Katherine J. Cramer

Position title: Professor and Natalie C. Holton Chair of Letters & Science | American Politics

Email: kathy.cramer@wisc.edu

223 North Hall

Affiliated with Elections Research Ctr, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, LaFollette School of Public Affairs, IRP, Ctr for Integrated Agricultural Systems, WI Ctr for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education, Center for Community and Nonprofit Studies


Ph.D. in Political Science, University of Michigan, 2000

B.A. in Political Science and Journalism, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1994

Research Interests:

Civic Engagement, Civic and Liberal Education, Civic Society, Conservatism, Deliberation, Cultural Issues, Geography, Political Communication, Political Culture, Political Participation, Populism, Public Opinion, Race, Social Class, University Politics, Voting Behavior


Katherine Cramer (B.A. University of Wisconsin-Madison 1994, Ph.D. University of Michigan 2000) is the Natalie C. Holton Chair of Letters & Science and the Virginia Sapiro Professor of Political Science. Her work 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 such as inviting herself into the conversations of groups of people to listen to the way they understand public affairs. She is currently a co-chair of the American Academy of Arts and Science’s Commission on Reimagining Our Economy. She is a co-founder of Fora, a human-tech platform that enables people to understand their communities’ life experiences, amplify typically underheard voices, inform public understanding, and drive better policy and decision-making to better outcomes. She serves on the board of Cortico, the nonprofit that operates Fora, and is a visiting professor with the affiliated Center for Constructive Communication at the MIT Media Lab. 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 is an affiliate faculty member in the UW-Madison Elections Research Center, Center for Communication and Civic Renewal, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, LaFollette School of Public Affairs, Institute for Research on Poverty, and Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems. She was inducted into the Grafton (Wisconsin) High School Hall of Fame in 2011, the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters in 2018, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2019, and the American Academy of Political and Social Science in 2021. She 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, and a 2021-2026 Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation Professorship.


PS 515: Public Opinion Spring 2023

PS 410 Citenship, Democracy, and Difference Fall 2019-2020

PS 900 Public Opinion Spring 2017-2018

PS 201 Citizenship, Democracy, and Difference Fall 2016-2017

PS 201 Citizenship, Democracy, and Difference Fall 2015-2016



Selected as a Fellow of the Wisconsin Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Search Committee for Editor of American Journal of Political Science.


Kellett Mid-Career Award

Best Book Award, APSA Qualitative and Multi-Method Research section for The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker (Chicago University Press, 2016), is the recipient of the section’s award for the best book developing or applying qualitative methods published in 2016.


Named as a “Woman to Watch” by Brava Magazine.

Honored Instructor Award


Named by Brava Magazine as a “Woman To Watch” (see pages 6, 20, and 51).

Leon Epstein Faculty Fellow by the College of Letters and Science


Award for the Best Qualitative and Multi-Method submission to the American Political Science Review in 2012


Honored Instructor Award, UW-Madison Division of Housing


Dr. Brenda Pfaehler Award of Excellence, 2011, UW-Madison Office of Educational Opportunity

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