About C21

This video, produced by C21 graduate fellow Allain Daigle,
combines archival materials with interviews to tell a short history of the Center.


Since 1968, the Center for 21st Century Studies (C21) has fostered innovative research at the intersection of the humanities, arts and sciences, supporting University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee faculty and graduate students, publishing new research and hosting conferences, lectures and other events. The Center brings scholars into contact and collaboration with one another, the UW-Milwaukee community and the world beyond. Today, the Center organizes its research and public programs around three broad areas: critical, public and digital humanities, connecting them to today’s most pressing social and political issues.

  • Critical humanities: the continuation of the Center’s historical focus on critical and theoretical interdisciplinary scholarship and research
  • Public humanities: both the communication of humanities research outside the walls of the university and the humanistic engagement with local, regional, and global communities
  • Digital humanities: research that focuses on the remediation of print texts and artifacts in digital formats, as well as on the creation of new critical methodologies for analyzing digital media


Conferences, Lectures, and Events

C21 annual programming includes a full slate of lectures and events across the humanities and social sciences. C21 also holds a multi-day conference on an interdisciplinary topic each spring. Events are always free and open to the public. Browse upcoming events.

Faculty Fellows

The Center constitutes an annual group of faculty Fellows whose research interests relate to critical, public, and/or digital humanities research. Read more about the Fellows program.

C21 Collaboratories

Through this new program, C21 supports interdisciplinary collaboration by faculty, graduate students, and academic staff both within and outside of UWM. Collaboratories bring nationally and internationally known scholars to campus for seminars, lectures, and workshops. Read more about collaboratories.


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.

Read about our former directors.

Browse a list of past Fellows.

Download our History and Mission of the Center brochure (PDF)