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Eadington Fellowships in Gaming Research

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Fellowship Application Process

The Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (http://gaming.unlv.edu) invites academic faculty and graduate students to apply for the 2014-15 cycle of William R. Eadington fellowships, which facilitate research into many aspects of both gambling and Las Vegas at UNLV Special Collections.  Although primarily in English, the holdings include many texts in French, German, and Italian spanning the 17th to 21st centuries as well as manuscript collections, casino corporate archives, promotional and publicity files, and government publications. 

The Center awards two kinds of Eadington fellowships.

Four-week Resident Fellowships offer a $3,000 stipend.  This award is intended for graduate students conducting dissertation research, junior faculty, particularly those turning dissertations into books, and senior faculty pursuing new research opportunities.  Resident Eadington Fellows will complete a month-long residency at Special Collections at the University Libraries, deliver a public talk (which is recorded as part of the Center’s podcast series), and contribute a brief paper to the Center’s Occasional Paper Series.  It is expected that the research they conduct will be incorporated into their dissertation, a book, or another major research project.  Residencies for these fellowships can be scheduled to conclude any time before September 1, 2015—this includes the summer.

Two-week Visiting Fellowships offer a $1,500 stipend.  This award is intended for senior faculty or junior faculty who do not have the time to commit to a month-long residency.  Visiting Eadington Fellows will spend a minimum of two weeks in residency doing research at Special Collections, deliver a public talk (which is recorded as part of the Center’s podcast series), and contribute a brief paper to our Occasional Paper Series.  It is expected that their research will be incorporated into an article, book chapter, or other research project. These residencies can be scheduled only during the academic year (September 2014 to May 2015).

Who’s eligible?

Anyone currently in a graduate program (with a preference for Ph.D. students who are ABD) or serving as a university faculty member is eligible to apply. Applicants primarily represent the fields of history, economics, English, history, sociology, and anthropology, though those from all disciplines with relevant research interests are encouraged to apply.  Suggested fields of research include Las Vegas history, the history of gambling, and comparative studies of gambling in literature, history, and society.

Before applying please learn as much as you can about the scope of the collections—priority is given to applicants who specify collections they plan to use.  Visit the Center website for more information about the program, past fellows, and the collections.

How to apply

For the 2014-2015 academic year, please submit the following by July 23, 2014:

  1. A cover letter briefly introducing yourself; please indicate clearly whether you are applying for the Resident or Visiting Eadington fellowship, and when you would prefer to schedule your residency

  2. A brief (2-3 page) description of the proposed research, with details on secondary research already done and sources to be used at UNLV

  3. A full curriculum vitae

  4. For graduate students, one letter of recommendation that evaluates your past research and current project

All materials must be sent electronically; the first three items should be sent in a single pdf file, with the letter of recommendation sent separately as an email (no attachments) by the recommender directly to the center’s director, Dr. David G. Schwartz, at dgs@unlv.nevada.edu. Please email the pdf of the application to the same address.  Paper submissions and those that do not follow these guidelines will be excluded from consideration. 

Successful applicants will be notified by August 8, 2014.

About the Eadington Fellowships

Awarded since 2007 and renamed in honor of William R. Eadington in 2013, the Eadington Fellowships are intended to foster scholarship focused on gambling issues and to encourage the use of the rare and unique collections at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

William R. Eadington (1946-2013) pioneered the academic study of gambling. He was the first holder of the Philip J. Satre chair in Gaming Studies, a professor of economics, and founding director of the Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR).

Over his four decades of work, Eadington became an internationally recognized authority on the legalization and regulation of commercial gambling, the economic and social impacts of gaming and a consultant and adviser to state and provincial governments, Native American tribes, and private sector organizations throughout the world. He was perhaps the single most influential person in establishing the academic study of the gaming industry, both in Nevada and worldwide.

UNLV is an Affirmative Action / Equal Opportunity educator and employer committed to excellence through diversity.

