Call for Papers Engaging Struggle: The Deconstruction of the Academy in Leisure Studies

For the past two decades, leisure research has taken a reflexive and critical turn (Ateljevic, et al., 2005; Cohen, 2013; Dupuis, 1999; Fox, 2006). For example, researchers have embarked upon considerations related to ideologies and legitimacies (Dykstra & Litwiller, 2020), research accountability (Dubnewick & Wasyliw, 2020), positionality (Grimwood, 2020), and intersectionality with the individuals and communities involved in research (Fernandez, et al., 2020). The incorporation of various transformative approaches to research comprise the foundation of numerous leisure scholars. These approaches, such as participatory action research, community-based research, and critical theories, remain relevant and imperative. At the same time, this kind of scholarship presents challenges that confront researchers as they work within their academic spheres. The purpose of this special issue is for leisure scholars to continue the sharing and the (re)telling of their journeys into critical realms, maintain the conversation of engaging struggle from CCLR 16, and encourage further questioning and considerations of the academy in leisure studies.

This special issue stems from the anticipated dialogue at CCLR 16 and aims to build upon the momentum. Recent events, such as CCLR 16’s departure from Congress and the conversations leading up to this decision, Black Lives Matter, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action, and increasing anti-Asian hate, require leisure scholars to (re)consider the colonized structures of academia and the role it plays in both contributing and resisting social injustices. In 2006, Fox put forth a call for leisure studies to rethink how we can decolonize research practices, emphasizing that the development of polythetic approaches are necessary as we deconstruct the scientific practices that dominate our field. To this end, we want to create a space in which we continue to ask questions about the role of leisure research and ultimately extend Fox’s call for a rethinking of the academy in leisure studies and the creation of new approaches to scholarship. As critical conversations indicate, certain practices in academia have been privileged. For example, Indigenous scholars highlight the focus on risk and controls within the realm of ethics, expert-based and top-down research processes, and the dominance of rational thought and linear processes related to ways of knowing (Bishop, 2005; Kovach, 2009; Smith, 1999, 2006). It is our hope that this special issue will enable, encourage, and facilitate a much needed examination, exploration, and dialogue regarding the academy in leisure studies in Canadian and global contexts. We encourage the submission of manuscripts related, but not limited to, the following:

  • Critical theories (e.g., critical race theory, feminist-critical theory) and decolonizing methodologies
  • Post-theoretical perspectives (e.g., post-structuralism, post-modernism, post-qualitative research)
  • Explorations of tensions, conflict, and struggle in research and/or academia
  • Indigenous epistemological and methodological approaches to research
  • “Decolonizing” scholarship
  • Anti-colonial/post-colonial, anti-oppressive, and anti-racist work in the academy
  • Intersectionality and positionality in scholarship

Given that the intent of this special issue is to deconstruct the academy, we will use a reciprocal review process between authors. Contributing authors will be paired up to review each other’s work. In this way, the process will not be double-blind. We have chosen this process with the intention of creating a collaborative and constructive environment where contributing authors will have the chance to support, learn, and grow from each other. We also see this process as an opportunity to build solidarity among scholars. Guest editors will be responsible for pairing contributing authors for the review process and ensuring that dialogue between reviewers and authors are supportive and constructive. Please note, your abstract submission indicates that you are comfortable with engaging in this review process. If you are not comfortable, we encourage you to submit to Leisure/Loisir as a separate manuscript from this special issue, at which point it will be reviewed in a double-blind process.

In addition to conventional manuscripts, papers that are shorter, such as brief reports (3000 words, for more information please see, as well as formats such as poetry, stories, and other arts-based modalities of expression are encouraged.

Submission Instructions
Please submit 500 word abstracts no later than July 5, 2021 via email to Felice Yuen (, Dan Henhawk (, and Simon Barrick ( Invited papers will be submitted through the Leisure/Loisir manuscript submission site at a later date. The target publication date for the special issue is Fall 2022.

Ateljevic, I., Harris, C., Wilson, E., & Collins, F. L. (2005). Getting ‘entangled’: Reflexivity and the ‘critical turn’ in tourism studies. Tourism Recreation Research, 30(2), 9-21.
Bishop, R. (2005). Freeing ourselves from neocolonial domination in research: A Kaupapa Maori approach to creating knowledge. In N. K. Denzin, & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), The sage handbook of qualitative research (3rd ed., pp. 109-138). Sage Publications.
Cohen, S. A. (2013). Reflections on reflexivity in leisure and tourism studies. Leisure Studies, 32(3), 333-337.

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