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Rebecca Cassidy

Staff details

PositionProfessor and Head of Department
Department Anthropology
Email r.cassidy (@gold.ac.uk)
Phone+44 (0)20 7919 7802
Rebecca Cassidy

Rebecca Cassidy is currently Head of Department and Convenor of the MA in Social Anthropology, so please get in touch with her if you would like to talk about studying Anthropology at Goldsmiths.

Rebecca came to Goldsmiths in 2001 and continued to develop her interests in both horse centered societies and also the productive life of risk, gambling, betting and money.

Academic qualifications

Rebecca studied Anthropology at Cambridge before heading to Edinburgh where she wrote my PhD thesis about the thoroughbred racing industry in Newmarket. A British Academy postdoctoral fellowship enabled me to conduct additional research into thoroughbred racing in the Bluegrass region of Kentucky.

Between 2010 and 2015, she was the principal investigator of GAMSOC, a European Research Council funded project which used ethnography to investigate the expansion of commercial gambling.

Teaching

Rebecca is the department convenor for MA Social Anthropology.

Research Interests

Rebecca Cassidy works on gambling and horseracing, class, kinship, gender, risk, money and work.

Since 2002, she has been working on a comparative study of the British and North American thoroughbred breeding and racing industries, conducting fieldwork in Newmarket, England, and in the Bluegrass of Kentucky, focusing on kinship, gender and class. Her monograph about Newmarket, Sport of Kings, was published in 2002. A second monograph Horse People, based on her fieldwork in Kentucky, was published in 2007.

This project is part of a broader interest in people’s relationships with their environment, including plants and animals. In 2004, she and Professor Molly Mullin organised a Wenner Gren international symposium on the future of the concept of domestication within anthropology. The symposium, held in Tucson in 2005, involved anthropologists, archaeologists, linguists, biological anthropologists and historians from New Zealand, Australia, Norway, the United States and the United Kingdom. The resulting edited collection was published by Berg in 2007. She continues to be interested in questions about lives with animals, and wrote an article about climate change and human animal relations for the Annual Review of Anthropology in 2012.

In 2006, she embarked upon an Isaac Newton Trust supported project with Dr Mim Bower of the McDonald Institute of Cambridge University, combining ethnographic and DNA data in order to explore horse domestication in central Asia.

Between 2006 and 2009, she ran a project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and Responsibility in Gambling Trust, exploring the everyday lives of gamblers. Her fieldwork was based in betting shops in London. I was particularly interested in punters, betting shop workers, the betting shop environment, licensing, legislation, and the social history of the gambling industry. This related to more general interests in money, stakes, risk, luck, work, deregulation, machines and numbers.

Between 2010 and 2015, she was part of a project about gambling in Europe funded by the European Research Council (GAMSOC). She headed up a team of four researchers interested in how gambling in Europe might be studied in a way that preserves its cultural and historical variation. In 2013, the team published an edited collection Qualitative Research in Gambling: exploring the production and consumption of risk (edited with C. Loussouarn and A.Pisac), London: Routledge.

They also produced an open access report describing the production of gambling research Download the Fair Game Report (PDF Download).

She also writes an occasional blog about gambling, called Gambling Across Borders.

Publications

Book

Horse People: thoroughbred culture in Lexington and Newmarket
Cassidy, Rebecca. 2007. Horse People: thoroughbred culture in Lexington and Newmarket. Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0801887038

Where the wild things are now: Domestication reconsidered
Cassidy, Rebecca and Mullin, M.. 2007. Where the wild things are now: Domestication reconsidered. Berg. ISBN 1845201531

Sport of Kings: kinship, class and thoroughbred breeding in Newmarket
Cassidy, Rebecca. 2002. Sport of Kings: kinship, class and thoroughbred breeding in Newmarket. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 052100487X

