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  • Today's catastrophic concerns shaped by past interactions between science, culture

    A global pandemic, wildfires and hurricanes have made 2020 a year of catastrophes. David Sepkoski’s new book “Catastrophic Thinking” looks at how current-day concerns about threats to both the planet and the human race came to be. Sepkoski is a history professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, specializing in the history of science.

  • Corporations directing our attention online more than we realize

    We don’t have the control we think we do in browsing the internet. Our notion of empowerment to see and find what we choose is “an illusion,” say the authors of a study – including Illinois media professor Harsh Taneja – that analyzed browsing data on a million people over one month of internet use. Corporations are “nudging” the flow of our online attention more than we realize, and often in ways that are hidden or beyond our control.

  • Rare Book and Manuscript Library event explores history of witchcraft

    An Oct. 29 webinar that has drawn a huge response will explore the Rare Book and Manuscript Library’s collection with many materials related to European witchcraft, including an account of the 1612 Lancashire witch trials in England.

  • Illinois professor part of Latino baseball project and book for Smithsonian

    Baseball is as central to Latino culture as it is to the broader American culture, and Adrian Burgos Jr. helps document that history as a co-author of a book for the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Burgos is a history professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign who specializes in the history of sports, in particular the role of Latinos and African Americans in baseball.

  • Today's immigration policies rooted in long history, author says

    No matter how one feels about current U.S. immigration policies, they did not come out of the blue but are based in a long history, says A. Naomi Paik, an Asian American studies professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She lays out aspects of that history in a new book.

  • Illinois professor's stories address race, complicated family relationships

    Illinois English professor David Wright’s short story about a boy confronting his paternity and his future beyond slavery is featured in The New Yorker.

  • Illinois archivist's prize-winning essay reveals Jewish origins of Viennese cuisine

    University of Illinois archivist Susanne Belovari won the 2020 Sophie Coe Prize for her work on the forgotten history of Viennese cuisine.

  • Have we gone too far trashing politics?

    We’ve gone too far in trashing politics, no matter how much the campaign season may prompt us to do so, says Ned O’Gorman, a communication professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Politics is a good thing, but our views of politics have become “twisted.” His recent book “Politics for Everybody” argues for “authentic politics” that focus on different people getting along and working things out, not winner-take-all.

  • Illinois professor uses LGBTQ voices in Beirut to understand daily violence, disruption

    Ghassan Moussawi, a professor of gender and women’s studies and of sociology, examines the daily survival strategies of Beirut’s LGBTQ residents in his new book “Disruptive Situations: Fractal Orientalism and Queer Strategies in Beirut.”

  • What’s different about recent athlete protests?

    In the history of protest in sports, the recent strikes by professional athletes in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, are unprecedented, says Adrian Burgos Jr., a professor of history at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign who specializes in the history of sports. The resumption of pro sports during a pandemic has made the players’ platform even more prominent, he says, and some have used it to try to communicate their lived reality beyond their role as athletes.

  • Why is the NFL team in Washington, D.C., changing its name?

    The NFL team in the nation’s capital will no longer be the Redskins. It’s the highest-profile retirement of an American Indian name by a sports team in decades, says Jay Rosenstein, an Illinois professor of media and cinema studies. His documentary on the use of American Indian mascots in sports aired in 1997 and he has closely followed the issue since.

  • Two Illinois communication scholars elected ICA Fellows

    Leanne Knobloch and Angharad Valdivia, both professors at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, have been elected Fellows of the International Communication Association, in recognition of distinguished scholarly contributions to the broad field of communication. Two other Illinois faculty members received the same honor last year.

  • Why are familiar brands with Black images getting a rethink?

    At least one familiar brand is being retired and others are getting a rethink due to their use of Black images. Illinois advertising professor Jason Chambers explains why.

  • Illinois professor proposes guide for developing common data science approaches

    University of Illinois information sciences professor Victoria Stodden proposes a way to develop recognized data science processes for research.

