Oct 11
313 University Club Building
432 East Campus Mall
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Humanities Without Walls

Panel Discussion and Info Session

Join us for a discussion about how we support interdisciplinary, collaborative, public humanities research and activities here in the Midwest and beyond. We welcome graduate students, faculty, administrators, and the public to learn about the Humanities Without Walls (HWW), a consortium of humanities centers and institutes at 15 major research universities, and its mission of advocating for humanities visibility, collaboration, and alternative academic career training.

HWW Consortium faculty and administrators from the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities and the UW-Madison Center for the Humanities will share information about the Pre-Doctoral Workshop, which prepares graduate students for careers outside academia and in the public humanities. Current HWW Fellows from Marquette University and UW-Madison will share skills and strategies they learned at the workshop. Panelists will also discuss the HWW Consortium's broader work in supporting interdisciplinary, collaborative, public humanities research, and answer questions about the Pre-Doctoral Summer Workshop application process and the workshop itself.

All will be available to answer questions in advance of the upcoming application deadline on Nov 1 for the next HWW Pre-Doctoral Workshop in Summer 2018.

Light refreshments will be provided.




Antoinette Burton is a feminist historian of the British empire with expertise in world history, race and postcolonialism and cultures of resistance. She has been at the University of Illinois since 1999, where she has been chair of History, Interim Head of Sociology and is currently director of the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities. The recipient of funding from the NEH, the ACLS and the Guggenheim Foundation, she is Principle Investigator of several grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, including Humanities Without Walls (http://www.humanitieswithoutwalls.illinois.edu/). She was recently elected a professor at the Illinois’ Center for Advanced Study, and she is a Presidential Fellow for 2016-18.


Jason Mierek is Project Manager for the Humanities Without Walls consortium. He has been at the University of Illinois since 2005, where he has provided staff, faculty, and student support in various roles across campus. He also taught world and Asian religions at Parkland College in Champaign, IL, for a decade. Jason received his B.A. in religion and biocultural studies from Illinois Wesleyan University and earned his M.A. in Buddhist studies from The Naropa Institute in Boulder, CO. When he isn’t juggling his HWW responsibilities, he may be found reading books printed on paper, puttering in his garden, brewing beer, pasting together surreal collages, rolling dice shaped like Platonic solids, and relaxing at home with his wife, daughter, and their pet puggle.

Peggy Brennan works as research assistant on the Humanities Without Walls grant as Grad Lab Practicum Coordinator. In this role, she assists HWW graduate student researchers involved with the “Work of the Humanities in a Changing Climate” project, and is collecting ethnographic and bibliographic material pertaining to the collaborative research process. She is a PhD candidate in History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and holds an M.Phil from Trinity College Dublin and a BA from Transylvania University in Lexington, KY.

Margaret Nettesheim Hoffmann is a doctoral candidate in American History at Marquette University. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in 2011 from Mount Mary University and her Master’s degree from Marquette University in 2013. She researches the history of American philanthropy, capitalism, and progressive era political discourses critical of wealthy giving. Her dissertation explores the development of philanthropic foundations and political conversations impacting the construction of nonprofit sector policy in Wisconsin. She is the co-author of For the Benefit of All: A Fifty Year History of the Faye McBeath Foundation and has contributed articles for the Encyclopedia of Milwaukee and the World Democracy Encyclopedia. Margaret is the Rev. John P. Raynor, S.J Fellow at Marquette University in 2017-2018 and was an Arthur J. Schmitt Leadership Fellow for 2016-2017. She was selected as a 2017 National Humanities Without Walls Predoctoral Fellow with the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities at the University of Illinois.

Katie Schaag is the 2017-2018 Mendota Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in the English Department at University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a 2017 Humanities Without Walls National Fellow. She recently earned her PhD in Literary Studies at UW-Madison, with a specialization in Performance Studies and a minor in Fine Art and Creative Writing. Her dissertation, Conceptual Theatre, explores the political potential of thought experiments in African American avant-garde drama and feminist performance art. She co-founded the Art + Scholarship Borghesi-Mellon Workshop and the Madison Performance Philosophy Collective, and co-curated a series of Theory-Practice Collaboratories and Mad Theory symposia. She previously worked as a consultant at DesignLab, a transmedia storytelling center. 

Aaron Fai is the Public Humanities Program Manager at UW-Madison. He is a graduate of the creative writing programs at UCLA, UC Davis, and the University of Oregon. He directs the creative writing workshops at The Bubbler in Madison Public Library. He previously worked at the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters and served in Peace Corps Kyrgyzstan.

Public Humanities Programs