Lonely No More! with the Center for 21st Century Studies

Nicole Welk-Joerger's picture

In this historical moment, as people across the world ride waves of pandemic-fueled isolation and connection, loneliness has surged into public consciousness. Lonely No More! is the Center for 21st Century Studies (C21)'s effort to contribute to this remarkably exigent issue. Over the course of the Spring 2022 semester, C21 will be offering a wide array of programming and content centered on loneliness: its human and nonhuman carriers, its physical and virtual environments, and the social structures which alternately seek to both alleviate and weaponize it. Our programming includes:

6.5 Minutes With… Podcast

A series that features short introductions to relevant researchers, artists, and community leaders.

C21 Interactive Book Club

A collection of resources on the larger topics of loneliness and connection. The Book Club aims to serve as a resource for building curricula and starting meaningful discussions. The comments sections are open and ready for reactions to texts, and we will host at least two open-ended virtual book club meetings to talk about specific texts and media.

Virtual Roundtable Conversations

To tackle the multiple dimensions of studying and reimagining loneliness and connection, we are organizing three roundtable discussions.

  • Lonely Infrastructures, March 30th, 2022, 1:00PM – 2:30PM CST

    • Featuring Jason Danely (Oxford Brookes), Joan Johnson (Milwaukee Public Library), Eric Klienenberg (NYU), and Chikako Ozawa-de Silva (Emory University).

  • Nonhuman Kinship, April 13th, 2022, 1:00PM – 2:30PM CST

    •  Featuring Barbara King (William & Mary), Kite aka Suzanne Kite (Concordia University), Juno Salazar Parreñas (Cornell University), and Sonia Zhang (New School).

  • Weaponizing Loneliness, May 6th, 2022, 2:00PM – 3:30PM CST

    • Featuring Stephanie Gibson (University of Pennsylvania), Vijay Gupta (Street Symphony), Keramet Reiter (University of California – Irvine), Sarah Shourd (Pulitzer Center).

Participatory Research Project

To learn more about how loneliness and connection are experienced at local, national, and international scales, we are conducting an anonymous survey. The data collected from this survey will be shared with artists in a call for contributions to further express and address these topics. We will collect stories through February 28th, with a call for creative responses released on March 1st.

If you have any questions or would like more information about C21's new programming structure, please visit our website (uwm.edu/c21) or email us at c21@uwm.edu.