Donovan Conley

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


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.


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

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