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New Occasional Paper: Kelli Wood, A History of Play in Print

By David G. Schwartz on September 20, 2018 5:19 PM | Permalink

Just posted on the Papers page:

Paper 44: September 2018
Kelli Wood. "A History of Play in Print: Board Games from the Renaissance to Milton Bradley."

This essay considers how a historical legacy of printed games dating back to the sixteenth century in Italy laid the foundation for modern board games like those produced by Milton Bradley. The technology of print and the broad publics it reached enabled the spread of a common gaming culture- one built upon shared visual structures in game boards. Modern board games, of course, relied upon similar rules and replicated the ludic functions of their Renaissance progenitors. But perhaps more importantly, they built upon and perpetuated entrenched narratives about how fortune and morality contributed to lived experiences, presenting their viewers and players with a familiar printed imagination of the game of life.

View the paper here (pdf)

New Occasional Paper:

By David G. Schwartz on September 4, 2018 3:15 PM | Permalink

New paper posted on the Papers page:

Paper 43: August 2018
Colleen O'Neill. "Civil Rights or Sovereignty Rights? Understanding the Historical Conflict between Native Americans and Organized Labor"

Unions have played important roles in Indigenous struggles in Latin America and in campaigns that fueled civil rights movements in the United States, including efforts to organize agricultural, hospitality, and health care workers. But, Native Americans have had less of a connection with organized labor. Indeed, in the current climate, labor and tribes seemed to be locked in an adversarial relationship. Tribal leaders see unions as a threat to their sovereignty. Unions, such as Unite-HERE and the United Food and Commercial Workers, clearly see their rights to organize as part of a larger civil rights struggle. Examining struggles between tribal governments and unions (that largely represent workers of color) reveals how distinct historical experience produced divergent types of political strategies and notions of citizenship.

New Paper: Massimo Leone

By David G. Schwartz on July 10, 2018 3:33 PM | Permalink

Just posted on the Occasional Papers page:

Paper 42: July 2018
Massimo Leone. "Christianity and Gambling: An Introduction"

Religions hold complex relations with games and, in particular, with gambling. The article focuses on Christianity. On the one hand, the history of this religion shows a tendency to condemn games as source of distraction from spiritual rectitude and to stigmatize gambling, above all, as opening to metaphysical randomness and, as a consequence, as challenge to the idea of divine omniscience. On the other hand, Christianity has also sought to reinterpret games, and even gambling, as possible occasion for moral improvement and as useful distraction from the hardship of monastic life. A theological perspective that reaches its peak in Thomas Aquinas, but has its roots in Aristotle’s evaluation of playfulness, tends to suggest the need for eutropelia, meant as the citizens’ virtue to appropriately have fun.

New: Jonathan Cohen's "State Lotteries and the New American Dream"

By David G. Schwartz on February 9, 2016 11:16 AM | Permalink

A new Occasional Paper has been posted:

Paper 33: February 2016
Jonathan D. Cohen. "State Lotteries and the New American Dream"

ABSTRACT: This paper analyzes state lotteries in the economic and cultural context of the late twentieth century. As access to traditional meritocratic advancement declined, many Americans perceived lotteries as new means of attaining increasingly elusive upward mobility. Their turn to lotteries was facilitated by grassroots coalitions as well as lottery advertisers who claimed lotteries as effective means of making money. The relationship of lotteries and social mobility reveals the full implications of lottery playing in the United States and the reasons this form of gambling has assumed new importance as providing access to the American Dream.

View the paper here (pdf)

Paper: John Hunt, "Betting on the Papal Election in Sixteenth-Century Rome"

By David G. Schwartz on June 1, 2015 3:11 PM | Permalink

The latest Occasional Paper, by Eadington Fellow John Hunt, has been posted: 

Paper 32: May 2015
John Hunt. "Betting on the Papal Election in Sixteenth-Century Rome"

ABSTRACT: Wagering on the papal election was a popular pastime among all levels of society in sixteenth-century Rome. Brokers and their clients kept well-informed of the election taking place within the closed doors of the conclave. Consequently, wagering on the election proved to be a source of disruption since—intentionally or not—it begat rumors of a pope’s election and spurred brokers to use illicit means of discovering the secrets of the conclave. The papacy thus initiated a campaign against the practice during the last twenty-five years of the sixteenth century. This campaign, partially inspired by the Counter-Reformation’s impulse to reform popular mores, proved successful as wagering on papal elections disappeared after 1592.

View the paper here (pdf)

New Occasional Paper: Catherine Borg, Scouted

By David G. Schwartz on February 4, 2015 10:16 AM | Permalink

We have posted a new Occasional Paper, by January 2015 Eadington fellow Catherine Borg:

Paper 31: February 2015
Catherine Borg. "Scouted: An Inadvertent Archive from the Search for a Cinematic Vegas"

ABSTRACT: This paper explores how Las Vegas casino devel opers have competed with architectural design. Throughout history, they emphasized different elements of the casino complex. This paper will examine three of the most heated wars that occurred between casinos over such elements: the swimming pool wars of the 1950s, the sign wars of the 1960s, and the porte cochère wars of the 1970s. This paper argues how, in the face of competition, each of these elements evolved into truly unique forms that differed greatly from other places. In its relentless pursuit to attract visitors, Las Vegas lay on the forefront of architectural experimentation.

View the paper here (pdf)

Paper: Stefan Al, Casino Architecture Wars

By David G. Schwartz on October 30, 2014 10:44 AM | Permalink

The latest in the Center's Occasional Paper Series has been posted:

Paper 30: October 2014
Stefan Al: "Casino Architecture Wars: A History of How Las Vegas Developers Compete with Architectural Design"

ABSTRACT: This paper explores how Las Vegas casino developers have competed with architectural design. Throughout history, they emphasized different elements of the casino complex. This paper will examine three of the most heated wars that occurred between casinos over such elements: the swimming pool wars of the 1950s, the sign wars of the 1960s, and the porte cochère wars of the 1970s. This paper argues how, in the face of competition, each of these elements evolved into truly unique forms that differed greatly from other places. In its relentless pursuit to attract visitors, Las Vegas lay on the forefront of architectural experimentation.

View the paper here (pdf)