Katherine Cramer (PhD, U-M Political Science, 2000) has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Cramer focuses on the way people in the United States make sense of politics and their place in it. She is known for her innovative approach to the study of public opinion, in which she uses methods like inviting herself into the conversations of groups of people to listen to the way they understand public affairs. Her award-winning book, The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker, brought to light rural resentment toward cities and its implications for contemporary politics, and was a go-to source for understanding votes in the 2016 presidential election (University of Chicago Press, 2016). She has also published as Katherine Cramer Walsh and is the author of Talking about Race: Community Dialogues and the Politics of Difference (University of Chicago Press, 2007), and Talking about Politics: Informal Groups and Social Identity in American Life (University of Chicago Press, 2004). She was named a Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters in 2018 and is the recipient of the 2018 APSA Heinz Eulau Award for the best article published in Perspectives on Politics (with Benjamin Toff), the 2017 APSA Qualitative and Multi-Method Research section Giovanni Sartori Award for the best book developing or using qualitative methods published in 2016; a finalist for the 2017 APSA Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award for the best book on government, politics, or international affairs; the 2012 APSA Qualitative and Multi-Methods Research Section award for the best qualitative or multi-method submission to the American Political Science Review; a 2006 UW-Madison Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award; a 2012-2014 UW-Madison Vilas Associate Award; a 2015-17 Leon Epstein Faculty Fellowship; and a 2017-2022 UW-Madison Kellett Mid-Career Faculty Researcher Award.

Here's what Kathy says about her current projects:

The Local Voices Network is a community-powered public conversation network we are implementing in Wisconsin, New York, and Alabama, that fosters constructive public conversation to deepen our understanding of one another. I am working with Cortico, a non-profit collaborator with the Laboratory for Social Machines at the MIT Media Lab, to create this network by melding the power of human stories with technological tools designed for the LVN. Please see lvn.org for more information.

The Political Impact of Social and Economic Change makes use of a panel study begun by political scientist Kent Jennings in 1965 of a national cross-section of people who were high school seniors at the time. Larry Bartels (Vanderbilt University) and I are making use of the 4 waves of data collected through 1997 as well as in-depth interviews of several dozen of these respondents that we are conducting to better understand the way people have responded to social and economic changes since the 1960s. We believe this will help us all better understand contemporary politics. Recent conference papers on this project are available at https://faculty.polisci.wisc.edu/kwalsh2/current-research/.

Communication Ecologies, Political Contention, and the Crisis of Democracy, is a team effort with a group of graduate students and my faculty colleagues Lew Friedland, Dhavan Shah, Michael Wagner, Bill Sethares and Karl Rohe at the UWMadison, and Chris Wells at Boston University, to understand the structure of the communications environment in Wisconsin and its effects on social and political outcomes within the past decade. More info at https://uwpopconf.journalism.wisc.edu/2020-project/.

Katherine Cramer (B.A. University of Wisconsin-Madison 1994, Ph.D. University of Michigan 2000) is a Professor of Political Science and the Natalie C. Holton Chair of Letters & Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Cramer's Dissertation: 07/03/2000 "Making Sense of Who 'We' Are: Giving Meaning to Tools of Political Understanding Through Informal Talk"

Dissertation Committee:  
Burns,Nancy E/Co-Chair
Jackson,John E/Member
Jennings,M Kent/Co-Chair
Kinder,Donald R/Member
Mizruchi,Mark S/Member