The Center constitutes an annual group of Fellows in order to support their innovative humanities research with an eye towards expanding interdisciplinary networks of knowledge creation. UWM faculty, academic staff, and faculty from other UW System schools and beyond, are selected to participate as Fellows.

The Center also hosts faculty from other countries who come to us with Fulbright or ACLS Fellowships, or support from their own institutions. Typically, the Center provides these International Fellows of the Center, as they are designated, with an office in the Center along with the other Center Fellows and as much research assistance, including library privileges, as possible.

A cadre of Graduate Fellows are also supported by C21. These fellows are pulled from the ranks of UWM graduate students across the disciplines, and C21 is proud to support their academic research as they work to help run the day-to-day operations of the Center and its programming.

Research Fellows 2023-2024

Laurie Beth Clark and Michael Peterson (Spatula&Barcode)

Photograph of Laurie Beth and Michael in a kitchen

Spatula&Barcode is dedicated to making events in which the performance of place and of hospitality are central aesthetic concerns. Discourse, food and swag are persistent elements of our work.

Spatula&Barcode was founded in 2008 by Laurie Beth Clark and Michael Peterson (both Professors in the Department of Art at University of Wisconsin – Madison).

Lisa Hager (English and Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies)

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Lisa Hager is an Associate Professor of English and Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee at Waukesha, where they coordinate the College of General Studies Honors Program. Lisa also edits, along with their colleague Dr. Anna Maria Jones, the academic journal Prose Studies: History, Theory, Criticism.

Their current book project looks at the intersections of trans studies and Victorian studies, and they have published articles on Victorian sexology, the New Woman, aestheticism and decadence, steampunk, digital humanities, and trans and queer studies. Their article on “female husbands,” which will be part of this monograph, was awarded the Surridge Prize for Best Article Published in Victorian Review and the North American Victorian Studies Association Donald Gray Prize for the Best Essay Published in the Field of Victorian Studies in 2021.

David Jones (English)

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I am a Professor of English and Honors Education at the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire. I also serve as the Director of Graduate Studies for the English Department at UWEC. In the past, I have had leadership roles for the UWEC Honors Program, the Liberal Studies Program, and several diversity initiatives. It is a lifelong goal to help improve how public institutions serve our whole communities equitably. As a professor, my primary field is African American literature. My faculty peers in English would probably describe my approach to teaching as “New Historicism” or “Cultural Studies.” For me, historical and cultural contexts are just as important as literary expression, and in a typical class of mine, nonfiction readings supplement works of poetry, fiction, and drama. 

I am also a professional musician (a vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter) who performs under the names Davey J & Friends and Davey J and the Jones Tones. Music is definitely a passion, as I have published five original music CDs with my own independent label, B Major Productions (the most recent CD is called Chippewa Love). In music industry language, our style would probably be “Americana” or “Roots,” but there are elements of rock, blues, reggae, indie, folk, and even jazz in my music. You can hear some of my music and see my live show calendar at

In my past creative work, I also produced and hosted two radio programs on popular music and Wisconsin culture for Wisconsin Public Radio: Jazz, Blues, and Beyond and Wisconsin Wealth. I really enjoy maintaining a flexible and relevant range of academic interests.

Lindsey Krug (Architecture)

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Lindsey Krug (she/hers) is a designer and researcher based between Chicago and Milwaukee, and an Assistant Professor of Architecture at UWM’s School of Architecture and Urban Planning (SARUP). She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Architecture from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Through the lens of the architectural user as a body in space, Krug studies how design solidifies and reinforces taboos, hierarchies, and inequities into built form, and positions architecture as a biopsying tool that unveils tensions between spatial foibles and cultural conventions of identity, politics, class, and sociality. Krug’s research interests are organized around relationships between people and contemporary institutions born of American democracy and capitalism and their corresponding architectural manifestations and myths. Two such institutions of focus are the U.S. Supreme Court and the topic of privacy as it’s defined legally and architecturally, and Dollar General Corporation with its small-box retail empire.Krug’s design research titled “Corpus Comunis: Precedent, Privacy, and the United States Supreme Court, in Seven Architectural Case Studies” was awarded the 2023 Best Peer-Reviewed Research Project by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) and the ACSA College of Distinguished Professors. Along with her frequent collaborator Sarah Aziz, Krug received the 2022 Course Development Prize in Architecture, Climate Change, and Society from the ACSA and the Columbia University Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture. Most recently, the pair was awarded the 2023 Architectural League Prize for Young Architects + Designers by the Architectural League of New York.

Anna Mansson McGinty (Geography and Women’s and Gender Studies)

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Anna Mansson McGinty is an Associate Professor of Geography and Women’s and Gender Studies at UWM. Her research centers on Muslim identities and geographies in the United States, women and gender in Islam, and expressions of Islamic feminisms through feminist, geographical, and anthropological approaches. Her first book Becoming Muslim. Western Women’s Conversions to Islam (2006) is an ethnographic study on Swedish and American women who have converted to Islam with a focus on their identity formation and personal life-story and understanding of Islam. She is the author of several articles on Muslim women, veiling, Islamophobia and Muslim youth in Milwaukee, including a recent one on lived Islam in youth’s everyday lives. She is finalizing a co-authored book manuscript, Muslims in Milwaukee: Place, Identities and Activism,together with Caroline Seymour-Jorn and Kristin Sziarto drawing on the decade long Muslim Milwaukee Project. During her time as a C21 fellow she begins a new project on public representations and discourses of Muslim American identities and politics in relation to citizenship and gender. 