2014-15 Fellows

The Center for Gaming Research is pleased to announce its 2014-15 class of Eadington Fellows. A description of each Fellow, with a summary of their intended research and the date and title of their talk, follows. (pdf version here)

Catherine Borg
Borg (MFA Rutgers 2004, BA SFSU 1995) is a visual artist and educator in Baltimore, MD where she teaches at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) and Stevenson University. Her photo and video based art works have been included in exhibitions and screenings throughout the US, Europe and Canada, including at SF MOMA and Mass MOCA, and realized as public art projects for the Southern Nevada Regional Transportation Commission, the City of Las Vegas and Scottsdale Public Art. Awards include residency fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Jentel Foundation and an Artist Fellowship from the Nevada Arts Council.

Using a collection of images that were taken to evaluate the potential of locations to meet the needs of a 90s film script, she plans to continue her research of the evident traces and liminal space of American culture in transition through these displaced artifacts that present a more dimensional picture of Las Vegas as compared to mainstream media, albeit one that is still incomplete and imbued with the complexity of ownership and purpose.

Borg’s Colloquium lecture, "Scouted: An Inadvertent Archive from the Search for a Cinematic Vegas," is scheduled for January 15, 2015, at 3 PM.

Laurie Arnold
Arnold (Ph.D., Arizona State University, 2005) is an enrolled member of the Sinixt Band of the Colville Confederated Tribes and is Director of Native American Studies at Gonzaga University. She has previously held positions at the D'Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies at the Newberry Library in Chicago and at the University of Notre Dame. Her first book, Bartering with the Bones of Their Dead: The Colville Confederated Tribes and Termination, was published by the University of Washington Press in 2012. She holds a PhD in History from Arizona State University and a Bachelor’s degree in History from Oregon State University.

While at the UNLV Special Collections, Arnold will utilize the Katherine Spilde Papers on Tribal Gaming, for a new research project, A History of Indian Gaming: The First Forty Years. Within the Spilde papers she is particularly interested in testimonies, conference and meetings proceedings, and impact studies related to Indian gaming. Indian gaming both reinforces and limits tribal sovereignty. When considering tribal gaming, Native communities contemplate questions related to tribal identity and tribal cultural practices, and weigh potentially negative impacts on identity and culture against the possibility of economic success. She anticipates that items within the Spilde collection will illustrate some of these discussions and consequently enhance understanding of Native American community perspectives on tribal gaming.

Her Colloquium talk, "Indian Gaming, American Anxiety" is scheduled for March 18, 2015, at 3 PM.

Celeste Chamberland
Chamberland (Ph.D., University of California, Davis, 2004) is currently an Associate Professor of History at Roosevelt University. Specializing in early modern European social and cultural history and the history of medicine, her teaching interests include urban history, gender history, and the history of disease and public health. Her publications include articles in Sixteenth Century Journal, History of Education Quarterly, Social History of Medicine, and Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences. Currently, she is working on a book-length study that explores the relationship between gender, civic culture, and the professional identity of surgeons in early modern London.

In seeking to illuminate the ways in which inchoate models of addiction emerged alongside the unprecedented popularity of gambling in Stuart London, this project will explore the intersections between a rudimentary pathology of addiction and transformations in the epistemology of reason, the passions, and humoral psychology in the seventeenth century. By exploring the connections between endogenous and exogenous categories of mental illness, this study will examine the ways in which medicine, social expectations, and religion intersected in the seventeenth century alongside the historical relationship between evolving concepts of mental illness, stigma and the politics of blame and responsibility in the early modern period.

Chamberland’s colloquium talk, titled, “An Enchanting Witchcraft: Masculinity, Melancholy, and the Pathology of Gaming in Early Modern London,” is scheduled for  May 14, 2015, at 3 PM.

John Hunt
Hunt (Ph. D., Ohio State University, 2009) specializes in the social and cultural history of Renaissance Italy, with a particular focus on popular culture in Papal Rome.  He has written several articles on diverse topics that include the role of public opinion on the conclave and papal election; rumors and the pope’s death; and carriages and violence.  He currently is revising his manuscript, “Violence and the Vacant See in Early Modern Rome,” for publication in late 2015.  Future projects will focus on the culture of gambling in Papal Rome.  He is an assistant professor at Utah Valley University. 

