the Center's past directors

Kathleen M. Woodward, 1981-2000

Kathleen M. Woodward (pictured on the right in 1992) served from 1981-2000 as Director of the Center for 20th Century Studies at the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee, where she taught in the Department of English and the interdisciplinary graduate program in Modern Studies.  Since 2000 she has been Professor of English and Director of the Simpson Center for the Humanities at the University of Washington.

Woodward is the author of Statistical Panic: Cultural Politics and Poetics of the Emotions (forthcoming from Duke University Press in 2009), Aging and Its Discontents: Freud and Other Fictions (1991), and At Last, the Real Distinguished Thing: The Late Poems of Eliot, Pound, Stevens, and Williams (1980).  She is also the editor or coeditor of five interdisciplinary collections of original essays, including Figuring Age: Women—Bodies—Generations (1999), Memory and Desire: Aging—Literature—Psychoanalysis, with Murray Schwartz (1986), and The Myths of Information: Technology and Postindustrial Culture (1980); these three collections emerged from conferences at the Center for 20th Century Studies and were published in the Center’s book series with Indiana University Press. From 1986-1995 Woodward was coeditor, with Roswitha Mueller, of Discourse: Journal for Theoretical Studies in Media and Culture, which was housed at the Center for 20th Century Studies.  She serves on the editorial boards for two book series—New Public Scholarship: Citizenship, Cultural Practice, and Public Life published by University of Michigan Press, and In Vivo: The Cultural Mediations of Biomedical Science published by the University of Washington Press.

Woodward’s essays and reviews in the broad interdisciplinary domains of technology and culture, the emotions, and aging have appeared in Cultural Critique, SubStance, National Women Studies Association Journal, Indiana Law Journal, Contemporary Literature, Modern Language Quarterly, Journal of Aging and Identity, American Literary History, Generations, Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature, Journal of Gerontological Social Work, Women’s Review of Books, Medical Humanities Review, Studies in the Novel, and differences,among other journals. 

Woodward serves on the Board of Directors of the National Humanities Alliance (Washington, D.C.).  She is a member of the Steering Committee of the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory (HASTAC), a national consortium of colleges and universities, and a member of the Projects Advisory Board of the International Longevity Society—U.S.A.  She recently concluded her term on the Modern Language Association’s Committee on the Status of Women in the Profession; last fall the MLA released its report Standing Still: The Associate Professor Survey, for which she was the lead author.  From 2001-2005 Woodward was Chair of the National Advisory Board of Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life (IA), a national organization devoted to advancing public scholarship.  From 1995-2001 she was President of the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI), an international organization of over 140 members; she continues to serve on its International Advisory Board. 

Woodward has received grants from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Endowment for the Arts.  Her awards include the University of Washington’s David Thorud Leadership Award in 2008, the First Annual Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of California, San Diego’s Department of Literature in 2001, and the Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques from the French National Ministry of Education in 1989.  She has taught at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris and the University of Aix-Marseilles.  She holds a B.A. in Economics from Smith College and a Ph.D. in Literature from the University of California at San Diego.

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 1/8/09 by DSC