History

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Antoinette Burton
Antoinette Burton

The Humanities Research Institute (HRI) was established in 1997 to promote interdisciplinary study in the humanities, arts, and social sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Originally called the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities, HRI was initially part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. HRI now resides within the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation.

In that time, HRI has hosted conferences; organized panel discussions, lectures, and other events; awarded event grants, research prizes, and fellowships; supported reading groups and public humanities outreach groups such as the Odyssey Project and the Education Justice Project; and co-sponsored numerous events involving a wide range of campus units and departments. In the past, HRI has also run art exhibits and film series, as well as organized Curtain Call discussions following performances at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, gallery tours and conversations at the Krannert Art Museum, and performances by artists from the University of Illinois and elsewhere.

Antoinette Burton is the current HRI Director. She follows in the footsteps of Dianne Harris (2007–2015), Matti Bunzl (2003–2007), Suvir Kaul (2001–2002) and Michael Bérubé (1997–2001).

Learn more about HRI’s past campus fellows, past post-doctoral fellows, event grant winners, and research prize winners. You can also view a list, including links to videos and podcasts when available, of past events at our event archive.

View the 2015 Interdisciplinary Working Group for the Humanities Report (PDF) and the 2018 Humanities Task Force Report (PDF).

Past Directors

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Dianne Harris
Dianne Harris
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Matti Bunzl
Matti Bunzl
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kaul suvir
Suvir Kaul
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Michael Bérubé
Michael Bérubé