Candice Travis


CESL Academic Advisor & Student Outreach Coordinator

Candice holds a PhD in Political Science from UMass Amherst. She studies white nationalism and conspiracy theory in American Politics. Her work analyzes the language and behavior of political actors in right-wing groups, interpreting their words and lending it historical, social, and political context. She shows how some right-wing groups, like the Proud Boys, rely on a framework of loss and nostalgia to situate their claims for restoring ‘a spirit of Western chauvinism’ in the United States. She also shows how conspiratorial thinking animates violent right-wing groups, binds them together in loose coalitions, and draws in an ever-greater number of supporters who might not otherwise openly express white nationalist, violent, and/or racist right-wing beliefs. In part, she displays - through the language of believers - how the phenomenon of QAnon adherence reflects the power of conspiratorial thinking. Such power is revealed in the violent political effects QAnon has had when it has escaped beyond the internet imageboards on which it was born.

Before coming to CESL, she served as an instructor in the Department of Political Science for 4 years, teaching courses such as Conspiracy Theory & the American Imagination, Modern Political Thought, Interpretation & Analysis, and a First Year Seminar on Power & Politics in the University. She has also taught general Social & Behavioral Science (SBS) First Year Seminars in Student Success, and served as the Program Assistant for First Year Seminars in SBS.