According to Hunt, Romans gambled on everything—from papal elections and the promotion of cardinals to the outcome of tennis matches and card games.  His project focuses on the “culture of gambling” in Renaissance Rome, starting by continuing work on an article about gambling on papal elections.  From there, he will examine the role of gambling in the cultural life of Papal Rome.  Despite the fulminations of preachers and the bulls of stern popes, Romans of all ranks gleefully played cards, diced, and wagered on papal elections.  While in residency, he plans to examine several Italian-language treatises from the 1500s and 1600s.   

Hunt’s Colloquium talk, “Betting on the Triple Crown: Wagering on Papal Elections in Renaissance Rome,” is scheduled for April 15, 2015, at 3 PM.

Monica Steinberg
Steinberg is a Doctoral Candidate in Art History at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her work focuses on the intersections of humor, identity, and contemporary art in the global context. She has contributed to exhibition catalogues including “The Abstract Impulse” (New York, 2007), “The Commonist” (Baku, 2012) and the Venice Biennale’s “Love Me, Love Me Not: Contemporary Art from Azerbaijan” (Venice, 2013); and is currently a Lecturer in the Department of Art and Art History at Tufts University.

Within UNLV Special Collections, Steinberg will conduct research for an article-length project examining aspects of chance and risk that informed the artistic production of Los Angeles artists who frequented Las Vegas in the 1960s. Culling from the Publicity and Promotional material of various institutions including the Desert Inn, the Golden Nugget, the Stardust, and the Sands, as well as documentary photographs and the collection of How-To publications, Steinberg will reconstruct the visual culture that influenced the artworks of several California-based artists.

Steinberg’s Colloquium talk, “Engagements with Chance and Risk: Los Angeles-based artists looking to Las Vegas in the Post-War Era,” is scheduled for June 30, 1015, at 3 PM.

 

History of the program

UNLV has been awarding gaming fellowships since 2007. Here are the past fellows.

The official announcement from the UNLV News Center

Richard Williams
Writer and independent scholar
Residency: May 19-30

A cultural historian with a background in Classics and Art History, Richard has held teaching and research posts at universities including Newcastle and Glasgow, and has published on Greek drama and French revolutionary art. He has also co-curated exhibitions in both of these fields.

Currently Richard is working on genetic criticism of Erle Stanley Gardner’s A.A. Fair novels, arising from study of the manuscripts at the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas, as a visiting Research Fellow in 2011-12, and has given presentations on this work at a number of recent international conferences.

Symposium Talk: Thursday, May 30, 3 PM
“Erle Stanley Gardner in Las Vegas”

See the flyer (pdf)

Why he’s coming: “I am interested in researching Erle Stanley Gardner’s novels with Las Vegas settings; archival material from Binion’s casino concerning the early years of the World Series of Poker.”

Michelle Robinson
Assistant Professor of American Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Residency: Thursday, March 6 - Wednesday, March 19
Michelle Robinson is an Assistant Professor of American Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill. She earned a B.A. in English and American Language and Literature from Harvard University and a Master’s of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School before completing the Ph.D. in Boston University's American and New England Studies Program. Her essays have appeared in Studies in the NovelModern DramaChildren’s Literature Association Quarterly and elsewhere. She is currently completing a book manuscript titled Places for Dead Bodies: Blackness, Labor and Detection in American Literature, which links the emergence and development of the detective fiction genre to anxieties about interracial sociability in the world of work, and beginning research on a project at the intersection of working-class studies and religious studies, which will use historical case studies to suggest new ways of understanding how communities respond to religious events.

 Symposium Talk: Tuesday, March 18, 3 PM
 “Billy Graham Comes to Las Vegas: Faith at Work on the Strip”

See the flyer (pdf)

Why she’s coming:
“Using publicity materials, employee newsletters, and other materials from the UNLV Gaming Collection, I will research the impact of the evangelist’s 1978 and 1980 Vegas crusades on the religious ecology of the Strip, with a specific focus on the lived religious experience of working peoples.”