M. Estrella Sotomayor (Spanish and Portuguese)

Dr. M. Estrella Sotomayor is a Senior Teaching Faculty in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She created the Spanish for Health Professionals Certificate and teaches courses in language, culture and those related to the certificate. Dr. Sotomayor received her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in Multidisciplinary Studies with a focus in History and Women’s and Gender Studies. Her research work is in reproductive rights in Latin America with a focus on mass sterilizations and reproductive violence in Puerto Rico. Dr. Sotomayor has served as Assistant Language Coordinator and Undergraduate Advisor in the Spanish Department and Portuguese. She is also an affiliate in the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at UW-Milwaukee. Since 2018, she has been a member and Chair of the Women of Color and Poorman Award Committees, which recognize women of color and members of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies.
Dr. Sotomayor’s pedagogical work extends to international programs as the Academic Director in Residence for study abroad programs at Pontificia Universidad Católica in Santiago, Chile; at the Instituto de Cultura Oaxaqueña in Oaxaca, Mexico; and at the Quijote Institute in Madrid, Spain. She has also developed culture and health related study abroad programs for UW-Milwaukee in the Dominican Republic and in Panama. In 2007, her pedagogical and community work was recognized by the Academic Staff Outstanding Performance Award. In 2011, she was awarded the Outstanding Women of Color in Education Award for her efforts in combining her academic and pedagogical work with social justice issues in the classroom and in study abroad programs. Most recently, Dr. Sotomayor developed a Pilot Program in collaboration with the School of Nursing at UW-Milwaukee, where students get to put into practice their language skills in Spanish and to hone their competency in diversity, equity, and inclusion through interactive activities in the Simulation Lab.
For the academic year of 2023-2024, Dr. Sotomayor has been awarded a fellowship at the Center for 21st Century Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her project consists of working on a book based on her dissertation “Reproductive Rights in Puerto Rico: Sterilization, Contraceptives, and Reproductive Violence,” which fits within the Center’s themes of Well, Trust, and Duty. Her work explores Puerto Rican women’s perception of their reproductive rights in the twenty-first century, a study that is essential given the fact that Puerto Rico is the country with the highest rate of sterilization in the world, 45% of the adult female population (García 1982; Contraceptive Sterilization 2002; Schoen 2005; Briggs 2007). It is an interdisciplinary project that places health at the center of a key socio-political issue, overpopulation, and examines the effects that concerns about overpopulation have had on the reproductive rights of Puerto Rican women.

Erin Winkler (African and African Diaspora Studies)

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Erin N. Winkler is associate professor of African and African Diaspora Studies and Urban Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she also serves on the advisory boards of Childhood and Adolescent Studies; Ethnic Studies; and Latin American, Caribbean, and US Latino/a Studies; and is affiliated faculty in Women’s Studies. She earned her Ph.D. in African American Studies at the University of California-Berkeley and was a postdoctoral fellow in African American Studies at Northwestern University. She is author of the book, Learning Race, Learning Place: Shaping Racial Identities and Ideas in African American Childhoods. She has served as a consultant for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, working to train museum staff and K-12 teachers to have productive conversations about race and racism with people of all ages and backgrounds. 

Graduate Fellows 2023-2024

Wren Dalton (English)

Rainer Wren Dalton is a second-year PhD student in English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) studying under Stuart Moulthrop. Their research focuses on developing historiographic and archival methods for Alternate Reality Games (ARG) and other pervasive media. Alongside being a graduate fellow for the Center for 21st Century Studies they also teach English 102 at UWM and are an associate editor for Cream City Review’s upcoming experimental literature journal Cheshire. Outside of academia, are deeply engaged with the ARG and unfiction community. They have previously worked as a freelance consultant on multiple projects including Elian Eve Jentoft’s ARG Under the Surface (2022)and Alex Hera’s documentary The History of Analog Horror (2022). Currently they are working on multiple projects including an ARG for the Antiquity in Media Studies conference, an unannounced documentary, and a forthcoming publication.

Elaina Nelson (History / Library and Information Sciences)

Elaina Nelson Headshot

Elaina Nelson is a Wyoming transplant and graduate student in the Coordinated Public History MA and MLIS programs at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her current research interests include the intersection of public memorialization, LGBTQ spaces, and how they are documented. In her free time she is a fiber artist who enjoys mixing historical and modern clothing styles. Elaina is a graduate student fellow at the Center for 21st Century Studies where she assists in webpage maintenance and podcast editing.

Blessing Uwisike (Rhetoric and Professional Writing)

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Blessing Uwisike is a second year MA graduate student majoring in Rhetoric & Professional Writing at UW-Milwaukee. Her current research interests include transatlantic studies, critical pedagogy, decolonization, and rhetoric of disenfranchisement in political spaces. Blessing is a graduate fellow at UWM’s Center for 21st Century Studies. Here, she supports the center’s project and events, manages communications across the social media platforms, and contributes to put together various C21 publications, including blog entries and edited collections.