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Leisure Sciences presents another incredible opportunity to collect research and scholarly insights through a call for papers on the Interconnections of Trauma, Healing, Health, and Leisure. Thinking through a definition presented by Maté and Maté (2022):

Trauma, until we work it through, keeps us stuck in the past, robbing us of the present moment’s riches, limiting who we can be. By impelling us to suppress hurt and unwanted parts of the psyche, it fragments the self. Until seen and acknowledged, it is also a barrier for growth. In many cases….it blights a person’s sense of worth, poisons relationships, and undermines appreciation for life itself…Trauma is an antecedent and a contributor to illness of all kinds throughout the lifespan (p. 21).

The goal of this special issue is to harness the collective energy of research exploring the intersections of trauma, healing, leisure, and health with the intent to understand the roles of leisure, create a more trauma informed society, and foster inclusion. In so doing, the aim is for the special issue to serve as a galvanizing force by creating a community of new and established trauma/healing/leisure/health scholars who can network, strategize, and take action together in both research synergies and other more tangible ways (such as initiating workshops, roundtables, grant applications). Papers in this special issue might focus on:

  • How leisure contexts, experiences, and activities foster healing
  • Personal narratives of trauma and healing through leisure
  • How trauma-based emotions are expressed in and through leisure
  • The roles of leisure in destigmatizing mental health issues
  • Examples of the intersection of trauma, healing, and health through leisure
  • How healing ‘work’ troubles the relationship between work and leisure 
  • The leisure-like qualities of healing modalities (meditation, breathwork, journalling, manifestation, yoga, etc)
  • The relationship between travel and healing from trauma
  • Digitality, trauma, and healing
  • Self-care and learning to love oneself through leisure
  • Exploring trauma, healing, and health in specific leisure pursuits or experiences
  • How leisure can contribute to a trauma-informed society
  • Relationships, connections, and communities that are produced, enabled, and encouraged in leisure amongst those healing from trauma  
  • The impact of social isolation as it relates to trauma and leisure

Authors (including those in post-doctoral positions and new graduate students) are invited to submit empirical studies from a broad range of theoretical orientations. Conceptual discussion focused on policy, activism, and politics is also welcome.  Contributions from a broad range of approaches to conducting and representing leisure research, as well as multidisciplinary perspectives (gender studies, geography, sociology, psychology, cultural studies, history, economics, environmental studies, etc.) are welcome.

Submitted manuscripts will undergo the normal review process and should adhere to the “Instructions for Authors” as outlined by Leisure Sciences. For full consideration of manuscript inclusion in this special issue, please submit no later than April 1, 2024.

Authors should direct questions and submit manuscripts to: Diana C. Parry dcparry@uwaterloo.ca

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