Concordia University

Rachel Harris

Rachel Harris

PhD Student - Art History

Thesis Title

The Life and Death of The Fairy Tale Book: The Romanticisation of Childhood From Historic Children's Book to Contemporary Artists' Book


Dr. Johanne Sloan

Research Interests
  • Fairy Tales
  • Historic Picture Books
  • Artists' Books
  • Contemporary Art
  • Childhood and Adulthood


Rachel Harris is a PhD student in the Interuniversity Doctoral Program in Art History at Concordia University. With a focus on the Victorian era, her research traces the visual evolution of fairy tales from the Enlightenment to present. Her thesis is concerned with the romanticization of childhood, adulthood malaise, and the current status of picture books. This includes rare books, digitized books, artists’ books and sculptural books.

In 2007 Harris received a BA in Art History and Classics from Bishop’s University, where she organized student-run curatorial projects and festivals. Her SSHRC funded MA in Art History at York University traced the inukshuk in Canadian and Inuit visual culture. It was significant that this research on Indigenous cultural appropriation and Canadian multiculturalism took place in the months leading up to the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. During her time in Toronto and Berlin, Harris co-founded and developed the programming for a curatorial collective. Over the course of her PhD, Harris has worked with student-artists to curate on the theme of childhood, and on the death of books. A 2014 thesis-related research trip to rare book libraries and archives in the UK has invigorated her interest in the future of book curation.

Teaching – Undergraduate Courses
  • ARTH 263 Aspects of the History of Print: Remembering the Imprint of the Illustrated Children's Book
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