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Steven Hoelscher, Chair Burdine 437, Mailcode B7100, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-7277

Carrie Andersen


Doctoral Student
Carrie Andersen



Originally from the northwest suburbs of Chicago, Carrie moved to the east coast to attend Harvard University in 2004, where she received her bachelor's degree in Government with minors in Spanish and health policy. The following fall, she crossed the country to Honolulu, Hawaii, to teach English at Punahou School as part of their Mentoring at Punahou program, and enrolled at UT in Fall 2010.  

She is currently a Ph.D. candidate, and her dissertation considers the military drone as a contested symbol and tool of security within the post-9/11 cultural and political milieu. Although state and corporate rhetoric often celebrates the drone as a technology essential for shoring up national security, she considers how the military drone exacerbates lived insecurity within the United States - even among those who will never directly confront the technology. She examines insecurity through the lenses of gender, religious affiliation, political emotions, citizenship and democratic agency, class, and transhumanism. In 2014, she was awarded one of the university's Continuing University Fellowships to support her dissertation research for the 2015-2016 school year. 

Carrie is also a student administrator in the Department of American Studies. Her duties include managing the department's social media presence and blog, researching external grants for departmental multimedia projects, spearheading campaigns to secure donations from graduate and undergraduate alumni, designing graphics and posters to publicize department events, filming and photographing department events, collaborating with the College of Liberal Arts IT Services on a website redesign, and managing the department website (which includes maintaining faculty and graduate student directories, departmental news briefs, and events calendar). For more information, see the department blog, Twitter account, and Facebook page.

In addition, Carrie serves on the editorial board of The End of Austin, a digital humanities project that explores change within the city of Austin. She also designed and maintains the publication's website. Previously, she was a member of the editorial board for the UT Radio-Television-Film department's Flow journal, and served as the publication's Marketing Editor. 

For more information about Carrie's research, teaching, and work experience, see her website.



M.A. American Studies, The University of Texas at Austin, 2012.

A.B. Government cum laude, Harvard University, 2008.



“Games of Drones: The Uneasy Future of the Soldier-Hero in Call of Duty: Black Ops II.” Surveillance and Society 12, no. 3 (July 2014): 360-376.



“‘Why Do They Make It So Extreme?!’ On Videogame Glitches and Joy.” Flow 18, no. 8.

“Comedy and the Social Contract: The Surprisingly Conservative Vision of Louis C.K.” Flow 16, no. 5.




military technology; war, media, and emotion; political theory; American conservatism; digital humanities; media studies; 20th century American history; public scholarship

AMS S370 • Conservatism In America

80926 • Summer 2015
Meets MTWTHF 1000am-1130am BUR 436B
show description


What does it mean to be conservative? Applying at once to Thomas Jefferson, Rand Paul, Ann Coulter, and Jerry Falwell, the moniker “conservative” that describes politicos and pundits has become strikingly messy and indeterminate. This class explores the history and culture of the Right in America from the 18th century until the present, focusing in particular on the ways that conservative ideologies fractured into diverse movements and identities after WWII and into the present.

We will begin with anti-Federalism at the nation's inception, Southern conservatism and the Civil War, 19th century antimodernism, off-the-grid approaches to nature, and nascent 20th century clashes between religion and science. We will then explore the multifaceted forms of conservatism that have developed since 1945, including (but not limited to) anti-Communism in Hollywood, Ayn Rand's objectivism, neoconservatism, the Reagan Revolution, the Religious Right, the Tea Party, the Minutemen Project on the U.S.-Mexico border, and “Silicon Valley Libertarians.”

This class has four principal objectives. First, we will chart the development of these ideologies by attending to their emergence within particular historical contexts. Second, we will examine both common threads and points of difference across varying forms of conservatism over time. Third, we will examine the social and political consequences of these ideologies as they play out along the lines of class, race, gender, and sexuality. Finally, we will explore how these ideologies have been expressed and revised in political theory texts, speeches, works of journalism, film, literature, television, video games, art, and other cultural works.

Possible Texts

Short excerpts from:

Alexis De Tocqueville, Democracy in America
Colin Dueck, Hard Line: The Republican Party and U.S. Foreign Policy Since WWII
Thomas Doherty, Cool War, Cool Medium: Television, McCarthyism, and American Culture
Hanna Rosin, God’s Harvard: A Christian College on a Mission to Save America
Harel Schapira, Waiting for José: The Minutemen’s Pursuit of America
Corey Robin, The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin
Additional short articles to be posted on Canvas


Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
Inherit the Wind (1960)
Rambo: First Blood (1982)
Iron Man 2 (2010)
Our Nixon (2013)


Contributions to class blog (20%)

In-class participation (15%)

Intellectual autobiography (750-1000 words) (10%)

Final paper (2000-2500 words): choice of close reading and analysis of a cultural artifact OR intellectual biography of a conservative figure (55% total):

  • Research paper proposal (250-500 words): 10%
  • Annotated bibliography: 15%
  • Final draft: 30%
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