50th Anniversary

C·2·1 is 5·0!

Founded in 1968 as the Center for 20th Century Studies, the Center for 21st Century Studies (C21) will be celebrating its 50th anniversary year in 2018-19.

Laure Anderson For Instants poster

Laurie Anderson

Today, as at its founding, C21 continues to nourish new forms of thinking in the humanities, arts, and social sciences. For half a century, the Center has been at the forefront of many of the major developments in the interdisciplinary humanities: contemporary art, literature, and music; film, television, and performance studies; feminist theory; modernism and postmodernism; age studies; aesthetics and visual studies; affect, feeling, and emotion studies; digital and new media studies; nonhumanism and posthumanism; ecocriticism, environmentalism, and the Anthropocene humanities.

Gayatri Spivak

Gayatri Spivak

The Center has brought in nationally and internationally recognized critics, writers, and artists for lectures, seminars, and workshops. In particular, the Center has become known over the years for its groundbreaking conferences, including six international film conferences in the 1970s and 1980s. The Center has been an important site as well for cultural studies and feminist theory, hosting such conferences as Post-Industrial Culture (1977), Mass Culture (1984), Feminist Studies: Reconstructing Knowledge (1985), Women & Aging: Bodies, Cultures, Generations (1996), In Terms of Gender (2007), and Anthropocene Feminism (2014).

Jacob's Room

Morton Subotnick (l) and Herbert Blau (r)

More recently, C21 has focused on political questions concerning nonhumans with conferences such as Representing Animals (2000), Debt (2010), The Nonhuman Turn (2012), Dark Side of the Digital (2013), and After Extinction (2015).

Through these international conferences, the Center has also fostered younger, lesser-known scholars at the beginning of their careers, helping to provide a crucible in which their work could be shared, tested, and improved.

Over the course of the 2018-19 academic year we will use this page to update you on our anniversary programming, which will include a symposium on the pasts, presents, and futures of the humanities. Stay tuned!