She received her PhD in Linguistic Anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her dissertation investigates how jurors make decisions in Texas death penalty trials, focusing on how language constructs defendants as particular legal, moral and cultural subjects and how these constructions influence jurors’ decisions. She has published additional research addressing the legal, medical and linguistic constraints on transgendered identity construction and the narrative tools actual jurors use to make decisions in Political and Legal Anthropology Review and Studies in Law, Politics, and Society. Her research and teaching emphasize legal and institutional discourse, violence and empathy in democratic processes, ethnographic methods and theory, and gender and language in society.
Conley, R. (under contract). Executing Language: Discourses of rationality and empathy in jurors’ death penalty decisions. Oxford University Press.
Conley, R. (forthcoming, 2013). Living with the Decision that Someone Will Die: Linguistic distance and empathy in jurors’ death penalty decisions. Language in Society.
Conley, R. & J.M. Conley (2009). Stories from the Jury Room: How jurors use narrative to process evidence. Studies in Law, Politics, and Society 49(2).
Conley, R. (2008). “At the time she was a man”: The temporal dimension of identity construction. Political and Legal Anthropology Review 31(1):28-47.
Law, Culture & Society
Language, Gender and the Body
Theory in Ethnology: Anthropological Knowledge and Authority