FM's Premiere Office Dialogue

Two professors judge each other by their offices

Sarah P. Law

Office of Joseph C. Harris

William R. Allan, Assistant Professor of the Classics


Joseph C. Harris, Francis Lee Higginson Professor of

English Literature and Professor of Folklore

Harris on Allan


Office decoration philosophy: I conclude that this person, female, has exquisite taste and a rigorous and logical sense of order. Her first rule is clarity; second, no clutter; third, despite rules one and two, the order established must not be bloodless or inhumane; fourth, you must make do with Harvard-issue standard materials (lamp, i-book, other desk furnishings) so that the challenge is to make rules 1-3 operate even under the circumstances of rule 4.

Hometown: Perugia or Milano.

Department: Classics, no cross-appointment.

Tenure? Not yet, but it is to be hoped.

Alma Mater: If American, perhaps Swarthmore or maybe Oberlin (but my intuition is still Italian).

Lecturing style: Impassioned.

Grading Style: No clutter in grading either. Simple integers: A,B,C.

Grade Inflation—reality or myth? Economical.

Favorite building to teach in: Boylston.

Published books: One, in press.