the Center's past directors

Robert F. Roeming, 1968-1974

Robert Roeming served as the first director of the Center, steering its formation as a "humanistic center" for UWM. His dedication in his service as the first director led to high praise of the early accomplishments of the Center by Dean William Halloran, Dean of the College of Letters and Science in 1972: " The Center has become...a focal point for imaginative and forward-looking approaches to the humanities and the arts on the UWM campus. It has also attracted attention nationally and internationally as a gathering place for some of the finest minds in contemporary humanistic studies and as an effective, operative model of a non-departmental, interdisciplinary academic structure which complements departmental programs and enriches the intellectual climate of the University for students, resident faculty, visiting scholars, and the larger University community."

Initially, Robert Roeming was given the title "Acting Director" and was charged with creating the Center's first charter. He was officially given the title "Director" on July 1, 1969. During his tenure, Robert Roeming oversaw the creation of the Center's Fellows program, its earliest symposia and conferences, and wrote the second version of the Center's charter. Robert Roeming also made what is believed to be the Center's first computing request for his highly regarded Camus: A Bibliography, which was maintained at the Center on what he referred to as a "computerized system."

While speaking at the introduction of the "Imagine Dead Imagine" Conference on November 5, 1973, Robert Roeming gave his insight as to how he saw the Center: "This conference is a demonstration of the commitments of the orientation of this Center to support research in the most meaningful way as a continuing exploration of possible direction toward an identifiable future. As the Director of a community of searchers it is my constant intent to assist in bringing together those who have common interests in the broad context of humanistic studies and to enable our own scholars to draw from such confluence of energy and ideas those motivations which can enable the Center to move forward innovatively as a strong influence on society."

After completing his tenure as director in the summer of 1974, Robert Roeming continued working on projects with the Center, and he returned to the Language Lab where he had been prior to his work at the Center. Robert Roeming later retired from UWM as Professor Emeritus of French and Italian. He passed away on January 11, 2004 at his home in Chenequa, Wisconsin at the age of 92.


1968: The Founding of the Center for 20th Century Studies
The 1970s:
The 1980s:
The 1990s:
The Center for 21st Century Studies: 2000 to present




Center for 21st Century Studies

Merry Wiesner-Hanks

Center for 21st Century Studies / University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
P.O. Box 413, Milwaukee, WI 53201 USA
tel: 414-229-4141; fax: 414-229-5964; email:



  Last updated 10/9/08 by DSC