the Center's past directors

Daniel J. Sherman, 2002-2008

Daniel J. Sherman served as Director of the Center for 21st Century Studies from 2002-08. A historian of nineteenth- and twentieth-century France, Professor Sherman received his B.A. in History and Literature from Harvard and his Ph.D. in History from Yale.  He is the author of two books: Worthy Monuments: Art Museums and the Politics of Culture in Nineteenth-Century France (Harvard University Press, 1989) and The Construction of Memory in Interwar France (University of Chicago Press, 1999), for which he received three national awards: the first annual J. Russell Major Prize, given by the American Historical Association for the best book in French history published in English, the Laurence Wylie Prize, awarded biennially by the Association for French Cultural Studies, and an Association of American Publishers Award as one of the best scholarly books published in 1999.  He is also coeditor of Museum Culture: Histories, Discourses, Spectacles (University of Minnesota Press, 1994), one of the pioneering texts in the field of critical museum studies, and of Terror, Culture, Politics: Rethinking 9/11 (Indiana University Press, 2006), and editor of Museums and Difference (Indiana, 2008).  His articles have appeared in such journals as American Historical Review, Art History, French Historical Studies, and Oxford Art Journal, and have been anthologized in German and Slovak translation as well as in English. 

Professor Sherman has received research awards from the American Council of Learned Societies and the American Philosophical Association, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute for Advanced Study, the National Humanities Center, the Fulbright Senior Scholars Program, and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts. In Spring 2004 he was a visiting professor at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris.

Professor Sherman's current research, ranging from ethnography to tourism to interior decorating, concerns French constructions of a primitive or savage "other" in the period 1945 to 1975. In this and other projects, such as a 2003 special issue of the journal French Historical Studies devoted to visual culture, which he edited with Mary Sheriff, he advocates and attempts to practice a cultural history as sensitive to the formal qualities of its objects as to the larger historical context of their production and reception.

During his tenure as Center director, Professor Sherman introduced several innovations. One of the most notable was his extending the Center's theme from one to two years, which allowed faculty to fit their applications more easily into their career trajectories, thereby enhancing the accessibilty and appeal of the Center's central program supporting faculty research. Other innovations by Professor Sherman included the posting of faculty and student working papers onto the Center's website; research workshops organized by faculty and graduate students; and the Center's annual conference having curricular materials for class tie-ins. All of these innovations broadened the Center's audience, deepened support for faculty and student research, and increased opportunities for interdisciplinary dialogue.

1968: The Center's Founding

The 1970s: Film, Performance, Language and Technology

The 1980s: Feminism, Modernism and Culture

The 1990s: Culture, Aesthetics, Aging and Animals

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 11/18/08 by DSC