Dominic is a Ph.D. student in American Studies and Gender, Women & Sexuality studies. Dongilli examines the power of zoos as American institutions—how exhibits use encounters with animals to define environmental belonging in the US; and establish an interspecies civic responsibility through OneHealth narratives and the reproductive politics of conservation breeding programs. Beyond his formal dissertation research, he has pursued this interest in community knowledge formation as a Research Assistant for a Harm Reduction digital storytelling project and Community Archives Coordinator at Public Space One. His work is deeply informed by his prior career as a Great Apes Zookeeper & Conservation Educator, and undergraduate degree in biological sciences.
Dominic also works as the inaugural Graduate Consultant at the University of Iowa’s Center for Teaching and works closely with the Obermann Center’s Mellon-funded Humanities for the Public Good grant program. He teaches courses including “Introduction to American Studies” (AMST 2000), “Food in America” (AMST 1154), and “Understanding American Cultures” (AMST 1010.)
- zoos & museum studies
- the American environmental imaginary
- queer studies/critical animal studies
- public humanities and community engagement
- scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL)