The Center for 21st Century Studies is one of the oldest humanities centers in the United States, founded in 1968 as the Center for 20th Century Studies. Since its inception, it has compiled a consistent record of hosting major events, including conferences, screenings, performances, and readings often on topics and by participants whose importance was already clear, but just as often on topics and by participants whose importance would only strike the rest of the world later. When she spoke at UWM under the Center’s auspices in 1982, Grace Paley was already famous. When she performed at the Center in 1977, Laurie Anderson was not yet famous.
What follows is a bare-bones compilation of highlights of the Center’s history. We are striving to build our digital archive to represent the Center’s past, but please be aware that the archive is far from complete. If you have anything to add or believe any information that we present is incorrect or incomplete we ask that you contact us.