Research Fellows Program

For nearly fifty years, the Center for 21st Century Studies (C21) has led the way in imagining, defining, and creating the fields of 20th and 21st century studies. A UW System Center of Excellence, C21 focuses on the intersection of the humanities, arts, and sciences (social and natural) with issues of compelling concern. The center brings scholars into contact and collaboration with one another, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee community and the world beyond.

Each year, the Center constitutes a group of UWM Fellows, as well as one or two external Fellows, who are provided release time from teaching to pursue their research interests and to participate in biweekly seminars. All of these activities contribute to C21’s mission to constitute the emergent field of 21st century studies.

Research Projects

The Center provides each Fellow with access to office space on the ninth floor of Curtin Hall and with research assistance (library assistance, duplication, etc.) as resources permit. Each Fellow is expected to participate in the biweekly Center Fellows’ seminar and to attend all C21 public programs throughout the year. Fellows are expected to give a public presentation on his or her research no later than the academic year following the fellowship. Fellows will be required to produce at least one grant proposal from their fellowship year, with support from C21 and the Office of Sponsored Research. No one may hold a Center fellowship more than twice in a five-year period.

Faculty and academic staff are invited to propose research topics that fall under one or more of the Center’s three areas of research in critical, public, or digital humanities. Preference will go to the strongest applications, but every effort will be made to ensure distribution across these three focus areas. All projects should involve substantive academic research, but the final products could take the form of the traditional scholarly article or book, the creation of public-facing events like exhibitions or performances, community programs, or the development of digital interfaces, archives, or artifacts.

UWM Faculty and Staff

UWM faculty Fellows receive a reduction in their teaching responsibilities sufficient to bring their course load down to one course each semester, as well as being relieved from committee work. Faculty in all departments who hold the rank of assistant, associate, or full professor may apply. C21 will work with academic staff on a case-by-case basis to provide compensation for participating in the fellowship program. No one may hold a C21 fellowship more than twice in a five-year period.

UW System Faculty

One faculty member from the UW System is also selected to be part of the Center’s fellowship program. Terms of the fellowship are the same as those that apply to UWM faculty.


Venn diagram

C21 believes that the complex challenges we face in the 21st century are best met through collaborations across areas of expertise and experience, and that the humanities are a vital part of addressing these challenges.  

Collaboratory funding is an opportunity to bring together teams of scholars across disciplines, across university and community partnerships, and across emerging and established scholars (students / staff / faculty) to inspire the generation of new ideas.