Donovan Conley

Associate Professor, Communication Studies
Graduate Coordinator
Expertise: Rhetoric, Cultural Studies, Food Studies

Biography

Donovan Conley is an associate professor of rhetorical studies within UNLV's Greenspun College of Urban Affairs.

Conley's main interest is studying how cultural influences shape our everyday habits, preferences, biases, and desires — particularly in the area of food and taste.

His research explores a) what factors contribute to differing opinions on what makes certain foods "good or bad," "healthy or non-healthy," "elite or common," or "yummy or disgusting," and b) how cultural standards guide humans' ideas about topics related to food including: social bonding; the treatment of animals and lands and waterways; corporate research, marketing, and branding practices; public health; and federal agricultural policy.

Before joining the department of Communication Studies in 2004, where he also serves as graduate coordinator for the department’s master's program, Conley held positions at universities in China and Singapore. He is the author and editor of several articles and books which examine the intersections of language, culture, and politics in public life.

Education

  • University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (Master's and Ph.D.)

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Donovan Conley In The News

Vox
November 26, 2020
Recipe debates tend to get people heated fast. Things get particularly fiery around the holidays, when people share their tips and preferences online. Arguments about the best Thanksgiving dish rage on: People seem to feel strongly about things like jellied cranberry sauce, for example, which is popular in America around Thanksgiving but grosses out a lot of people with its sweet flavor and odd texture.
msn
November 26, 2020
Recipe debates tend to get people heated fast. Things get particularly fiery around the holidays, when people share their tips and preferences online. Arguments about the best Thanksgiving dish rage on: People seem to feel strongly about things like jellied cranberry sauce, for example, which is popular in America around Thanksgiving but grosses out a lot of people with its sweet flavor and odd texture.

Articles Featuring Donovan Conley

Campus News | December 10, 2020
A collection of news stories highlighting the election, COVID-19, and scientific discovery at UNLV.