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 (

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).

Faculty Development Seminars

The Faculty Development Seminars in the Humanities enable an individual tenured faculty member or a team of two tenured faculty members to lead a seminar on a topic of broad interest across the humanities.

About the Faculty Development Seminar Program

Designed to enhance the quality of humanities research at UW-Madison and to promote sustained collaboration and dialogue across disciplinary lines, the Center for the Humanities and Institute for Research in the Humanities (with major support from the Office of the Dean of the College of Letters & Science) inaugurated Faculty Development Seminars in the Humanities in the spring of 2007. The seminar leaders receive a course release for directing a seminar of other faculty members who meet ten times during a semester in two-hour sessions. Their department will receive funds for a replacement lecturer. The Faculty Development Seminar program provides research funds of $500 for ten faculty members to participate in the seminar. Seminar leaders and participants will be chosen by a selection committee. The Center for the Humanities and the Institute for Research in the Humanities sponsor and administer the Faculty Development Seminar.

Upcoming Research Programs Events

Elizabeth Freeman

The Wedding Complex
Professor of English, University of California Davis
Jun 28
email: by June 1st
All Day Terra Incognita Art Series
View Events Calendar

Past Initiatives