Individual Page

1. Text:   University of Rochester News, 03/14/2001 (
2. Text:   University of Rochester News, 03/14/2001 (
3. Text:   Who's Who in America, 1976-77. Marquis.; Zorach, Margaret (Peggy) Harris

a. Note:   N50
  March 14, 2001
  Memorial service set for professor emeritus Alfred Harris
  Alfred Harris, professor emeritus of anthropology at the University ofRochester, died Feb. 14 in Rochester after a three-year illness. Amemorial service will be held at 2:30 p.m. Friday, March 23, in the University'sInterfaith Chapel.
  Born July 26, 1919, in Abington, Pa., Harris grew up in Wyncote, anothersuburb of Philadelphia, and graduated from Oak Lane Country Day School. His childhood and teenage summers were spent with relatives in Bushkill,Pa., where he prowled the plowed fields for arrowheads and other Native American artifacts.
  Harris attended the University of Chicago, receiving a bachelor's degreein 1941 and a master's degree in 1952. During World War II, he taught inthe Civil Affairs Training School at the University of Chicago, whichprepared military officers for the planned occupation of Japan. Hisspecialty was photogrammatry-the making of maps from photographs.
  In 1948, he married Grace Gredys, a fellow graduate student. While there,they met British anthropologist Meyer Fortes and followed him to Oxford University in 1949. From 1950 to 1952, the couple did field work amongthe Taita in southern Kenya. They returned to Cambridge University, where Fortes had moved, to work on their doctoral dissertations. But a seriousundiagnosed illness forced Alfred Harris to return to the United States.
  Having recuperated with the support of his wife, he took a position atSmith College in 1957, where he was able to complete his thesis, "WataitaToday: Some Aspects of Modern Conditions Among a Hill People of Kenya," andreceive his doctorate from Cambridge in 1958. After three years at Smith College and a year at Brandeis University, he went to the University ofRochester; he remained at Rochester for the rest of his career. He waspromoted to professor in 1973.
  In 1959, Rochester reorganized its small department of sociology andanthropology as the Department of Anthropology and Sociology under the leadership of its newly hired chair, Bernard Cohn. Anthropologysubsequently became a separate department and, aided by a series ofNational Science Foundation faculty self-study seminars in which Alfred and Grace Harrisplayed key roles, launched a new Ph.D. program in 1963.
  This became an outstanding program with a number of graduates going on to important positions-many of whom worked under Alfred Harris' supervision.A 1978 New York Department of Education evaluation of graduate programs in anthropology in the state ranked the program third of 11-allof the others being larger and older.
  His most visible contribution to the discipline was his editorship of theLewis Henry Morgan Lectures, inaugurated by Meyer Fortes at theUniversity of Rochester in 1963. Until his retirement in 1990, he organized thelectures and edited 16 resulting books, many of them now classics, bysuch authors as Victor Turner, Ward Goodenough and Fred Eggan.
  He served as chair of the department from 1964 to 1971. He taught avariety of undergraduate and graduate courses ranging from Peoples ofAfrica, Ecology and Society, Systems of Kinship and Descent, as well as variousgraduate seminars. His special interest was in land use and land tenure in relation to geopolitical features.
  Besides his wife, Grace, who is professor emeritus of anthropology andalso a key member of the department, he is survived by a brother, Brittonof Philadelphia; and a sister, Margaret Zorach of Maine, and many nieces andnephews.
  Contributions in his memory may be sent to Planned Parenthood, 114University Ave., Rochester, NY 14605, or Amnesty International USA, 322Eighth Ave., New York, NY 10001. is NOT responsible for the content of the GEDCOMs uploaded through the WorldConnect Program. The creator of each GEDCOM is solely responsible for its content.