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Conferences & lectures

ATMOSPHERES: A Touch of Luck and a ‘Real Taste of Vegas’: A Sensory Ethnography of the Montreal Casino

Thursday, October 15, 2020
1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Erin Lynch (Centre for Sensory Studies, Concordia University)


This event is free




Allison Peacock



CISSC ATMOSPHERES virtual lecture series Photo by Erin Lynch.

Given the recent explosion of “experiential design” and mood management in casinos, this presentation argues that sensory ethnography offers valuable insight into the (co)production of casino atmospheres. Looking particularly at the Montreal Casino’s ‘Vegas Nights’ promotion, we ask: how does the casino feel (and how does it touch back)? What rhythms flow through its neon labyrinth? What does “getting a real taste of Vegas,” well … taste like? Moreover, we position this ambiance at the center of the casino’s “push-and-pull” approach to problem gambling - where this government-affiliated sensory extravaganza must toe a tenuous line between attraction and responsibilisation.

About Erin Lynch

Erin Lynch is an interdisciplinary scholar and Senior Fellow at the Concordia Centre for Sensory Studies who works at the intersection of space, mediation, culture, and the senses. She was recently awarded a PhD in Social and Cultural Analysis from Concordia University, Montreal. Her doctoral research used multi-sited sensory ethnography to explore how city-sanctioned mobile tourism apps mediate users’ experience of urban destinations – and conjure up narratives of the city on a shifting stage. Her work on casino atmospheres was co-authored with Dr. David Howes and Dr. Martin French.

All lectures and ensuing discussions will be live on zoom at the designated hour and last about 90 minutes.

Please write to Allison Peacock to register (include ATMOSPHERES in the subject line). You will be sent a zoom link by return email.

This Virtual Lecture series is curated by David Howes, the outgoing director of CISSC. It is co-sponsored by the Centre for Sensory Studies and the CISSC Gardens, Sensing Atmospheres, and Colonial, Racial and Indigenous Ecologies (CRIE) Working Groups.

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