Current Research Clusters

Research Clusters are groups of faculty and graduate students from the University of Illinois campus who work together to explore particular questions or subjects in the humanities and arts.

The following are the Research Clusters that have received funding from HRI for the 2023–24 academic year.

Black People and the Invention of the Universe


  • Courtney Becks (University Library)
  • Nekita Thomas (Graphic Design, Art and Design)
  • Alexandra Barbier (Dance)
  • Reiko Huffman (Scenic Design, Theatre)

Critical Cybernetics


  • Brian Jefferson (Geography)
  • Bethany Anderson (University Archives)
  • Kevin Hamilton (School of Art and Design, College of Fine and Applied Arts)
  • Charles Roseman (Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior/Anthropology)
  • Lou Turner (Urban and Regional Planning)

Environmental Humanities


  • John Levi Barnard (Comparative and World Literature)
  • Pollyanna Rhee (Landscape Architecture)

Latin American and Caribbean Cities Collective


  • Nikolai A. Alvarado (Geography and Geographic Information Systems)
  • Magdalena Novoa E. (Urban and Regional Planning)

Native American History Research Cluster


  • Jacki Thompson Rand (American Indian Studies)
  • David R.M. Beck (History)


See past research clusters.