Edited Book

Qualitative Research in Gambling: exploring the production and consumption of risk
Cassidy, Rebecca; Loussouarn, Claire and Pisac, Andrea, eds. 2013. Qualitative Research in Gambling: exploring the production and consumption of risk. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-65938-3

Cambridge Companion to Horseracing
Cassidy, Rebecca, ed. 2013. Cambridge Companion to Horseracing. New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781107618367

Book Section

How Corporations Shape our Understanding of Problems with Gambling and their Solutions
Cassidy, Rebecca. 2016. How Corporations Shape our Understanding of Problems with Gambling and their Solutions. In: Nora Kenworthy; Ross MacKenzie and Kelley Lee, eds. Case Studies on Corporations and Global Health Governance Impacts, Influence and Accountability. Rowman and Littlefield. ISBN 9781783483570

Partial Convergence: Social Gaming and Real Money Gambling
Cassidy, Rebecca. 2013. Partial Convergence: Social Gaming and Real Money Gambling. In: Rebecca Cassidy; Claire Loussouarn and Andrea Pisac, eds. Qualitative Research in Gambling Exploring the Production and Consumption of Risk. London: Routledge, pp. 74-91. ISBN 978-0-415-65938-3

Against the Odds A Professional Gambler’s Narrative of Achievement
Cassidy, Rebecca. 2013. Against the Odds A Professional Gambler’s Narrative of Achievement. In: , ed. The social life of achievement. Oxford: Berghahn, pp. 43-60. ISBN 978-1-78238-220-1

Introduction to Cambridge Companion to Horseracing
Cassidy, Rebecca. 2013. Introduction to Cambridge Companion to Horseracing. In: , ed. Cambridge Companion to Horseracing. New York: Cambridge University Press, pp. 1-10. ISBN 9781107618367

‘Croupiers’ sleight of mind: playing with unmanaged ‘spaces’ in the casino industry’
Pisac, Andrea. 2013. ‘Croupiers’ sleight of mind: playing with unmanaged ‘spaces’ in the casino industry’. In: Andrea Pisac; Rebecca Cassidy and Claire Loussouarn, eds. Qualitative Research in Gambling: Exploring the Production and Consumption of Risk. London & NY: Routledge, pp. 59-73. ISBN 978-0415659383

Introduction
Pisac, Andrea. 2013. Introduction. In: Andrea Pisac; Rebecca Cassidy and Claire Loussouarn, eds. Qualitative Research in Gambling: Exploring the Production and Consumption of Risk. London & NY: Routledge, pp. 1-11. ISBN 978-0415659383

'Aborescent culture: writing and not writing racehorse pedigrees' in Kinship and Beyond: The Genealogical Model Reconsidered. Sandra Bamford and James Leach, eds. 2009. Berghahn Books, New York
Cassidy, Rebecca. 2009. 'Aborescent culture: writing and not writing racehorse pedigrees' in Kinship and Beyond: The Genealogical Model Reconsidered. Sandra Bamford and James Leach, eds. 2009. Berghahn Books, New York. In: Sandra Bamford and James Leach, eds. Kinship and Beyond: The Genealogical Model Reconsidered. 15 New York: Berghahn, pp. 24-49. ISBN 1845458966

Zoosex and other relationships with animals
Cassidy, Rebecca. 2009. Zoosex and other relationships with animals. In: Hastings Donnan and Fiona Magowan, eds. Transgressive Sex: subversion and control in erotic encounters. 13 Oxford and New York: Berghahn, pp. 91-112. ISBN 978-1-84545-539-2

'Zoophilia reconsidered’ (Chapter 5. Zoosex and Other Relationships with Animals)
Cassidy, Rebecca. 2009. 'Zoophilia reconsidered’ (Chapter 5. Zoosex and Other Relationships with Animals). In: Hastings Donnan and Fiona Magowan, eds. Transgressive sex. 13 Oxford: Berghahn Press. ISBN 978-1-84545-539-2

