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Emily Contois Publishes First Book

Emily Contois portrait photo and book cover

Emily Contois Publishes First Book

Honors College alumna and current University of Tulsa professor Emily Contois has published a new book!

Prof. Contois is a scholar and teacher of media, food, and identity. Her book, Diners, Dudes & Diets: How Gender and Power Collide in Food Media & Culture (University of North Carolina Press, 2020) 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.

The phrase 'dude food' likely brings to mind a range of images: burgers stacked impossibly high with an assortment of toppings that were themselves once considered a meal; crazed sports fans demolishing plates of radioactively hot wings; barbecued or bacon-wrapped . . . anything. But there is much more to the phenomenon of dude food than what’s on the plate. Emily J. H. Contois’s provocative book begins with the dude himself—a man who retains a degree of masculine privilege but doesn’t meet traditional standards of economic and social success or manly self-control. In the Great Recession’s aftermath, dude masculinity collided with food producers and marketers desperate to find new customers. The result was a wave of new diet sodas and yogurts marketed with dude-friendly stereotypes, a transformation of food media, and weight loss programs just for guys.

In a work brimming with fresh insights about contemporary American food media and culture, Contois shows how the gendered world of food production and consumption has influenced the way we eat and how food itself is central to the contest over our identities.

Emily Contois is Chapman Assistant Professor of Media Studies at The University of Tulsa. 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. As a public scholar, she has also appeared on CBS This Morning, BBC Ideas, and Ugly Delicious with chef David Chang on Netflix. 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, H-Nutrition, and the Bloomsbury Food Library. She also writes for Nursing Clio, blogs at, and is active on social media at @emilycontois.

Follow the link below to read a full-length interview between Julia Ehrhardt, associate professor of American studies in the Honors College, and Prof. Contois, her former student.

Interview with Prof. Julia Ehrhardt