Robert W. Miller
Assistant Instructor and PhD Candidate in History, University of Kansas
Residency: February 24 – March 21, 2014

Robert Miller is a doctoral candidate in Modern European History at the University of Kansas, under the direction of Dr. Chris Forth.  He received degrees in History, Sociology, and Political Science from Eastern Kentucky University, and a Master of Arts degree in History from the University of Kansas.  His research interests include histories of travel, tourism, culture, and consumption. He is primarily a historian of Europe in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, but also conducts research in international history.  Mr. Miller’s current project is his dissertation “Constructing a Spatial Imaginary: The Formation and Re-presentation of Monte Carlo as a Vacation-Leisure Paradise, 1854-1970.”  The project centers on the way in which casino concessionaires and civic planners established an imaginary of elite, cosmopolitan luxury surrounding the casino-resort of Monte Carlo, and the way in which visitors to the city (and popular culture) perpetuated or changed such an imaginary.

Symposium talk: March 21, 2014, 3 PM
 “Paradise of Spectacle: Imagining and Re-presenting Casino Resorts as Spaces of Luxury and Leisure in the Twentieth Century”

See the flyer (pdf)

 Why he’s coming:
“I will utilize manuscripts, travelogues, photographs, menus, and postcards to conduct a comparative study of casino-resort cities, including Las Vegas, Paris, Baden-Baden, and Monte Carlo.  A majority of this study will consist of visual analysis, as I seek to explore the ways in which casino‐resort towns built upon, referenced, or influenced each others’ reputations through the use of architecture, décor, entertainment, sport, gastronomy, or gambling itself.”

Lee Scrivner
U.S. State Department sponsored University Lecturer, Colombia 
Residency: December 3-17, 2013 and March 16-29, 2014
Lee Scrivner (PhD London 2011, MA Utah 1998, BA Utah 1997) is a Lecturer in American literature and culture sponsored by the US Department of State, currently touring universities in Colombia. Formerly, (2010-2012) he was a Fulbright Lecturer in the Humanities at Bosphorus University in Istanbul, a sessional lecturer at the University of London (2007-2008); and an adjunct professor at UNLV (2001-2005). His first book, Becoming Insomniac: How Sleeplessness Alarmed Modernity forthcoming from Palgrave Macmillan explores a century-and-a-half old notion that modern, technologized life causes insomnia. The book investigates theories of sleeplessness, sensation, attention, and volition in medical, psychological, literary texts--mostly from the Victorian period, but also spanning through to today.

Symposium Talk: Thursday March 27th, 3 PM
“Las Vegas, an Atemporal History”

See the flyer (pdf)

Why he’s coming:
“My research will focus on ways in which Las Vegas came to epitomize global modernity’s technologized forays into the nocturnal and atemporality in general in the past century--especially through the city’s association with “nightlife” and 24-hour activity and in its tendency to deconstruct time and history in its casinos' themes, etc.”

Matias Karekallas
Ph.D. Student, Department of Social Research, University of Helsinki
Project Researcher, The Finnish Foundation for Gaming Research
Residency: March 19 - April 8

Karekallas is a sociology Ph.D. student in the Department of Social Research at the University of Helsinki, Finland. He also has a background in cultural geography where he earned his Master's degree. His dissertation approaches gambling from a cultural perspective and examines the (mental) images and places attached to gambling. In addition to gambling, his primary (research) interests include various phenomena related to popular music and sports. Karekallas is also a project researcher at the Finnish Foundation for Gaming Research and is currently working on a project that examines how people begin and learn to gamble.

Symposium talk: April 3, 3 PM 
"The Ambivalent Images of Las Vegas in Popular Music"

See the flyer (pdf)

Why he’s coming:
“In my work, I examine the images of Las Vegas in popular music. I am  investigating how Las Vegas is represented in popular music and what is the role of music in the portrayal of Las Vegas in popular culture, in place promotion, and in the endorsement of gambling.”

Stefan Al
Associate Professor of Urban Design at the University of Pennsylvania
Residency: May 5-18

Stefan Al is a Dutch architect, urban designer, and Associate Professor of Urban Design at the University of Pennsylvania. In his career to date, Al has worked on renowned architectural projects such as the 2,000-feet high Canton Tower in Guangzhou, the preservation of world heritage in Latin America at the World Heritage Center of UNESCO, and an 11,000-acre new eco-friendly city in India.

Al's research interests include urban form and evolution, urbanization in developing countries, and ecological urban development. His design practice is dedicated to sustainable architecture and urban design, with design work exhibited at the Shenzhen and Hong Kong Architecture Biennale.  
His writing has been published in the Handbook of Architectural Theory, the Berkeley Planning JournalUrban China, and other publications. He has edited the books Factory Towns of South China and Urban Villages of South China (forthcoming), and is currently writing a book on Las Vegas called The Strip."

Symposium Talk: Thursday May 15, 3 PM
"Casino Architecture Wars: A History of How Las Vegas Developers Compete with Architectural Design."

See the flyer (pdf)

Why he’s coming:
"I am interested in exploring how various architectural aspects of Las Vegas Strip casino complexes have evolved – including architectural typology, signage, porte-cocheres, atriums and pools – from 1941 until today. To do so I will digitally reconstruct historical casinos based on material from the Special Collections of UNLV, for instance old architectural drawings and photos."


 

2012-13 Fellows

Beverly Geesin
Senior Lecturer, English Language and Linguistics, York St John University
In residency January 17-31, 2013

Dr Beverly Geesin is Senior Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics at the York St John University Business School. Her doctoral thesis, recently completed in Sociology at the University of York and entitled ‘Resistance to Surveillance in Everyday Life’, examines contemporary forms of surveillance and develops a theoretical framework for understanding individual practices of resistance with a focus on everyday life, urban space and consumption. This follows a MA in Interactive Media from Goldsmiths, University of London and a BA in Sociology from the University of Maryland. Beverly’s current research examines how surveillance becomes normalized through consumption and the relationship between surveillance and urban renewal.

Colloquium: “‘Surveillance and the Marketing of Vice”
January 31, 3:30 PM, Special Collections Reading Room

Flyer (pdf)

 

David J. Hart
Assistant Professor of Philosophy, West Texas A & M University
In residency: January 31-February 15, 2012

Hart joined WTAMU during the 2007 fall semester after receiving his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Georgia. Previously, he completed his B.A. and M.A. in English at UGA and a B.A. in religious studies at Georgia State University. Hart regularly teaches courses in both philosophy and English, as well as directing the University Writing Center, and has consulted for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. His primary research interests are early modern thought, the history of empiricism, and the intersections of philosophy and literature. Forthcoming publications include a philosophical essay on sovereignty (The Remnant Review), as well as literary essays on James Joyce (James Joyce Quarterly) and J. L. Borges (Variaciones Borges). Recent funded research includes work at the Leo Strauss Archive at the University of Chicago.

Colloquium: “An Illegitimate Child: Epilepsy, Gambling, and the Birth of Probability”
February 14, 3:30 PM, Special Collections Reading Room

Flyer (pdf)

 

Diana Tracy Cohen
Assistant Professor of Political Science, Central Connecticut State University
In residency: March 18 – 28, 2013
Dr. Cohen currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Central Connecticut State University.  A scholar with interdisciplinary interests, she conducts research in the areas of Internet and media politics, campaigns and elections, sport, family, and gender.  She is currently working a book project that examines a population that she calls Iron Dads, men who balance work, family and endurance sport.  Diana is an avid endurance athlete herself.  She competes in numerous triathlons and marathons every year.

Talk: “Advertising Parenting in Las Vegas: An Analysis of Time and Space”
Date: March 28, 3:30 PM, Special Collections Reading Room

Flyer (pdf)

Paper:"Shipwreck with Speculator: early Modern Representations of Risk and Gambling"

 

Stephen C. Andrade
Associate Professor of Computer Graphics, Johnson & Wales University
In residency: April 1-14, 2013
Stephen Andrade has been active in the technology field for over 35 years. He has been affiliated with JWU for 16 years and has implemented several enrollment-leading degree programs in the field of computer graphics. He has collaborated on issues of technology with various university departments and a number of highly regarded innovative “digital” organizations. He has spent the past 4 years cultivating a special relationship with GTECH – the world’s leader in wager-based gaming and lottery systems. His work includes ongoing research into visual metaphor and games of chance for the digital generation. His research is brought into the classroom and experiential education, providing JWU students, faculty and staff with unique ‘trusted partner’ status at GTECH. Prior to joining JWU, Andrade was a technology researcher at Brown University with IRIS – the Institute for Research in Information and Scholarship, and the Annenberg Institute for School Reform. He has consulted with the U.S. Department of Defense, the Department of Commerce and the White House on issues of technology innovation and reform.

