Here’s a sampling of recent academic journal material involving board games, aside from those already mentioned on this site:

Making Real Games Virtual: Tracking Board Game Pieces, Steven Scher, Ryan Crabb, and James Davis, University of California at Santa Cruz [PDF],  International Conference on Pattern Recognition (ICPR) 2008
Software to control a camera pointed at a physical game such as Chess or Go that will digitize the game moves as it is being played, regardless of interference from changing light sources or obstructing hands and bodies.

The long history of gaming in military training, Roger Smith [PDF],  Journal of Simulation and Gaming, 40th Anniversary Issue, September 2008,  Sourced at Model Benders
Starting from the Stone Ages, through abstracts, historical war games, to computer games.

Monte-Carlo Tree Search in Settlers of Catan, Istvan Szita, Guillaume Chaslot, and Pieter Spronck [PDF] [PPT],  ADVANCES IN COMPUTER GAMES 12, Pamplona, Spain, May 11 – May 13, 2009
An extensive look at playing Settlers using random bots. Tons of other talks available on the proceedings page.

At Georgia Institute of Technology, the Synaesthetic Media Lab has created another interactive tabletop surface – the Tangible Tracking Table – and used it to design another version of laser chess – Optical Chess.

Organic Board Games with Tangible Tiles: interaction methods for small hexagonal tiles, Michael Howard Rooke [PDF],  Master’s Thesis for Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, April 2009
Inspired by Settlers of Catan, the thesis explores a Siftables-style interface of hexagons that play and change as they are added and moved onto a table.

Use of board games, historical calendars, and trading cards in a history of psychology class, Abramson CI, Burke-Bergmann AL, Nolf SL, Swift K.,  Psychology Reports 2009 Apr;104(2):529-44
The PDF isn’t available online, but Prof Abramson was happy to send me a copy. Essentially, he reports on the success of using clones of games (Cranium, Password, Pictionary, Scattergories, Taboo, TriBond, Wheel of Fortune, and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire), a historical calendar, and trading cards (like sports cards, no game involved) to help students learn. Includes details as to how he created the materials, including the trading cards.

And the first International Journal of Role-Playing was published in January, with the second edition scheduled for publication in the near future. The editorial board includes Richard Bartle (creator of the MUD), Marinka Copier (Utrecht University), and others. Submissions for the third edition are now being accepted.