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 Dean of the College of Letters and Science) inaugurated Faculty Development Seminars in the Humanities in the spring of 2007. Over the years, seminars have examined a variety of topics, including migration and diaspora, justice in higher education, and digital humanities.
The Scholars-in-Residence program brings to UW-Madison’s campus renowned thinkers whose cross-disciplinary work is in the vanguard of the humanities. During their time on campus, Scholars-in-Residence give public lectures, meet with faculty and students, participate in colloquia, and teach graduate seminars. These visits promise to intensify and internationalize intellectual life--on campus and in Madison. The support of the Distinguished International Visitors Fund, Mellon Disciplinary Crossing, and the Jay C. and Ruth Halls Visiting Scholar Fund make the Scholars-in-Residence program possible.
A two-year-long seminar in 2011-2013, with a capstone conference held in May of 2013, the Center's Sawyer Seminar--"Biopolitics: Life in Past and Present"--examined the limitations and promise of biopolitics as an interpretive framework, integrating the contributions of philosophers, anthropologists, literary critics, historians, sociologists, and biological scientists. The seminar meetings were open to graduate students and faculty at UW-Madison, as well as visiting scholars by invitation.