In an October 26, 2023 Chicago Tribune op-ed, Antoinette Burton F’93, director of the Humanities Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, writes “The humanities is not at a crossroads, but is flourishing beyond traditional classrooms.” In her article, she points toward the success of interdisciplinary programs and community-engaged humanities, including ACLS grants for publicly engaged work.

Recent ACLS programs supporting publicly-engaged work include the ACLS Sustaining Public Engagement Grants, supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, Mellon/ACLS Scholars and Society Fellowships, and The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Buddhism Public Scholars.

The humanities is not at a crossroads — it is the crossroads. We’re standing at the intersection of the campus and the community, and that’s where we are already doing some of our best, most consequential work. Antoinette Burton F’93

Antoinette Burton is a feminist historian of 19th and 20th century Britain and its empire whose work has tried to bring history from below into the discipline’s broader field of vision. Her academic training and her expertise in anti-imperial history shape her daily engagements with institutional culture and power. A former head of History at Illinois (2005-2010), she became the Director of the Humanities Research Institute in 2015.

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Chicago Tribune

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