David Canon

Position title: Professor | American Politics

Affiliated with La Follette School of Public Affairs


Ph.D., University of Minnesota, Political Science, 1987

M.A., Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, Political Science, 1984

B.A. in Political Science and Economics, Indiana University, 1981

Research Interests:

American Political Development, Congressional Committees, Congress, Election Administration, Elections, Political Careers, Political Institutions, Race, Redistricting, Representation


David T. Canon is a professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1987 and previously taught at Duke University.  He is currently editor of the Election Law Journal and is affiliated with the  Elections Research Center.

His teaching and research interests are in American political institutions, especially Congress. He is author of Race, Redistricting, and Representation (University of Chicago Press, 1999, winner of the Richard Fenno award for the best book on legislative politics), The Dysfunctional Congress? The Individual Roots of an Institutional Dilemma (with Ken Mayer; 2nd ed. forthcoming with Columbia University Press), Actors, Athletes, and Astronauts: Political Amateurs in the U.S. Congress (University of Chicago Press, 1990), American Politics Today (with William Bianco,WW Norton, 6th ed., 2019), several edited books, and various articles and book chapters.

He also served as the Congress editor for Legislative Studies Quarterly and was a Distinguished Fulbright Chair in Debrecen, Hungary, in 2003-2004 and in Tübingen, Germany, in 2011-2012.  His most recent research concerns election administration and election reform (with a continued interest in redistricting).

He teaches courses on American government with focus on Congress, race and politics, the president, and political parties and was the recipient of a University of Wisconsin Distinguished Teaching award.


PS 481: Honors Seminar on Race and Politics in the United States Spring 2023

PS 408: The American Presidency Spring 2023

PS 904 Seminar in American Politics (Classics in American Politics) Fall 2019-2020

PS 104 Introduction to American Politics and Government Fall 2019-2020

PS 481 Honors Seminar on Race and Politics in the United States Spring 2018-2019

PS 104 Introduction to American Politics and Government Spring 2018-2019

PS 408 The American Presidency Fall 2018-2019

PS 311 United States Congress Fall 2018-2019

PS 481 Honors Seminar on Race and Politics in the United States Spring 2016-2017

PS 104 Introduction to American Politics and Government Fall 2016-2017

PS 104 Politics and American Goverment Spring 2015-2016



Honored Instructor Award


Honored Instructor Award UW Madison Division of University Housing


Co-author, Robert H. Durr 2013 Award for the best paper applying quantitative methods to a substantive problem in political science Midwest Political Science Association


Named a Leon Epstein Faculty Fellow, 2013-2016, by Dean Gary Sandefur

Hear from Professor Canon on these episodes of the 1050 Bascom Podcast!