich but little-studied artifacts as postcards of cities at the turn of the century or illustrations of technologies in children's books. In his search to understand more about mass entertainments and consumer issues he has offered a variety of essays on world's fairs, on department stores, and most recently on theme parks.