‘Symbols and symbolism: animal’
Cassidy, Rebecca. 2008. ‘Symbols and symbolism: animal’. In: John Middleton and Joseph C Miller, eds. New Encyclopaedia of Africa. Charles Scribner’s Sons. ISBN 978-0684314549

'Le pur-sang dans la course, de Newmarket au Kentucky'
Cassidy, Rebecca. 2007. 'Le pur-sang dans la course, de Newmarket au Kentucky'. In: Daniel Roche; Daniel Reytier; Nicole de Blomac and Michel Constantini, eds. A cheval! Ecuyer, amazons & cavaliers. Association pour l'academie d'art equestre de Versailles. ISBN 978-2913018037

Article

Afterword: Manufacturing Gambling
Cassidy, Rebecca. 2014. Afterword: Manufacturing Gambling. Oceania, 84(3), pp. 306-314. ISSN 1834-4461

Fair game? Producing and publishing gambling research
Cassidy, Rebecca. 2014. Fair game? Producing and publishing gambling research. International Gambling Studies, 14(3), pp. 345-353. ISSN 1445-9795

'A place for men to come and do their thing': constructing masculinities in betting shops in London.
Cassidy, Rebecca. 2013. 'A place for men to come and do their thing': constructing masculinities in betting shops in London. British Journal of Sociology, 65(1), pp. 170-191. ISSN 0007-1315

Horse versus machine: battles in the betting shop
Cassidy, Rebecca. 2012. Horse versus machine: battles in the betting shop. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 18(2), pp. 266-284. ISSN 1359-0987

Lives With Others: Climate Change and Human-Animal Relations
Cassidy, Rebecca. 2012. Lives With Others: Climate Change and Human-Animal Relations. Annual Review of Anthropology, 41(1), pp. 21-36. ISSN 0084-6570

Gambling as exchange: horserace betting in London
Cassidy, Rebecca. 2010. Gambling as exchange: horserace betting in London. International Gambling Studies, 10(2), pp. 139-149. ISSN 1445-9795

The horse, the Kyrgyz horse and the ‘Kyrgyz horse'
Cassidy, Rebecca. 2009. The horse, the Kyrgyz horse and the ‘Kyrgyz horse'. Anthropology Today, 25(1), pp. 12-15. ISSN 0268540X

‘Casino capitalism’ and the financial crisis
Cassidy, Rebecca. 2009. ‘Casino capitalism’ and the financial crisis. Anthropology Today, 25(4), pp. 10-13. ISSN 0268540X

An anthropologist in the bookies
Cassidy, Rebecca. 2009. An anthropologist in the bookies. Newsletter of the Society for the Study of Gambling, 43,

'Rethinking Cruelty'. Review of Just a Dog: understanding animal cruelty and ourselves, Arnold Arluke
Cassidy, Rebecca. 2008. 'Rethinking Cruelty'. Review of Just a Dog: understanding animal cruelty and ourselves, Arnold Arluke. Current Anthropology, 49(4), pp. 757-758. ISSN 00113204

Dolly mixtures: the remaking of genealogy – By Sarah Franklin
Cassidy, Rebecca. 2008. Dolly mixtures: the remaking of genealogy – By Sarah Franklin. The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 14(1), pp. 227-228.

Review of The Animals Reader: the essential classic and contemporary writings
Cassidy, Rebecca. 2008. Review of The Animals Reader: the essential classic and contemporary writings. Anthrozoos, 21, ISSN 0892-7936

Blood "Bon sang me saurait mentir". Reproduction d'hommes et de chevaux Newmarket
Cassidy, Rebecca. 2007. Blood "Bon sang me saurait mentir". Reproduction d'hommes et de chevaux Newmarket. Ethnologie Française, 37(2), pp. 233-242. ISSN 00462616

Book Review: 'Gambling and survival in native North America' by Paul Pasquaretta
Cassidy, Rebecca. 2007. Book Review: 'Gambling and survival in native North America' by Paul Pasquaretta. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 13(3), pp. 753-754. ISSN 1359-0987

Zoosex
Cassidy, Rebecca. 2007. Zoosex. Stimulus Respond: for the urban anthropologist, 18, 083-092.

