The Center's research programs provide unique opportunities for faculty and students to collaborate across disciplinary boundaries and to pursue innovation in their writing, teaching, and scholarship.

Borghesi-Mellon Workshops

Since 2000, the Center's Workshops in the Humanities have provided an opportunity for students and faculty to work together outside of the classroom, in working groups centered on an interdisciplinary topic, broadly conceived, drawn from any period, field, or method of research in the humanities.

About the Borghesi-Mellon Workshops Program

One of the Center’s most exciting programs, the Workshops have led to conferences, books, teaching innovations, and the creation of long-term research centers and projects. Recent and current workshops have focused on Comics, Disability Studies and Activism, Food Studies, Digital Humanities, and Critical University Studies.

From 2000 to 2015, the A. W. Mellon Foundation generously funded over 50 distinct “Mellon Workshops" through multiyear grants. In 2014, the Mellon Foundation matched an endowment gift from UW-Madison alumni Nancy Borghesi (B.A.’69, Economics, and a member of the College of Letters & Science Board of Visitors) and David Borghesi (BBA’70, Accounting), acknowledging the leadership and dedication of the Center for Humanities Director, Professor Sara Guyer. Beginning in 2015 this longstanding program was renamed the Borghesi-Mellon Workshops in the Humanities.


First Book Program

The Center's First Book program provides helpful and timely feedback to junior faculty in the humanities and interpretive social sciences preparing their first academic book. The goal is to turn solid and promising manuscripts into first-rate, field-shaping books.

About the First Book Program

The program was initially funded by a short-term humanities programming grant from the A.W. Mellon Foundation. In recognition of the successes of the program, subsequent support has been provided by the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education with funding from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, the International Division, and the Offices of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Staff and Vice Provost for Diversity and Climate.

Questions can be directed to Megan Massino (

John E. Sawyer Seminar

Interrogating the Plantationocene

Examining the past and present of plantations, their materialities, the economic, ecological, and political transformations they wrought, and their significance to the making of human bodies, capitalism, and land over the course of four centuries.

A. W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, our interdisciplinary program provides two-year postdoctoral fellowships for recent PhD recipients in the humanities and humanistic social sciences.

Humanities Without Walls

The Humanities Without Walls Consortium links humanities centers at 15 research universities throughout the Midwest and beyond.

Undergraduate Research

Iwanter Prize

An annual prize for outstanding humanities-based scholarship of a broad and interdisciplinary nature, made possible by a gift to the University of Wisconsin Foundation by alumnus Sidney E. Iwanter (BA History, 1971).

Upcoming Research Programs Events

Lisa Adams and David Miller (President of Island Press)

Book Publishing in the Humanities
Literary Agent and Co-Founder of the Garamond Agency (Adams); President of Island Press (Miller)
Oct 18
Banquet Room, University Club
432 East Campus Mall

Madeline H. Caviness

Representations in the Middle Ages of Ethnic, Cultural and Physiological Difference, and Their Social Significance Then and Now
Emerita, Department of English, Tufts University
Oct 26
Hagen Room, Room 150, Department of Art History, Conrad A. Elvehjem Building
800 University Avenue
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM Thinking Race: Migration, Representation, Appropriation in the Middle Ages and Beyond
View Events Calendar