Caitlin Tom is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science, focusing on contemporary political theory, the history of political thought, and public law & jurisprudence. Her dissertation, "Self-Definition and Identity in the Politics of Recognition" (working title), examines the politics of recognition and asks what modes of recognition of difference best support individual and collective self-definition. This is accomplished through engagement with theories of the politics of recognition, identity and difference, and freedom and autonomy, coupled with examination of a variety of contemporary efforts to recognize difference in the United States and Canada. Her primary research interests include identity and belonging, citizenship and democratic membership, multiculturalism, and race and ethnic politics. She is also interested in imperialism in political theory, feminist theory and legal philosophy. An Edward Hildebrand Fellowship in Canadian Studies (Summer 2015, 2016-2017) and a Doctoral Fellowship (2012-2015) from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) has supported her doctoral research.
Before coming to Berkeley, she worked as a policy analyst with the Government of Canada, most recently at the Treasury Board Secretariat in the area of Aboriginal Affairs. She holds an M.A. in Political Science from the University of Toronto (2008), where her work was supported by a SSHRC Master’s Scholarship, and she was a Junior Fellow at Massey College. She also holds a B.A. in Politics (Honors) and Economics from Oberlin College (2007).