Lonely No More! (LNM) is a series of programs exploring the making and unmaking of loneliness, isolation, and connectedness.

Over the course of the Spring 2022 semester, C21 will be offering a wide array of programming and content centered on loneliness: its human and nonhuman sufferers, its physical and virtual environments, and the social structures which alternately seek to both alleviate and weaponize it.

We designed LNM with multiple points of access and multiple ways of knowing – of interest to experts and accessible to general audiences. These include:

Lonely No More Art Exhibit

We invited 1-page written responses (poetry, micro-stories), artwork, and social change ideas in response to our survey results. Over 150 respondents from 5 countries shared sensory and story-based interpretations of the experiences of loneliness, connectedness; as well as tactics they use to move from one feeling to another. See the Final Survey Report here.

Selections from the survey will be exhibited on campus and online starting September 22.

6.5 Minutes With… Podcast

Short introductions to researchers, artists, and community leaders.

  • Colleen Gallambos, Helen Bader Endowed Chair of Applied Gerontology at UWM on the National Academy of Sciences report on Social Isolation that came out in Febrruary 2020.
  • Peter Sands, Professor of English at UWM, on the theme of loneliness in the writing of Kurt Vonnegut.
  • Sonia Zhang, PhD Candidate in Anthropology at the New School, on her research on designing robots for human companionship.
  • Nigel Rothfels, Professor of History at UWM, on animal companionship.
  • Stephanie Gibson, PhD Candidate in Art History at UPenn, on her research on memorials to trauma, including prisons dedicated to solitary confinement.
  • David DiValerio, Professor of Religious Studies at UWM, on his research on ancient practices of isolation and meditation among Tibetan monks.
  • Josh Rivers, PhD Candidate at UWM, on loneliness, connection, and game design.
  • Chikako Ozawa-de Silva, Associate Professor of Anthropology at Emory, on her research on lonely societies, especially Japanese youth.

Roundtable Conversations

These virtual gatherings of scholars and leaders, designed to inform and deepen conversations on a range of topics. Each one has its own curated list of readings / viewings that can be integrated into formal and informal classroom discussions.

Lonely Infrastructure (March 30, 1-2:30CT)
What are the physical and social infrastructures that are contributing to “lonely societies” or that can be mobilized to support the increasing number of people living alone?

  • Eric Klinenberg Helen Gould Shephard Professor in the Social Sciences and Director of The Institute for Public Knowledge, NYU
  • Chikako Ozawa-de Silva Assoc Professor of Anthropology, Emory University
  • Joan Johnson Director of the Milwaukee Public Library System
  • Jason Danely Reader in Anthropology at Oxford Brookes University

Nonhuman Kinship (April 13, 1-2:30CT)
In what ways does loneliness manifest for nonhuman animals and in the nonhuman world? How might we rethink loneliness and connection with nonhumans in mind? As we reimagine and reinvent kin, how do spaces for human-nonhuman connection grow and develop in the age of robots, machines, computers, and AI?

  • Barbara J. King Professor Emerita of Anthropology, The College of William & Mary
  • Kite aka Suzanna Kite Ogalala Lakota performance artist, visual artist composer, and PhD Candidate at Concordia University
  • Juno Salazar Parreñas Assistant Professor of Science and Technology Studies and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Cornell University
  • Sonia Zhang PhD Candidate in Anthropology at The New School

Weaponizing Loneliness (May 6, 2-3:30CT)
How is loneliness weaponized in practices of solitary confinement and incarceration? What do efforts toward its banning tell us about the rhetoric of loneliness as points of concern and control? How have individuals and communities resisted infrastructures of isolation linked to the carceral state?

  • Stephanie Gibson PhD Candidate in Art History at the University of Pennsylvania
  • Vijay Gupta Violinist, ED of Street Symphony, MacArthur Fellow
  • Keramet Reiter Assoc. Professor of Criminology, Law and Society at the School of Law at UC Irvine
  • Sarah Shourd Playwright, activist and trauma-informed journalist

Interactive Book Club

To expand the scope of our roundtable conversations, the Interactive Book Club is a resource to promote discussion, collaboration, and exploration. In line with the topics of each roundtable in the Lonely No More series, we have put together a book club, complete with guest recommendations from panelists, discussion questions, and other relative resources.

See the Lonely No More! Interactive Book Club series below: