PAMLA is proud to present the special event “Las Vegas, Subverting the Myth”!
From “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” to “The Goldfinch” and “Casino” to “The Hangover,” the image of Las Vegas as a low-brow zone of excess, lawlessness, and wild abandon has been firmly established in literature and film. While—like all stereotypes—these popular characterizations contain truth, they picture only a thin veneer of the city, its unique history, and its vibrantly diverse population. With “Las Vegas: Subverting the Myth,” meet a panel of scholars, artists, writers, and professionals who live and work behind the neon curtain. Discover the people and forces that built and continue to shape the only American metropolis founded in the 20th century.
The special event comprises of two specific roundtable sessions: Las Vegas, Subverting the Myth I: Story & Sound and Las Vegas, Subverting the Myth II: Yesterday, Today, & Tomorrow
Las Vegas, Subverting the Myth I: Story & Sound (Thursday, November 11, from 1:40 to 3:10 pm) examines the diverse, international, and local aesthetic expressions of Las Vegas that have shaped the contemporary face of the city itself, ranging from the poetics, music, and photography of Las Vegas in the 20th century to the outgrowth of museums and festivals. While the image of Las Vegas as a site of decadence and consumption continually permeates the American psyche, alternative visions of Vegas force its inhabitants and visitors to revisit the hidden stories and sounds of the desert city. Panelists include writers, artists, and representatives of Las Vegas museums, businesses, and academic institutions:
- Uli Geissendoerfer, Jazz pianist, composer, UNLV Professor of Music, and former music director for Cirque du Soleil’s “Viva ELVIS” Show
- Harry Fagel, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Captain (ret.), recipient of the LVMPD’s Medal of Valor, and award-winning poet
- Jarret Keene, Author, Editor, and Professor of English at UNLV
- Erica Vital-Lazare, Author and Professor of English, College of Southern Nevada
- Nikki Corda, Professor of Film, College of Southern Nevada and Executive Director of the Nevada Women’s Film Festival
- Brett Riley, Novelist and Professor of English, College of Southern Nevada
- Brian Rouff, Novelist and Managing Partner of Imagine Communications
Las Vegas, Subverting the Myth II: Yesterday, Today, & Tomorrow (Friday, November 12, from 11:50 am to 1:20 pm) explores the lost traces of Las Vegas’ past, it’s ignored present, and dismissed future primarily by confronting the very representations of Las Vegas that obscures or reduces its complex nature. From the way in which media outfits, popular literature, or film offer continued myths of desire and corruption, this session hopes to illuminate it as a crossroads city in the American West that constitutes its own unique vision of a city, beyond simulacra, beyond tourism, and beyond the realm of sin and excess. Panelists include writers, artists, and representatives of Las Vegas museums, businesses, and academic institutions:
- Mark Hall-Patton, Administrator of the Clark County Museums (ret.) and consulting historian on “Pawn Stars”
- Amanda Skenandore, Author of award-winning historical fiction
- Geoff Schumacher, Vice-president of Exhibits & Programs for the Mob Museum, journalist, historian, and author
- Sally Denton, Investigative journalist, historian, and award-winning author
- George J. Chanos, Former Nevada Attorney General, futurist, and author
- Claytee White, Director of the Oral History Research Center, UNLV
- John L. Smith, Nevada Newspaper Hall of Fame journalist and author
- Andrew Kiraly, Editor of KNPR’s Desert Companion magazine and author
Check out both special event roundtables at our conference schedule (https://pamla.ballastacademic.com/Webforms/Schedule.aspx)! We are sure they will be an excellent highlight for our 118th annual PAMLA conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.