Talk: “Visual Metaphor in Games of Chance  - What You See is What You Play”
Date: April 11, 3:30 PM, Special Collections Reading Room

Flyer (pdf)

Paper: "Visual Metaphor in Games of Chance: What You See is What You Play"

 

David T. Courtwright
Presidential Professor, Department of History, University of North Florida
In residency: April 28-May 11, 2013.
David T. Courtwright, Ph.D. Rice 1979, is a presidential professor at the University of North Florida, where he offers courses in American history, comparative history, and the history of medicine and disease. He has published influential books on drug use and drug policy, both in American and world history; the social problems of frontier environments on the land and in the air; and the culture war that roiled American politics during and after the 1960s. Courtwright's research is concerned with power, policy, and social structure; he seeks to identify what drives (or sometimes retards) fundamental changes in modern social and political history. He is currently working on another project in this vein, a book about pleasure, vice, addiction and capitalism in the modern world.
Resident:

Colloquium: "Learning from Las Vegas: Addiction, Limbic Capitalism, and Pleasure Meccas" 
Date: May 9, 3:30 PM, Special Collections Reading Room

Flyer (pdf)

 

Brian Beaton
Assistant Professor, School of Information Sciences, University of Pittsburgh
In residency: May 6-17, 2013
Brian Beaton is an Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Information Sciences. His research concerns interactions between technology, information, and people. Among his current research projects, Beaton is studying public participation in the sciences and the crowdsourcing of scientific and biomedical research. His work at UNLV will focus on the growing use of online games designed to involve ordinary people in the collection, manipulation, and analysis of large scientific data sets. He will be studying how Las Vegas casinos draw crowds, looking for crowd-drawing techniques that seem to hold the most potential for re-use and adaptation within the context of online “citizen science” games. Beaton hopes to learn how to attract more people to such games, utilizing those strategies proven effective in Las Vegas casinos and gaming centers.
Talk “Drawing Crowds to Citizen Science: Data Collection and Analysis as Everyday Gaming”
Date: May 16, 3:30 PM, Special Collections Reading Room

Flyer (pdf)

2011-12 Fellows

Read the press release (pdf) about the 2011-12 fellows..

Kah-Wee Lee
Resident August/September 2011
Lee is a doctoral candidate in the department of architecture at the University of California, Berkeley. His dissertation looks at the taming of vice in the context of postcolonial urbanism. Taking as his sites the recent casino developments in Singapore and Macau, he looks at how architectural design, urban planning and other environmental technologies help to draw the line between what is tolerated and what is not. His work at the Lied Library focuses on the historical evolution of gaming machines as part of this larger trajectory.

Lecture: "Taming Vice: How Machines and Architecture Changed the Culture of Gambling" Listen to the audio file (mp3)

Paper: "Containment and Virtualization: Slot Technology and the Remaking of the Casino Industry."

Thomas Norman
Resident December 2011
Norman is a Fellow in economics at Magdalen College, Oxford.  His research is in game theory, and his project at UNLV is the game-theoretic study of poker.  In particular, his work extends a standard model of poker to the case where players can bet any amount from their stack, and analyzes how this modification alters game-theoretic predictions.

Paper:

Jessalynn Strauss
Resident March 2012
Strauss is an assistant professor at Xavier University. Her teaching and research interests include public relations, corporate social responsibility, nonprofit organizations, and the history and culture of Las Vegas. She recently completed a dissertation examining corporate social responsibility in the Las Vegas casino industry. Her research in special collections will examine the history of public relations and promotions by Las Vegas casinos.

Paper: "From the Last Frontier to the New Cosmopolitan A History of Casino Public Relations in Las Vegas"

Lynn Gidluck
Resident March/April 2012
Gidluck is a doctoral candidate in the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Regina in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. Her work at UNLV will focus on how governments in North America and around the world have justified the expansion of gambling by developing partnerships with the voluntary sector and/or earmarking generated funds to programs seen to benefit the wider society such as education, sport, and culture. She is particularly interested in the public policy implications of government-operated or directed  gambling operations like state-run lotteries.

