Emily Contois, PhD, MPH, MLA

Emily Contois, PhD, MPH, MLA
Chapman Assistant Professor of Media Studies
College of Arts & Sciences
Media Studies


PhD – Brown University M.P.H. – University of California, Berkeley M.L.A. – Boston University MA – Brown University BA – University of Oklahoma


Dr. Emily Contois is a scholar and teacher of media, food, and gender. Her first book, Diners, Dudes, and Diets: Gender and Power in U.S. Food Culture and Media, will be published in 2020 with The University of North Carolina Press. This book demonstrates how the food, marketing, and media industries manipulated the concept of "the dude" in order to sell feminized food phenomena to men post-2000. She considers examples such as cookbooks, food TV, yogurts, and weight loss programs. She is also co-editing a volume on food and Instagram with Dr. Zenia Kish.

Dr. Contois completed her PhD in American Studies at Brown University with a Doctoral Certificate in Gender and Sexuality Studies and three specialized teaching certificates from Brown's Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning. She is the author of more than twenty-five peer-reviewed articles, chapters, reference entries, and reviews. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, NPR, The Huffington Post, and Salon, among others. She is the Book Reviews Editor for Food, Culture & Society and serves on the boards of the Association for the Study of Food and Society and H-Nutrition. She also writes for Nursing Clio, blogs at emilycontois.com, and is active on social media at @emilycontois.

Research Interests

Dr. Contois’ research examines the connections between food, the body, health, and identities in the everyday American experience and popular culture.

As an interdisciplinary scholar, her research fields include: media studies, popular culture, food studies, gender studies, critical nutrition studies, fat studies, American studies, history of medicine, and twentieth-century U.S. history.

Recent publications include:

“Welcome to Flavortown: Guy Fieri’s Populist American Food Culture.” American Studies, The Food Issue 57, no. 3 (2019), 143-160.

“The Spicy Spectacular: Food, Gender, and Celebrity on Hot Ones.” Feminist Media Studies. Commentary and Criticism: Food Media Special Issue. 18, no. 4 (2018), 769-773.

“‘Lose Like a Man:’ Gender and the Constraints of Self-Making in Weight Watchers Online.” Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies 17, no. 1 (2017): 33-43.

“Healthy Food Blogs: Creating New Nutrition Knowledge at the Crossroads of Science, Foodie Lifestyle, and Gender Identities.” Yearbook of Women’s History. Special Issue: Gendered Food Practices from Seed to Waste. 36 (2016), 129-145.

“‘He just smiled and gave me a Vegemite sandwich:’ Advertising Australia’s National Food in the United States, 1968-1988.” Journal of Historical Research in Marketing. Special issue: Australian Marketing History 8, no. 3 (2016): 343-357.

“Guilt-Free and Sinfully Delicious: A Contemporary Theology of Weight Loss Dieting.” Fat Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Body Weight and Society. Special Issue: Religion and Fat 4, no. 2 (2015): 112-126.

“Not Just for Cooking Anymore: Exploring the Twenty-First Century Trophy Kitchen.” Graduate Journal of Food Studies 1 (2014): 1-8.

“Toned Tummies and Bloated Bellies: Activia Yogurt and Gendered Digestion.” CuiZine: The Journal of Canadian Food Cultures 5, no. 1 (2014). (Best Graduate Student Paper Award).

“Food and Fashion: Exploring Fat Female Identity in Drop Dead Diva.” Fat Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Body Weight and Society. Special Issue: Visual Representation 2, no. 2 (2013): 183-196.

Teaching Interests

Teaching interests include: media studies, popular culture, food studies, food media, food writing, advertising, gender studies, nutrition and health.

For more information about the courses I teach, visit: https://emilycontois.com/category/teaching/

Courses Taught

  • Principles of Advertising
  • Media and Popular Culture
  • Persuasive Influences in America

Awards & Honors

  • 2019-2020 Chapman Professorship
  • Faculty Development Summer Fellowship
  • 2019 Equity Award