Annals of Leisure Research Call for Papers

Finding Truth in Fiction

Annals of Leisure Research

Academic writing has been subject to aspects of scientific management since its inception. It is only in the last several decades that critical theories and the turn to postmodernism have begun to make attempts at disassembling the stagnant structure of academic scholarship. While methodological innovation has occurred, especially with the widespread acceptance of the various forms of qualitative methodologies, there remains space for exploration and experimentation.

Discourse surrounding the multiple and ever-evolving identities of individuals suggests that there is no uniform method for the dissemination, interpretation, or embodiment of knowledge (Madigan, 2011). Therefore, if we accept this position, then it requires scholars to embrace the idea that context and perspective not only shape understanding, but that the medium must also evolve to reach diverse and broader audiences (Ramsey, 2005; Vickers, 2014).

Building off the success of Parry and Johnson (2007) and their special issue on creative analytic practices (CAP), this issue seeks to break conventions around the research-fiction dichotomy (Davis & Ellis, 2008; Eisner, 1997). To that end, we invite submissions that utilize some form of fictional narrative as an analytical and heuristic method for understanding leisure as it is experienced in the course of daily life. 

This call for papers seeks to smash the box of what we know as leisure scholarship. However, this is not an invitation to discount, dismiss, or discredit the need for rigorous scholarly investigation or critical peer review (Richardson & St. Pierre, 2005). Fiction does not attempt to make the same representational claims as traditional scholarship; though fictional accounts may nonetheless be the product of extensive documentation and analysis. We hope to encourage new ways of looking at phenomena, new ways of seeing the potential to reach broader audiences and represent the leisure experience, and to do so differently in order to keep the field moving forward by using fiction as the platform for discussion. Scholars outside the field of leisure studies have embraced fiction for understanding the past (Davis & Ellis, 2008) and the future (Bina, Mateus, Pereira, & Caffa, 2017). While several scholars in the field of leisure studies have explored the use or value of fiction in scholarship (Bairner, 2012; Harmon & Dunlap, in press; Parry & Johnson, 2007; Pike, 2013), there still exists dogmatic boundaries to be tested. When we recognize the limitations of conventional methods of scholarship, and seek to broaden our scope, we invite a potentially new and diverse populace into the conversation.

We invite the gray areas, the outliers, the psychedelic, the surreal, and the misunderstood; and stories about or told by those who might not otherwise have a voice. Topics could include, but are in no way limited to:

  • How might a child find meaning through leisure in an unstructured environment?
  • How does the leisure dynamic change when an important social actor is removed from the picture (geographic relocation, breakups, deaths)?
  • How do dreams or goals shape the pursuit of leisure?
  • How do countercultural or sociopolitical experiences affect one’s leisure identity (subcultures, activism)?
  • ‘Tall tales’ told about leisure experiences (folklore, myths, fables).
  • What does leisure look like through the eyes of a pet (anthropomorphism)?
  • What will leisure look like in the future (prognostications, theoretical explorations)?

How to submit your abstract

Please send proposed paper title, name of author/s and an abstract of no more than 300 words to the guest editors, Dr. Justin Harmon and Dr. Rudy Dunlap by 30 January 2019.

1 November 2018 – Opening of the call for papers
30 January 2019 – Abstracts due
1 March 2019 – Full papers invited
1 July 2019 – Submission of full papers by authors
Late 2020 – Publication of the Special Issue


Bairner, A. (2012). Between flânerie and fiction: Ways of seeing exclusion and inclusion in the contemporary city. Leisure Studies, 31(1), 3-19.

Bina, O., Mateus, S., Pereira, L., & Caffa, A. (2017). The future imagined: Exploring fiction as a means of reflecting on today’s Grand Societal Challenges and tomorrow’s options. Futures, 86, 166-184.

Davis, C.S., & Ellis, C. (2008). Autoethnographic introspection in ethnographic fiction: A method of inquiry. In P. Liamaputtong and J. Rumbold (Eds.), Knowing differently: Arts-based and collaborative research (pp. 96-117). Haupaauge, NY: Nova Science.

Eisner, E. W. (1997). The promise and perils of alternative forms of data representation. Educational Researcher, 26(6), 4-10.

Harmon, J., & Dunlap, R. (in press). Gonzo autoethnography: The story of Monkey. Leisure Sciences. doi: 10.1080/01490400.2018.1499057

Madigan, S. (2011). Narrative Therapy. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.

Ramsey, C. (2005). Narrative: From learning in in reflection to learning in practice. Management Learning, 36(2), 219-235.

Parry, D. C., & Johnson, C.W. (2007). Contextualizing leisureresearch to encompass complexity in lived leisure experiences: The need for creative analytic practice. Leisure Sciences, 29(2), 119-130.

Pike, E.C.J. (2013). The role of fiction in (mis)representing later life leisure activities. Leisure Studies, 32(1), 69-87.

Richardson, L., & St. Pierre, E.A. (2005). Writing: A method of inquiry. In N.K. Denzin and Y.S. Lincoln (Eds.), The Sage handbbok of qualitative inquiry (pp. 959-978). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Ltd.

Vickers, M.H. (2014). Telling tales to share multiple truths: Disability and workplace bullying – A semi-fiction case study. Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal, 27, 27-45.

Editorial information