  • How will public spaces change as result of the COVID-19 pandemic?

    Pandemics have changed our physical spaces throughout history, but changes made as a result of COVID-19 may not be long-lasting, says Illinois architecture professor Benjamin Bross.

  • Why the calls for defunding police?

    Calls for defunding or even abolishing the police in the wake of George Floyd’s death may sound radical to many, but the idea is not new, says A. Naomi Paik, a professor of Asian American studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

  • Humanities research program elevated to institute status

    The Humanities Research Institute – previously known as the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities – is now one of nine campuswide interdisciplinary research institutes at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

  • Will movie theaters survive COVID-19?

    Summer is normally a season for blockbusters, but movie theaters will have special challenges this year, starting with a gamble on a few July releases. Derek Long, a professor of media and cinema studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, looks at the present and future of the business.

  • New book shows how ancient Greek writing helps us understand today’s environmental crises

    University of Illinois classics professor Clara Bosak-Schroeder writes about how the ancient Greeks thought about natural resources.

  • What's new with the plague? More than you might think

    Pandemics of the past are getting new attention, among them the plague of the 14th century. Known as the Black Death, it was medieval, European, bubonic and spread by rats – at least that’s what most of us think. Much of that needs adjustment, however, in large part due to discoveries of the past decade, says Carol Symes, a professor of medieval history at Illinois.

  • Illinois professor examines storytelling artistry of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    Illinois professor of Slavic languages and literatures Richard Tempest has written a new book about the literary artistry of Russian novelist and historian Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

  • What drives us to blame the marginalized for epidemics?

    There’s a long history of scapegoating marginalized people in epidemics, and of seeing difference in the way those of different races respond to disease, says Rana Hogarth, a U. of I. professor who studies the history of both medicine and race, and the connections between.

  • Two Illinois professors named Guggenheim Fellows

    Illinois professors Janice N. Harrington, English, and David Sepkoski, history, received 2020 Guggenheim Foundation Fellowships.

  • Survey of US academic libraries documents COVID-19 pandemic responses

    An online survey is tracking the responses of academic libraries to the COVID-19 pandemic and providing data on their actions in real time.

  • What do Russians hope to gain from U.S. elections interference?

    Russia is trying to sow disruption and division around the U.S. presidential election in order to promote its own geopolitical interests.

  • Author makes case for politics to those who've lost faith

    It may seem incredible in an age of polarized division, but Ned O’Gorman is making a positive case for politics for those who’ve lost faith. The communication professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign argues in “Politics for Everybody” that politics is a necessity, not an option – and we know from everyday experience how to do it better, in ways not fundamentally “us versus them.”

  • New book tells of early Antarctic explorations, continent's connection to climate

    A new book illustrates the environmental history of Antarctica through stories of 19th-century expeditions.

  • Yearlong series brings prominent authors to campus

    A U.S. poet laureate, best-selling authors and Pulitzer Prize winners are among the writers coming to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for “A Year of Creative Writers.”

  • Book examines dangers of reading for young men in late 19th-century France

    Excessive reading by young men was seen as a cause of declining virility and of the perceived national decline in fin-de-siècle France.

  • Immigration justice talk part of CAS Abolition Initiative

    Activist organizers will talk about their work opposing detentions, deportations and criminalization of immigrant communities in a panel discussion. It is part of the Center for Advanced Study’s Abolition Initiative.

  • Book examines pope’s environmental encyclical, how religion can address climate change

    Robert McKim, a professor emeritus of religion, edited a book of essays examining the issues raised by Pope Francis’ environmental encyclical calling for protection of Earth and its environment.

  • Are there alternatives to declining, disappearing newspapers?

    As many newspapers decline and disappear – highlighted by two Chicago Tribune reporters recently sounding the alarm about a perceived threat to the Trib – a journalism professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign touts the growth and viability of nonprofits and other alternatives.

  • Targeted ads are coming to mainstream media. Should we care?

    Targeted advertising is coming to mainstream media, says an Illinois professor of digital media, bringing concerns about equality, division and “total surveillance.”

