Since 1968, the Center for 21st Century Studies (C21) has worked to build a community of scholars to address the most pressing issues of our time.  Through collaboration and individual reflection, C21 fosters innovative research at the intersection of the humanities, arts and sciences, supporting emerging and established scholars, publishing new research, and hosting conferences, lectures and other events.

For the next three years, C21 will explore the following three themes, infusing them into programming, fellowships, collaboratories etc.

Well – invoking concepts of health & well-being in an age of myriad public and climate health concerns and crises– as well as salutations in a pandemic era “I hope this finds you…”

Trust – invoking challenges of working across difference in education, research, and policy in an age replete with partisanship and tribalism, fueled by media, social and otherwise. Trust might also apply to the matter and practice of environmental sustainability.

Duty – invoking considerations of what people owe each other, their communities, their country and government. And in turn, as the twin to freedom, what duties and responsibilities their government / country and communities have to them. Duty might also, like Trust, invite explorations of ecological and geological stewardship.


Conferences, Lectures, and Events

C21 annual programming includes a full slate of lectures and events across the humanities and social sciences.  Events are always free and open to the public.


A UW System Center of Excellence, C21 builds a community of scholars to address the pressing issues of our time.  Each year, C21 offers fellowships that provide the time, space, and collegial support to generate new knowledge and ideas. C21 centers the humanities in its belief that innovation comes from diversity of opinions, disciplines, and experiences.


Through this program, C21 supports interdisciplinary collaboration addressing pressing issues of our time, both within and outside of UWM. Collaboratories commonly focus on building a sustainable network; curricular innovations; and/or bringing nationally and internationally known scholars to campus for seminars, lectures, and workshops.


Founded in 1968 as the Center for 20th Century Studies, the Center for 21st Century Studies (C21) was one of the first humanities research centers in the US, the Center has been at the forefront of many of the major developments in the interdisciplinary humanities for half a century. Its groundbreaking conferences over the years drew scholars and artists from all over the world into conversation and collaboration, including six international film conferences in the 1970s and 1980s that helped constitute film studies as an emergent discipline.