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Center For Gaming Research Announces 2016-17 Eadington Fellows

By skennedy on November 16, 2016 12:42 PM | Permalink

Image of gaming house during the Renaissance after a miniature on vellum

Image featuring a gaming house during the Renaissance after a miniature on vellum. From the Musée rétrospectif de la classe 100 : Jeux à l'exposition universelle internationale de 1900, à Paris. Rapport présenté by Henry d'Allemagne (Taxe Collection, UNLV Libraries Special Collections).

The Center for Gaming Research at the UNLV University Libraries is pleased to announce that four researchers have been selected as the 2016-2017 Eadington Fellows. The Eadington Fellowships foster scholarship focused on gambling issues and encourage the use of the rare and unique collections housed in Special Collections at UNLV University Libraries.

“The Eadington Fellowships support scholarly inquiry in gaming by providing researchers with access to our diverse collections,” said David G. Schwartz, director of the UNLV Center for Gaming Research. “These scholars will have the opportunity to visit Las Vegas and access these unique resources to explore materials related to their research interests.”

Each Eadington Fellow will complete a residency at UNLV University Libraries Special Collections, deliver a public colloquium which is recorded as part of the center’s podcast series, and contribute a brief paper to the center’s Occasional Paper Series.

The 2016-2017 Eadington Fellows include:

Jessalynn Strauss, assistant professor of strategic communications, Elon University
Residency: Nov. 9-18
Colloquium Topic: “Promoting Las Vegas: Stories and Strategies of Casino News Releases”
Colloquium Date: Jan. 25, 3 p.m.

Strauss’ research addresses corporate social responsibility and public relations in the casino industry, particularly in the city of Las Vegas. She will examine press releases available in the Publicity and Promotions archive of the Gaming Collection. Her colloquium will open a window into the history of casinos in Las Vegas and explore how they evolved into legitimate business endeavors and investments.

Mark Johnson, postdoctoral fellow in the science and technology studies unit, University of York
Residency: June 17-July 17, 2017
Colloquium: “The Social Construction of the Professional Gambler”
Colloquium Date: July 14, 2017, 3 p.m.

Johnson’s research focuses on professional gameplay of all kinds - video games, gambling games, board games - and numerous other topics within game studies. He is also a former professional poker player, a multiple video game world record holder, an independent game developer, and a freelance games writer. During this fellowship, Johnson will investigate the depictions and portrayals of professional gamblers over the past few decades. He is particularly interested in the tension between concepts of "professionalism" - reliable, regular, income - and "gambling" in constructing and relating the life stories and career paths of professional gamblers.

Kelli Wood, assistant professor of art history, University of Michigan; and a postdoctoral scholar in the Michigan Society of Fellows
Residency: July 16-Aug. 11, 2017
Colloquium: “A History of Play in Print: Paper Games from Cards to Candyland”
Colloquium Date: Aug. 8, 2017, 3 p.m.

Wood’s research has been supported by several fellowships and institutions, including as a Fulbright Fellow at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz - Max-Planck-Institut and as a Samuel H. Kress Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. In addition to her work on early modern art, her interests include game studies and its history in visual and material culture, including video games. Wood will utilize printed sources from the 16th century and sources relating to the historiography of playing cards as material objects. Her colloquium will be a transhistorical look at the evolution of paper games from Renaissance cards to modern board games and can be learned about storytelling, imagination, and chance from these games.

Massimo Leone, professor of semiotics, cultural semiotics, and visual semiotics and director of the MA program in communication studies, University of Turin, Italy
Residency: Sept. 2-16, 2017
Colloquium: “Praying and Gambling”
Colloquium Date: Sept. 14, 2017, 3 p.m.

Leone graduated in Communication Studies from the University of Siena, and holds a Diploma of Profound Studies in History and Semiotics of Texts and Documents from Paris VII, a Master of Philosophy in Word and Image Studies from Trinity College Dublin, a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from the Sorbonne, and a Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Fribourg. His work focuses on semiotics, semiotic of culture, and visual semiotics. During his two-week fellowship, Leone will study early modern and modern materials on the relationship between Christianity and gaming, as well as on secular attempts at gambling moralization.

Since 2007, 42 researchers from across the globe have completed fellowships through the UNLV Center for Gaming Research. In 2013, the fellowships were renamed in honor of William R. Eadington, who pioneered the academic study of gambling, both in Nevada and worldwide. 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.

For more information about the Eadington Fellowships, past research, and the UNLV Center for Gaming Research, visit All presentations will be held in the Goldfield Room at Lied Library and are free and open to the public.