Kaden Paulson-Smith

Ph.D. Candidate: Comparative Politics | Political Theory



Research Interests:

African politics, gender and sexuality, state violence, colonialism, decolonization, feminist theory


Kaden Paulson-Smith is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science specializing in comparative politics and political theory.  Kaden’s research is on the politics of repression and resistance with a focus on nonnormative gender and sexuality in African contexts.  Kaden previously worked for Teaching, Research, & International Policy and AidData at the College of William & Mary’s Global Research Institute.  Kaden holds a BA in Government from Smith College.


Policing Gender and Sexuality: The Persistence and Contestation of Colonizing Institutions in Tanzania

TA for:

History 277: Africa: An Introductory Survey (Teaching Assistant for Neil Kodesh), Fall 2019

International Studies 523: Culture and the Global Workplace (Teaching Assistant for Online Course of International Internships Program), Summer 2019

African Cultural Studies 277: Africa: An Introductory Survey (Teaching Assistant for Matthew Brown), Spring 2019

International Studies 601: Topics in Global Security: Negotiating Peace in the African Great Lakes Region (Graduate Assistant for Russ Feingold), Fall 2018

Political Science 160: Introduction to Political Theory (Head Teaching Assistant for Daniel Kapust), Fall 2018


Student Research Conference Travel Grant, Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Funding in the Graduate School, University of Wisconsin–Madison, April 2019 and August 2019

Scott Kloeck-Jenson International Internship Fellowship, Institute for Regional and International Studies, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Summer 2019

Hyde Dissertation Research Award, Center for Research on Gender and Women, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Summer 2019

Summer Initiative Funding Award, Political Science Department, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Summer 2018, 2019

African Studies Program Scholarship for Northwestern University’s AfriSem Graduate Conference, University of Wisconsin–Madison, April 2019

Royal Air Maroc Student Travel Award, African Studies Association, November 2018

Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship, University of Wisconsin–Madison, 2016-2017, 2017-2018, Summer 2018

Jordan Prize for year’s best graduate paper on Africa, African Studies Program, University of Wisconsin–Madison, 2017-2018

African Studies Summer Fieldwork Award, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Summer 2017

Elections Research Center Fellowship, University of Wisconsin–Madison, 2016-2017