Elizabeth Nelson

Associate Professor of History
Graduate Coordinator, Department of History
Expertise: 19th-Century Popular Culture, Civil War and Reconstruction, U.S. Cultural History, Antebellum America, Food History, Historical Evolution of Marketing and Advertising


Elizabeth Nelson is an associate professor of history who specializes in pop culture and advertising in the 19th century, as well as food history.

Her research areas include American history on the National Period; the Civil War and Reconstruction; 19th-century cultural and intellectual history; cultural theory; and the relationship between political economy, domestic economy and national identity in the antebellum United States.

Nelson, who has taught courses at UNLV since 1996, is the author of Market Sentiments: Middle-Class Market Culture in 19th-Century America (Smithsonian Books, 2004), as well as a contributor to The Middling Sorts: Explorations in the History of the American Middle Class (Routledge, 2000).


  • Ph.D., American Studies, Yale University
  • M. Phil, American Studies, Yale University
  • M.A ., American Studies, Yale University
  • A.B ., The Growth and Structure of Cities, Bryn Mawr College

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arts & culture, food & nutrition, history, popular culture

Elizabeth Nelson In The News

Self-gifting soars, with half of U.S. adults single — and many others refusing to settle for dud presents.
Fox News
Self-gifting is on the rise as consumers enjoy the empowerment of treating themselves. ’I’ve been doing more solo dating.’
Wall Street Journal
More Americans are unattached these days and that is turning out to be a good thing for retailers
Daily Mail
With February 14 fast approaching, many loved-up couples are hastily planning dinners, buying gifts and setting up dating partners. But, in some parts of the world, Valentine's Day is more than handing your partner a bouquet of flowers or serenading them with poetry - it involves some intense and rather bizarre practices in declaring your love.

Articles Featuring Elizabeth Nelson

The Las Vegas strip as seen on Super Bowl weekend (Josh Hawkins/UNLV).
Campus News | March 1, 2024

A collection of news stories and highlights featuring UNLV students and faculty.

a teacher and student in a classroom
Campus News | March 7, 2022

A collection of news stories highlighting the experts and events at UNLV.

1910s woman sitting in vintage car with large cardboard heart that reads: Your Ad Here
Research | February 5, 2020

UNLV history professor Elizabeth Nelson separates facts about the effects of marketing, consumerism, and social media on the holiday's evolution from fiction about love's golden age.