Review of Gambling and survival in native North America, Paul Pasquaretta
Cassidy, Rebecca. 2007. Review of Gambling and survival in native North America, Paul Pasquaretta. The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 13(3), pp. 753-754.

Book Review: 'I Want to Know about the Dogs'
Cassidy, Rebecca. 2006. Book Review: 'I Want to Know about the Dogs'. Theory, Culture & Society, 23(7-8), pp. 324-328. ISSN 0263-2764

‘Falling in love with horses: the international thoroughbred auction’
Cassidy, Rebecca. 2005. ‘Falling in love with horses: the international thoroughbred auction’. Society and Animals, 13(1), pp. 51-68. ISSN 1063-1119

‘Where is racing going?’
Cassidy, Rebecca. 2004. ‘Where is racing going?’. National Equine Student, 1, pp. 16-19.

‘Turf Wars: Arab dimensions to British racehorse breeding’
Cassidy, Rebecca. 2003. ‘Turf Wars: Arab dimensions to British racehorse breeding’. Anthropology Today, 19(3), pp. 13-18.

The Social Practice of Racehorse Breeding
Cassidy, Rebecca. 2002. The Social Practice of Racehorse Breeding. Society and Animals, 10(2), pp. 155-171. ISSN 1063-1119

‘On the human-animal boundary’
Cassidy, Rebecca. 2001. ‘On the human-animal boundary’. Anthrozoos: A Multidisciplinary Journal of The Interactions of People & Animals, 14(4), pp. 194-203. ISSN 0892-7936

Are all men equal on the turf and under it?’
Cassidy, Rebecca. 2000. Are all men equal on the turf and under it?’. Newsletter for the Society for the Study of Gambling, 34, pp. 13-20.

Report

Fair Game: producing gambling research
Cassidy, Rebecca; Loussouarn, Claire and Pisac, Andrea. 2014. Fair Game: producing gambling research. Project Report. European Research Council, Goldsmiths University of London.

Blog

Disclosures of interest. Or not.
When Sally Gainsbury announced International Gambling Studies’ new policy on disclosures of interest on November 13 last year she described the aim as ‘full transparency’. In addition, in their editorial announcement, Alex Blaszczynski & Sally Gainsbury state that they are attempting to adhere to the guidelines set by the International Society of Addiction Journal Editors (ISAJE). […]

Canadian experiments
I’m grateful to Luke Clark for his response to my article in International Gambling Studies.  Luke recently left Cambridge to set up the Centre for Gambling Research at UBC (University of British Columbia). The centre is funded by the Province of BC government and the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC). For non-Canadian readers, BCLC conducts and manages gambling across […]

Free lunch? Consultancy and gambling research
Last year I was invited to write an editorial in International Gambling Studies based on Fair Game. The responses to that editorial have just been published, and, as expected they include a strong defence of the status quo. I welcome the opportunity to engage with colleagues about the structure of funding gambling research. After all, the […]

The ghost in the machine
The much awaited RGT machines research was published on 1 December 2014, and launched at a one day event in London on the 10 December. Why does this research matter? Firstly, because it was a chance to see how the collaboration between bookmakers and researchers would work in practice. Secondly, because politicians of all stripes […]

Mike Daube: researchers who accept funding from the gambling industry are ‘knowingly contributing to that industry’s political strategy’
Mike Daube* spoke recently at the National Association for Gambling Studies Australia (NAGS). Mike is a highly experienced tobacco, alcohol and public health researcher and it’s very interesting to see what message he had for gambling researchers. In a speech which apparently divided opinion, with some saying that it was ‘the best talk that they […]