Listening to Strengthen Democracy
Kathy Cramer, Natalie C. Holton Chair of Letters & Science and Professor of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Senior Advisor at Cortico
Free and open to the public. Reception to follow.
Description: Our Democracy suffers from a lack of listening and an overabundance of people not feeling heard. In her talk, Dr. Cramer will explain what she heard while inviting herself into the conversations of people in small communities in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. That project lead to a collaboration with a team of technology experts at MIT and partner nonprofit, Cortico. Kathy will talk about the community-driven listening network they invented, the Local Voices Network, and share what they've learned so far from chapters in Wisconsin, New York, Massachusetts, and Alabama.
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. During the 2018-2019 academic year she is a Visiting Professor with the Laboratory for Social Machines at the MIT Media Lab. She is an affiliate faculty member in the UW-Madison Elections Research Center, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, LaFollette School of Public Affairs, Institute for Research on Poverty, Center for Community and Nonprofit Studies, Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education, and Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems. 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 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. In 2019 she was elected into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Sponsored by The Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy and The Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.