Jordan Pruett


Research Interests: 

20th century American studies; media studies; critical political economy; culture and economics.


Broadly construed, my work deals with the cultural aspects of economic life in the United States in the 19th and the 20th centuries. My dissertation, tentatively titled "Economies at Play: Game Design and Economic Simulation in American Culture, 1957 - 1993," narrates a cultural history of economic simulation games across diverse milieu, including economic game theory, operational gaming, board gaming, educational games, and early videogames. It explores the ways that game design provided a novel medium through which to imagine and represent economic totality, giving popular expression to ideas about value, competition, planning, and economic equilibrium as they were formalized in postwar neoclassical economics. Furthermore, it argues that contemporary game studies owes the concept of "game form" to the postwar social sciences, which redefined the medium of games as the abstract rules that structure play rather than material game components like dice, cards, and tokens. My work has been published in Theory and Event.

  • BA English, University of Utah, 2015
  • MA English, University of Chicago, 2017