Keith Harris holds a Ph.D. from Purdue University and is currently a postdoctoral fellow with the Center for the Study of American Democracy at Kenyon.

Harris's research examines the political conflicts over trade policy in the early American republic, focusing especially on the debates between free trade advocates and protectionists in the trans-Appalachian West. He uses debates over trade and tariffs as a window into early American's evolving understanding of the relationship between markets, governmental authority, and the role of the state in promoting economic development. This research illuminates how rapid changes in the American economy throughout the nineteenth century shaped changing conceptions of markets and governance, which motivated political movements and informed policy debates.

Areas of Expertise

Early American Republic, History of Capitalism, Political Economy

Courses Recently Taught

This seminar examines the evolution of capitalism in North America from a historical and comparative perspective. It covers the period from about 1700 to 2010, centers on the U.S., and is especially concerned with economic development across the continent. This counts toward the modern and Europe/Americas requirements for the major. No prerequisite. Sophomore standing. Offered every other year.

This seminar looks at the formation of the American republic, the prerevolutionary causes of the conflict, the revolution itself, the establishment of a new nation, and the writing and ratification of the federal Constitution. The course focuses on political and constitutional issues but also addresses social change, Native Americans, women and slavery. This counts toward the premodern and Europe/Americas requirements for the major. No prerequisite. Sophomore standing.