Paper: "Halos, Alibis and Community Development: A Cross National Comparison of How Governments Spend Revenue from Gambling"

Christopher Wetzel
Resident April 2012
Wetzel is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Stonehill College.  His project looks at how issues of race, class, and gender have shaped debates over gaming legalization since the 1930s.  His research at UNLV will examine how casino proprietors, civic organizations, and elected officials in Nevada have framed subsequent efforts to establish pari-mutuel wagering and a state lottery.

Paper: "Moral Markets and the Problematic Proprietor: How Neoliberal Values Shape Lottery Debates in Nevada"

 

2010-11 Fellows

Pauliina Raento
Resident November 2010
Raento is Professor in Human Geography at the University of Helsinki, Finland, and Research Director for The Finnish Foundation for Gaming Research. Her research project at the UNLV takes an interdisciplinary look at the naming of Nevada's gambling establishments in the latter half of the twentieth century. The research in Nevada will support her qualitative data analysis with local, contemporary voices and visualization.

Lecture: The Naming of Gaming in Nevada see flyer | listen to audio (mp3)

RJ Rowley
Resident January, 2011
Rowley is an assistant professor of geography at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, who is expanding one of the themes explored in his dissertation on the meaning of neighborhood casinos to local residents. Rowley feels the development of the locals casino market is an important part of the gaming industry in Las Vegas and the United States. He hopes to contribute a geographic perspective to this largely historical project through the use of mapping and GIS analysis of the information discovered in research conducted in Special Collections.

Lecture: ""Neon Beyond the Neon: The Geography of Locals Casinos" Listen to the audio file (mp3)

Paper: “Where Locals Play: Neighborhood Casino Landscapes in Las Vegas”

Darryl Smith
Resident February, 2011
Smith is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at  Pomona College and  Affiliate of the Intercollegiate Department of Black Studies at the Claremont Colleges. He plans to research how tells in gambling  can be compared to sacred language as considered in a number of disciplines. The study for these signal genres of tell-signs and the strategies developed and deployed to expose them, holds promise for a practical reassessment of the notion of so-called “true names.”

Lecutre: "“'Dark with Excessive Bright'”: Gambling Tells and the Naming Taboo" Listen to the audio file (mp3)

Paper :"Souls/Soles of Signs: Tell Totems and the Sphinx Wager."

Benjamin Min Han
Resident March, 2011
Han is currently a doctoral candidate in the Department of Cinema Studies at New York University.  His dissertation, tentatively titled “Variety on the Small Screen: A Cultural History of Asian and Latino/a Performers on Television” is a multicultural project that examines ethnic performances on television and the instrumental role international talent played in the Cold War. His interest in Las Vegas developed while researching the Kim Sisters, a multi-talented South Korean female trio, who started their U.S. career performing in Las Vegas in 1959.  He believes his research will make an important contribution to the disciplines of American studies, history, and media studies.

Lecture: “We’re Right Next Door’: Televisual Las Vegas in Cold War America” Listen to the audio file (mp3)

Paper:

2009-10 Fellows

Pascale Nedelec
Resident March 1-March 30, 2010
Ms. Nedelec is a Ph.D.Candidate in geography at the University of Lyon 2 in Lyon, France, who is working on the ideas of Las Vegas and duality. She hopes to understand its concrete materializations for the local population, for the tourists and for the city itself. Moreover, she is developing the notion of transient city that she deems especially pertinent for Las Vegas. Her preliminary fieldwork has led her to conclude that Las Vegas distinguishes itself by the importance of an ephemeral population that leaves the city after an average period of 5 to 10 years. This situation may be linked to a status of frontier-town and to a pioneer mentality characterizing part of the inhabitants. Hence, she argues the existence of a specific sense of place in Las Vegas, affecting the very urban nature and the various processes of local appropriation.

Lecture: Listen to the audio file (mp3)

Paper: Pascale Nedelec. “Urban Dynamics in the Las Vegas Valley: Neighborhood Casinos and Sprawl,” Occasional Paper Series 4. Las Vegas: Center for Gaming Research, University Libraries, University of Nevada Las Vegas, 2010.

