Our mission is to champion the humanities as a means to spark civic engagement, build community, educate, inspire, and make long-lasting change.
Your contribution supports innovative and publicly-engaged programming, preparing students for full participation in a democratic society.
Established in 1999, the Center for the Humanities is an international leader in the public humanities. Our partnerships with schools, museums, libraries, nonprofits, and cultural organizations in Madison, Dane County, and throughout the state demonstrate the extraordinary value of the humanities outside of the university while preparing students to fully engage in a democratic society. Our Humanities Exchange program is a high-impact program for undergraduate and graduate students at UW who draw on innovative models of social engagement to address the needs of communities. Our Public Humanities Fellowship places graduate students with non-profits, community centers, and other cultural organizations to facilitate a reciprocal sharing of resources and expertise. Our Great World Texts program connects high school teachers and students from across Wisconsin to world literature, challenging them to explore complex subjects and engage a multitude of cultures. It culminates in an annual conference that brings to the UW campus high school educators and over 1000 of their students for a discussion with major literary authors.
Through our publicly-engaged programming, we host over a dozen lectures and public conversations each year that are always free and open to the public. Our events showcase creative and diverse ways of seeing the world—past and present—and feature some of the most important intellectuals and cultural figures of our time, including Tommy Orange, Margaret Atwood, Noam Chomsky, Sianne Ngai, Ato Quayson, Phil Deloria, and Ruth Wilson Gilmore, as well as our own Richard Davidson, Fran Hirsh, Jo Handlesman, Stephen Kantrowitz, Anna Andrzejewski, and Tejumola Olaniyan.
As the center of intellectual life on the UW campus, we support faculty, students, and staff through fellowships, lectures, grants, research workshops, and curricular innovations.