  • Illinois professor emerita, former professor awarded NEA translation fellowships

    Elizabeth Lowe, the founding director of the University of Illinois’ Center for Translation Studies, and Armine Kotin Mortimer, a professor emerita of French literature, will translate works that are not available in English.

  • Book chronicles history of gender-neutral pronouns, from Shakespeare to email

    Dennis Baron (he/him/his), a University of Illinois professor emeritus of English, writes about the history of pronoun use and how we adapt the language to fit our circumstances.

  • Illinois music professor awarded NEH Fellowship

    Music professor Christina Bashford was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for a project examining violin culture in Britain.

  • Book looks at how landscape design helps solve water issues

    Landscape design research can help solve environmental problems related to water systems.

  • Classics course uses Greek tragedies to provide war insights

    A new course in classics uses Greek tragedies to study issues of war, trauma and displacement.

  • Hittite class offers glimpse of Bronze Age language, technology

    Illinois students in a Hittite class learn to write the ancient language in clay using cuneiform symbols.

  • What explains the persistence of Hong Kong protest?

    Hong Kong’s nearly four-month protest is only the latest in a series, all centered on concerns about retaining freedoms and gaining the right to choose the city’s leadership, says University of Illinois history professor Poshek Fu, a Hong Kong native and specialist on modern China. The current protest movement is notable, however, for its social media-driven, guerrillalike tactics, its longevity and the international attention it has received.

  • Ebert Symposium to feature film director Gregory Nava

    Gregory Nava, director of Latino films such as “El Norte,” “My Family” and “Selena,” will discuss his career and challenges, as well as diversity in the movie industry, as part of the Chaz and Roger Ebert Symposium coming Sept. 27 to the University of Illinois.

  • Ebert Symposium to focus on inclusion in movies and media

    This year’s Ebert Symposium will focus on inclusion and diversity in the media industry, with a keynote address provided by Stacy Smith, director of the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, a global think tank studying inequality in entertainment.

  • Germany transformed under Nazis in 100 days. Do we understand why?

    With world leaders gathering Sept. 1 to mark the 80th anniversary of the start of World War II in Europe, U. of I. history professor Peter Fritzsche describes how Germans came to embrace Nazi rule, especially in Hitler’s first 100 days.

  • Responses to terrorism require reasoning, not outrage, says a writer of its history

    Responding to terrorists requires reasoning rather than outrage, said an Illinois historian who has written a new book on terrorism and its history.

  • Rare Book and Manuscript Library exhibit to feature typewriters used by Hefner, Ebert, Sandburg

    A Rare Book and Manuscript Library exhibit will showcase typewriters used by Hugh Hefner, Roger Ebert, Carl Sandburg and James Jones.

  • What happened at Stonewall 50 years ago? And why did it matter?

    An Illinois historian describes how everything changed for those involved in the Stonewall riots 50 years ago, and the event’s place in the history of gay rights.

  • Digital publishing projects examine Jay-Z's music, Edward P. Jones' fiction

    Analyses of Jay-Z’s music and Edward P. Jones’ fiction are among the first projects of Publishing Without Walls, a University of Illinois digital publishing initiative for humanities scholars.

  • Professor’s history of Coca-Cola also tells larger story of globalization

    Coca-Cola’s history is one of innovation in image-making, outsourcing and other now-common practices of global capitalism – and of adapting to challenges from activists and movements resisting its practices, says an Illinois professor in a new book.

  • IPRH bringing poet Claudia Rankine to campus for reading

    Award-winning poet Claudia Rankine will visit the University of Illinois this week to give a reading and meet with students.

  • What was lost in the Notre Dame Cathedral fire?

    Notre Dame Cathedral, severely damaged by fire this week, is widely understood as “the beating heart of France,” with global significance beyond that, says one University of Illinois historian in a Q&A. Another notes how a key aspect of music as we know it today was invented for the cathedral’s unique resonant space, a soundscape lost in the fire.