Theodor Gordon
Resident April 1-April 30, 2010
Mr. Gordon is a Ph.D. Candidate in cultural anthropology at the University of California, Riverside who is currently conducting ethnographic fieldwork with a focus on the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and its neighboring communities, Highland and San Bernardino, California. His dissertation research analyzes the relationship between the local ecnomic impacts of tribal gaming and changing cultural constructions of American Indian identity.

Lecture: Listen to the audio file (mp3)

Paper: Theodor Gordon. “Nation, Corporation, or Family? Tribal Casino Employment and the Transformation of Tribes,” Occasional Paper Series 5. Las Vegas: Center
for Gaming Research, University Libraries, University of Nevada Las Vegas, 2010.

Laura Cook Kenna, Ph.D.
Resident May 1-May 30, 2010
Dr. Cook Kenna is Visiting Assistant Professor of American Studies at George Washington University whose area of research is a 20th century cultural history with emphases on post-WWII race and ethnicity and the history of mass culture. Her investigation into the ways that Las Vegas entertainment and entertainers were understood is part of a more ranging historical analysis of how Americans responses to gangster-tinged culture have depended upon and also reshaped their views of media and of difference. In her research, she examines widely popular gangster-inflected entertainment, including television series, films, rap
music, and video games, as well as the mob-related rumors that colored Sinatra and Vegas reputations. Her approach pushes beyond traditional genre or stereotype studies of the gangster by focusing on the history of public adulation as well as public controversy that followed gangster media.

Lecture:Listen to the audio file (mp3)

Paper: Laura Cook Kenna. “The Promise of Gangster Glamour: Sinatra, Vegas, and Alluring, Ethnicized, Excess," Occasional Paper Series 6. Las Vegas: Center for Gaming Research, University Libraries, University of Nevada Las Vegas, 2010.

2008-09 Fellows

Jacob Avery Sociology, University of Pennsylvania (Ph.D Candidate)
Resident February 15-March 15, 2009
Jacob is a fourth-year PhD student in sociology whose current research interests lie at the intersection of a number of substantive areas within sociology, including: urban studies, deviance, culture, games and gambling, work and identity, and qualitative methods.  His dissertation, an ethnography, is looking at how ‘regulars’ in Atlantic City’s casino card rooms think about and understand their involvement with poker and, in turn, how they construct an identity around their involvement with poker. The primary question animating this research is: how does the game of poker organize the everyday lives of card room regulars?

Lecture: Listner to the audio file (mp3)

Nicholas Tosney, Ph.D. History, University of York (UK)
Resident April 25-May 25. 2009
Nicholas has conducted extensive research into gambling, culminating in his doctoral dissertation, which is a wide-ranging social history of gaming structured around five main subjects: the regulation of the playing card trade and the taxation of gaming; crime and the ‘policing’ of gaming; gaming environments; attitudes to gaming; and cheating. But because gaming was so rife in early modern England, his study also reveals much about processes of commercialisation and economic development, attitudes to risk, different types of sociability, and crime and the policing of popular recreations.   To better adapt his dissertation for commercial publication, he is broadening it to include an examination of the development of Las Vegas.

Lecture:Listen to the audio file (mp3)

Cristina Turdean History, University of Delaware (Ph.D Candidate)
Resident November 3-December 3, 2008 
Cristina is part of the Hagley Program at Delaware, and concentrates on the history of technology, work, business consumption, and industrialization.  Her dissertation, which is called Betting on Computers: Digital Technologies and the Rise of the Casino Industry in the United States, examines how American casinos adopted and used digital technologies (computers in particular) and, in the process, gained social and economic prominence in the post-1960 era. While this topic contributes to the existing literature on the history of gambling, it also addresses aspects that have been even less explored by historians of gambling (i.e. technology, business practices, labor and skills).

Lecture: Listen to the audio file (mp3)

2007-08 Fellows

The Gaming Fellowship Program began in 2007 with funding from UNLV University Libraries. In the first awards cycle, five applicants were chosen for month-long residencies. They were:

Dr. Stewart Ethier, mathematics

Jane Haigh, history

Dr. Larry Gragg, history | read occasional paper: "The Powerful Mythology Surrounding Bugsy Siegel" (pdf)

Dr. Matt Johnson, history

Dr. Jessica Cattelino, anthropology


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Last modified Wednesday, 03-Sep-2014 15:19:48 PDT