Antoinette Burton is a historian of 19th and 20th century Britain and its empire, with a speciality in colonial India and an ongoing interest in Australasia and Africa. She’s written on topics ranging from feminism and colonialism to the relationship of empire to the nation and the world. Women, gender and sexuality have always been central to her research, much of which has been concerned with the role of Indian women in the imperial and postcolonial imagination. She’s edited collections about politics, mobility, postcolonialism and empire and have frequently collaborated with Tony Ballantyne.
At Illinois she teaches courses on modern British history and imperialism, gender and colonialism, autobiography and the archive, approaches and methods and world history. She is currently working on a comprehensive study of empire on the ground in the 19th century.
Her most recent publications are Empires and the Reach of the Global (Harvard 2012) with Tony Ballantyne, The First Anglo-Afghan Wars: A Reader (Duke, 2014), An Illinois Sampler: Teaching and Research on the Prairie (Illinois, 2014) with Mary-Ann Winkelmes and Kyle Mays, and Ten Books That Shaped the British Empire: Creating an Imperial Commons (Duke, 2014) with Isabel Hofmeyr.
Nancy Castro began her appointment as IPRH Associate Director in spring 2012. She is also an Affiliated Assistant Professor in the Department of English. Dr. Castro came to IPRH from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement, where she was an Associate Director of Foundation Relations, aiding faculty and campus units with their private foundation grant-making and stewardship.
Dr. Castro came to Urbana-Champaign in the fall of 2001. She earned her B.A. in Comparative Literature from Brown University and received a Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University, from which she also holds M.A. and M.Phil. degrees. She has since served as an Assistant Professor of English, specializing in Caribbean and U.S. Literatures, at Baruch College, CUNY (1998-1999), and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2001-2009). She has published on the subject of the Caribbean novel and, in 2002-2003, was a fellow of the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities.
Dr. Castro has also worked in the consumer magazine industry in New York City. Prior to her arrival at Illinois, she was the Managing Editor of Worth Magazine, a finance and lifestyle magazine with a circulation of more than 500,000. She has also held editorial positions at Details Magazine at Condé Nast, and at Time Out New York.
Kelly is the Communications Coordinator for IPRH. Previously, Kelly worked for the Institute for Computing in Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (I-CHASS), the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, the Illini Union marketing department, and the digital marketing department of Wilton, Inc. She graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a BFA in New Media art and a minor in Informatics.
Client Relations and Special Projects Coordinator
Jennifer is the Client Relations and Special Projects Coordinator for IPRH. She brings over five years of event management experience and is happy to assist in planning your next event at the Levis Faculty Center. She is a graduate of Millikin University with a B.A. in Communication and a minor in English Writing.
Jason B.P. Mierek
Director of Operations, Humanities Without Walls
Jason joined IPRH in May 2014 as the Visiting Project Manager for the Humanities Without Walls consortium. He comes to IPRH from the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he served as Office Manager. He has been with the University of Illinois for almost a decade; before managing the office of Landscape Architecture, he provided staff and student support in the College of Fine and Applied Arts Undergraduate Academic Affairs Office and the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) Office of International Programs. He also taught world and Asian religions, in face-to-face and online contexts, at Parkland College from 2003–2013. Previously, he worked in various aspects of publishing, first as the Direct Sales Coordinator for the American office of Lonely Planet Publications, and later as Production Coordinator for Publication Services, Inc.
Jason received his B.A. in religion and bio-social studies from Illinois Wesleyan University and earned his M.A. in Buddhist studies from The Naropa Institute. When he isn’t working with IPRH, he may be found reading a variety of books, puttering in his garden, brewing hoppy beer, composing surreal collages, rolling 20-sided dice around a gaming table, singing with his work-in-progress band, and relaxing at home with his wife and daughter.
Training in Digital Methods for Humanists Project Manager
Carolyn A. Randolph joined IPRH as Project Manager for the Training in Digital Methods for Humanists Program in spring 2018.
Dr. Randolph earned a B.A. in English and a B.A. in Communication and Culture from Indiana University and received her Ph.D. in Communications and Media Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has served as an Instructor in the College of Media at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, teaching courses in Sex and Gender in Popular Media and Popular Culture (2008-2015). She also facilitated faculty development workshops for Urbana School District #116, specializing in critical media literacy and culturally competent classroom practices (2015-2018). She has published on the subject of mediated representations of HIV-positive black women in traditional and digital media.
Dr. Randolph presently is the founder and principal investigator for the Champaign County Racial Justice Data Portal, a digital database that interrogates racial inequities in the local criminal justice system. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center and is a former member of the Champaign County Racial Justice Task Force (2015-2017).
IPRH Office Support Specialist
Stephanie Uebelhoer joined IPRH staff in August 2001 and currently holds the position of Office Support Specialist. She is a graduate of Illinois State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in English.
Jenna Zieman joined IPRH as a Grants Specialist in April, 2017. She has worked in research administration for approximately 8 years, at both Northwestern University and the University of Illinois. Jenna holds a BS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MSW and MSI from the University of Michigan.
Odyssey Project Director
Samuel Byndom joined the IPRH in 2012. He also served as the Director of Urbana Adult Education Center expanding educational opportunities for students and families throughout the C-U community. Before his career in education, he was a member of the U.S. Army. As a combat veteran he received numerous awards for his meritorious service during his career. Dr. Byndom holds a PhD. in Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership with a specialization in the History of Education form U of I. He also earned a MA Education from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, a MA in Transnational History from the University of Missouri St. Louis, and a BA in U.S. History from Millikin University in Decatur, IL. Dr. Byndom has taught U.S. history at both the secondary and post-secondary levels. As a researcher and scholar he has been published in several journals as well as presented at national conferences. He is a member of the History of Education Society, National Council of Black Studies, and Organization of American Historians. Dr. Byndom is also an editor for the journal of Higher Education Studies.
Our Advancement Officer is Tony Pomonis (English ’02). Tony expanded the local chain of MerryAnn’s Diners from one location to four, and he offers his own experience as proof that a humanities degree equips you with the skills needed for career success. You can reach out to him as well (217-300- 3470 or email@example.com). Tony will be traveling the country regularly and may be in your neighborhood soon!