About
About the Center

About the Center

The UW-Madison Center for the Humanities advances the humanities on campus and beyond, by drawing faculty, staff, students, and the public into informed, thoughtful, and civil discourse on the political, literary, ethical, and aesthetic questions of the day. The Center’s lectures, panels, workshops, and interdisciplinary seminars encourage innovative research; illuminate new ideas; foster books and teaching innovations; and provide a critical forum for understanding what it means to be human.  

The Center’s impact on campus life, research, and scholarship is profound. We provide unique opportunities for professors and students to meet leading thinkers in their fields, to listen and learn from one another, to collaborate across disciplinary boundaries, and to pursue innovation in their writing and research. These opportunities reflect the intellectual rigor and freedom that is at the heart of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s famous ‘sifting and winnowing’ approach. 

Our unwavering support of public scholarly engagement has helped graduate students and faculty create mutually rewarding partnerships with public schools, prisons, senior centers, hospitals, community gardens, and more. Championing the public humanities, the Center is guided and inspired by the Wisconsin Idea, the principle that the university’s impact on people’s lives should reach beyond the classroom. 

In Madison, the Center functions as a hub of exciting cultural activity, drawing large and diverse crowds for stimulating panel discussions, film screenings, and evenings with historians, playwrights, philosophers, and novelists throughout the year. 

While the Center’s basic operations are funded by the UW College of Letters & Science, we rely on generous support from foundations and other organizations to provide the rich array of programs and initiatives that illuminate the power and relevance of the humanities in today’s world.