The IRH runs a variety of programs as part of its mission to stimulate interdisciplinary and collaborative research in the humanities. We also frequently co-sponsor programs and events with the Center for the Humanities and other humanities departments, centers, and programs on campus.


The IRH sponsors some 40-45 internal (UW-Madison) and external fellowships each academic year, and welcomes fellows to extend their residency through the summer. Internal competitions for stipendary fellowships include Senior Fellowships (8-9), Resident Faculty Fellowships (6), Race, Ethnicity, and Indigeneity Faculty Fellowships (2-3), and Dissertation Fellowships (4-6). External stipendiary fellowships include Solmsen Fellowships (4-5), Kingdon Fellowships (1-2), the Biruté Ciplijauskaité Fellowship (1), and UW-System Fellowships (3-4). We also offer non-stipendiary residencies for ACLS and SSHRC Fellows. See Fellowships for application information.


IRH Fellows present their work to other fellows and interested UW-Madison faculty and students at the weekly Monday seminars. Consult the events calendar for specific topics and speakers. Because of space restrictions post-COVID, seminars are open only to current IRH fellows and the presenters’ guests. Please contact if you are interested in attending one of the Monday seminars to get on the attendance wait list.

Conferences and Symposia

Each year, the IRH sponsors 1-2 Burdick-Vary Symposia. These are organized by Senior Fellows on topics related to their research or on issues of broad significance to the humanities. The IRH also organizes conferences and lectures on topical issues in the humanities. Consult the Events page for details on upcoming conference events.

Lecture Series

The IRH sponsors a number of annual lectures. The Germaine Brée Lecture honors the scholar of French literature and former director of the IRH. With the Center for the Humanities, we also co-sponsor the Focus on the Humanities Distinguished Lecture Series. Consult the Events page for details on upcoming lectures.

Summer Humanities Research Fellowships

The Summer Humanities Research Fellowship program and workshop support tenured humanities faculty in pursuing “the next big project.” The workshop seeks to inspire participants to think programmatically about their research and writing, as well as how effectively to pursue external funding to support their scholarship and advance their career. A small cohort of faculty is selected as fellows each summer. Consult the “Internal Fellowships” section of the Fellowships page for more information. These fellowships are specially funded by the College of Letters & Science and the Office of Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education (OVCRGE).

Humanities Faculty Mid-Career Mentoring Project 

The IRH oversees the Humanities Faculty Mid-Career Mentoring Project. Recently tenured faculty in humanities disciplines at UW-Madison are partnered with senior colleagues as career mentors in the years in which they pursue promotion to full professor. The program is intended to provide guidance in balancing the demands of teaching, research and publication, the increase in administrative responsibilities that come with tenure, and the work/life challenge. If you are interested in joining the program as either a mentor or a mentee, please contact the IRH director, Steven Nadler.

Humanities Grant Writing Camp for Graduate Students

The Humanities Grant Writing Camp is a new initiative from the Graduate School, led by Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Florence Hsia. Hosted by the Institute for Research in the Humanities and facilitated by the UW-Madison Writing Center, the 4-day camp (held this year from May 23–26, 2022) provides participants with a structured introduction to the nuts-and-bolts of writing funding proposals to support a wide range of humanities work, from research travel and dissertation writing to public humanities projects. Applications to the Humanities Grant Writing Camp are due during the Spring semester. Check back for more details about the 2023 camp in the Spring.

Other Events

The IRH welcomes departments, centers, and programs in the humanities to hold events with IRH co-sponsorship in the institute’s seminar room (212 University Club Building). The seminar room (212), conference room (211), and library (231) are available for other groups in the humanities to hold discussion sessions, seminars, and meetings. Room 212 is equipped with basic AV equipment available after a quick training meeting. Contact IRH director Steven Nadler regarding co-sponsorship and/or Katie Apsey for room reservations.

IRH Libraries

The IRH maintains a general library (231) and a library of current and past fellows’ publications (211). In addition to substantial research holdings in a variety of humanities disciplines (especially classics, medieval studies, and early modern studies), the library collection in 231 includes current periodicals such as The Chronicle of Higher Education, The New York Review of Books, and the Times Literary Supplement; books related to IRH projects; and books donated by former fellows. Contact Katie Apsey for access.