MIT Press Publishes RSU Professor

Book CoverA Rogers State University faculty member has a new book released this month by MIT Press that explores the vast communication networks within the horse racing industry.

“Off-Track and Offline” by Dr. Holly Kruse, Rogers State University Associate Professor of Communications, shows that an examination of the horse racing industry can provide a better understanding of the development of media. As horse racing has developed alongside the media, the industry has benefited from many communication and information channels. Racing enthusiasts rely on a series of communication networks to share global information about races and racehorses.

Information technology and the horse racing industry use media in both public and private spaces. Kruse said her book, “shows horse racing helped pioneer the interactive technology we use today.” The industry uses interactive media environments like social media, online gambling sites, and networked on- and off-track betting facilities.

The horse racing industry is an example of how networked media connect a variety of sites around the world. Kruse believes her book will benefit those who study the media and those who are fans of horse racing alike by exploring the history and connection between the two.

Her work pairs her educational background in communication research with her firsthand experience with the horse racing industry.

“This is the only book on this particular topic,” said Kruse, whose love for horseracing and for media research inspired her work. She has a long-standing interest in the equestrian world, including earning a postgraduate certificate in Equine Business from the College of Business and Public Administration at the University of Louisville in Kentucky, one of the most significant areas for horseracing in the U.S. Kruse also owns a former Tulsa Police Department horse named Roscoe.

“Off-Track and Offline” was released in April available both in hardcover and as an e-book.

The book has been well received by those interested in the industry.

“This carefully researched study explores how horse racing has adapted to new media technologies, placing its recent evolution into a rich historical context,” said David G. Schwartz, who is the Director of the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. “Kruse is to be applauded for giving racing the attention it deserves as it transitions to the social media age and for providing valuable insights to those interested in gambling, media, and technology.”

Kruse joined the RSU Communications Department in 2010. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa and her graduate degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She also is the author of “Site and Sound: Understanding Independent Music Scenes,” published in 2003. Kruse has published research in diverse areas of interest, including cultural studies of popular music and social histories of communication technologies.

To learn more about her work, visit the RSU webpage at or her personal website at

Written by RSUPR intern Hanna Barnoski