Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) past-president Dianne Harris will discuss her Graham-funded book, Little White Houses: How the Postwar Home Constructed Race in America (University of Minnesota Press, 2012), during a free lecture at the Graham Foundation on Thursday, October 17, at 6 p.m. In this lecture, Harris will examine textual and visual representations, as well as postwar houses and material culture to uncover the production of an extraordinarily powerful iconographic and cultural field that repeatedly equated ordinary, single-family houses with middle-class and white identities to the exclusion of others, creating an invidious cultural iconography that continues to resonate today. A reception and book signing will follow the lecture. Presented by SAH in partnership with the Graham Foundation.
Dianne Harris is director of the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities (IPRH) and professor of landscape architecture, architecture, art history and history at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. In addition to her tenure as president of SAH, Harris served as editor-in-chief for SAHARA, a digital image archive funded by the Mellon Foundation and developed by SAH in collaboration with ARTstor. Her research focuses on the relationship between the built environment and the construction of racial and class identities. Focusing on the visual, the material and the spatial, her work consistently seeks answers to questions about the ways representations, objects and the built environment shape social and cultural history. Harris holds a Ph.D. in architectural history from the University of California, Berkeley.