Antoinette Burton

CAS Professor of History

Burton portraitAntoinette Burton is a professor of history and holder of the Maybelle Leland Swanlund endowed chair at Illinois. She is a feminist historian of the modern British empire, with a specialty in colonial India. Her research has focused on diasporic Indian women; race and sexuality mobility; postcolonialism and world history; and Victorian imperial culture. Her book, Gender History: A Very Short Introduction, is forthcoming from Oxford University Press in 2024. Among her publications are The Trouble with Empire: Challenges to Modern British Imperialism (Oxford 2015); with Dane Kennedy, How Empire Shaped Us (Bloomsbury 2016); An ABC of Queen Victoria’s Empire (Bloomsbury 2017); and, with Renisa Mawani, Animalia: An Anti-Imperial Bestiary for Our Times (Duke, 2020). She has frequently collaborated with Tony Ballantyne in projects that engage the intersection of colonial and global history, most recently in their edited collection, World Histories from Below (2nd edition, 2022). She was co-editor of the Journal of Women’s History from 2004-2010 and chair of History@Illinois from 2005-2010. She is the recipient of research awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. She is the editor of the Duke University Press series, Primers for Teaching History, and of the six-volume Cultural History of Western Empires (Bloomsbury, 2019). She has served the American Historical Association in several capacities, including as program chair for the 2018 annual meeting. She has been the director of the Humanities Research Institute since 2015 and she is the Principal Investigator of several grants from the Mellon Foundation, including a 16-partner collaborative consortium, “Humanities without Walls." She is a former University of Illinois System Presidential Fellow; she serves as chair of the faculty board of the University of Illinois Press; and she sits on the board of directors of Illinois Humanities. Her current work is on the animal worlds and biocultural habitats of the British empire.

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