2023 Lecture

The Arnold Shaw Popular Music Center
Lecture Series

The Possibility Machine:
Music and Myth in Las Vegas
(University of Illinois Press, 2023)

A panel discussion by

Jake Johnson, Assistant Professor of Musicology, University of Oklahoma
Joanna Dee Das, Associate Professor of Dance, Washington University, St. Louis
Brian F. Wright, Assistant Professor of Music History, University of North Texas

November 17, 2023
5:00 p.m.
Harmon Auxiliary Building, UNLV, Room 110
1325 E. Harmon Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89119

Free and open to the public. Parking free in front of H.A.B.

The Arnold Shaw Popular Music Research Center at UNLV hosts authors featured in this collection of essays. The book examines how music-making and soundscapes shape our city. Treating topics ranging from Cher to Cirque du Soleil, the contributors delve into how music and musicians factored in the early development of Vegas’s image; the role of local communities of musicians and Strip mainstays in sustaining tensions between belief and disbelief; the ways aging showroom stars provide a sense of timelessness that inoculates visitors against the outside world; the link connecting fantasies of sexual prowess and democracy with the musical values of Liberace and others; and the echoes and energy generated by the idea of Las Vegas as it travels across the country.



All lectures will be held on Wednesdays at 5:30 in the Alta Ham Fine Arts Building (HFA), Room 147, on UNLV’s campus.

Click on the links below for more information.

October 12, 2022, 5:30 p.m.

Damani Phillips (University of Iowa) — Lost Soul: Issues in Teaching Ethnically Derived Arts in Academia

October 26, 2022, 5:30 p.m.

Julia Simon (UC Davis) — Debt and the Blues: Sharecropping, Tenancy, and House Contract Sales

February 1, 2023

Marié Abe (Boston University) — Sounding Space and Sociality in Contemporary Japan

March 1, 2023

Julie Hubbert (University of South Carolina) — Barbra Streisand, 2nd Wave Feminism, and New Hollywood Film

Spring 2022 SERIES
Click on the links below for more information.

April 11, 2022, 7:00 p.m.
Christopher Washburne (Columbia University) — “Latin Jazz: The Other Jazz”

May 3, 5:00 p.m.
Robert Fink (UCLA) — “Playlist Culture and the Art of Transition”

2020 Series
Click on the links below for more information.