Call for Abstract



Leisure Pasts, Leisure Futures

As we continue to face challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the traditional format of the TALS Conference on Research and Teaching has been altered for 2021 to feature a number of virtual events throughout the month of February. While further information is forthcoming on the Opening Bannon Lecture, Friday Research/Teaching Seminars, and the Closing Keynote Panel, this CALL FOR ABSTRACTS is for two distinct weeks of virtual research and teaching presentations (February 8-12) and virtual poster sessions (February 15-19). TALS 2021 Annual Conference will provide opportunities to engage colleagues in theoretical and applied research and teaching related to leisure sciences. Additionally, by operating in a virtual environment over a period of days allows the TALS 2021 Annual Conference presentations and poster to showcase the possibility for a greater range and depth in feedback on showcased presentations and posters, increased potential collaborative opportunities, and the deepening of discussions.

Building off of past gatherings in Indianapolis, Greenville, and Champaign, TALS 2021 Annual Conference will operate under the theme of “Leisure Pasts, Leisure Futures.” This theme should assist authors in the field of leisure studies in tailoring their abstracts but also attract interested parties outside of the field of leisure studies. In this case, “leisure pasts” should guide the authors who wish to submit their research or teaching abstracts on topics that relate, speak to, challenge, or present a reinterpretation of leisure research and teaching of/on the past. Abstracts submitted under the theme of “leisure futures” should pay extra attention to implications, goals, aims, or solutions for future study, teaching, or practice.

As has been the case with past gatherings, appropriate topics for proposals include those connected to leisure, recreation, sport, tourism, therapeutic recreation, play, experience industry management, events, park and natural resources, as well as topics that transcend disciplinary boundaries drawing from such fields and disciplines as psychology, sociology, anthropology, history, public health, or geography to explain leisure behavior and practices associated with it.

The online events in February are also designed to showcase cutting-edge teaching and learning with open discussion topics generated by conference attendees, such as teaching methods and strategies, research on student learning, critical pedagogy, curricular (re)development, and other areas in the scholarship of teaching and learning.

To facilitate engagement among presenters and attendees, abstracts submissions proposed, should they accepted, will be pre-recorded presentations or posters which will be shared in a virtual social media setting.

TALS 2021Annual Conference encourages submitting papers that are works-in-progress seeking constructive feedback, best-practices in teaching to share with colleagues, completed research that has moved toward publication, and innovative teaching demonstrations, to name a few.

Abstracts cannot exceed ONE page, single‑spaced (see detailed instructions below).

Abstract submission due date: September 17, 2020.


  1. An individual may be the first author on one research submission and one teaching submission and may be a second or later author on an unlimited number of submissions.
  2. Abstracts will undergo blind peer review by two reviewers. The TALS 2021 Conference Committee will make final decisions about abstracts’ acceptance.
  3. Authors of research abstracts who receive the highest scores during the review process will be invited to submit their papers for consideration for the Best Research Paper Award and publication in Leisure Sciences.
  4. Authors of teaching abstracts who receive the highest scores during the review process will be invited to submit full papers for publication in a special issue of Schole: A Journal of Leisure Studies and Recreation Education.
  5. Abstracts whose sole or first author is a student will be eligible to enter the competition for the TALS BEST STUDENT PAPER AWARD. Student-led authors of abstracts who receive the highest scores during the review process will be notified at the time of the abstract acceptance notification (i.e., early November). Students who wish their papers to be considered for the Best Student Paper Award will have to submit a longer (6,000-9,000 words) version of their paper by January 1, 2021. The TALS Best Student Paper Award, sponsored by The Academy of Leisure Sciences will include a $200 check and a special plaque. The Award will be virtually presented by the TALS President at the TALS Virtual Ceremony. Students who receive the Award will be expected to attend the TALS Annual Conference and present the paper during one of the paper sessions. Current students and recent graduates within 12 months of receiving a Ph.D. at the time of the Annual Conference will be eligible for the Award.
  6. Abstract should follow the following format:
  • One page maximum for the body of the abstract. Abstracts exceeding this page limit or using condensed font will be returned without a review. The text of the abstract may not run over onto a second page.
  • Abstracts should not have a cover page.
  • Tables and figures may be included on additional pages.
  • References should be included on an additional page and formatted according to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th edition).
  • An abstract should be submitted as one file including the main body of the abstract, tables/figures (if needed), and references.
  • Abstracts must include a title and appropriate subheadings (e.g., Introduction, Methods, Findings, Discussion/Conclusions). Abstracts reporting conceptual and theoretical discussions should also have an effective set of subheadings.
  • Single space the text and use 12‑point font Times Roman (or other ADA accepted fonts) and one-inch margins on sides, top and bottom. 
  • Track changes must not be visible.
  • Abstracts should be anonymous. No information that would identify the authors of the abstract should be included in the body of the abstract, file properties, or the file name. Author identification should be removed from file properties (in Word, go to File, then properties, summary and remove author name)
  • Abstracts that do not meet all specifications will be not be reviewed.

7. Presentation formats (please indicate your first and second choice)***

  • 15-minute pre-recorded presentation*
  • Virtual Poster shared on TALS social media platforms**

* Authors of accepted presentations will be asked to record a narrated power point presentation (with both the presenter and the slides visible). The presentation will be posted on the conference webpage.

** A digital copy of your poster will be posted on the conference webpage and via TALS social media accounts. Moderators will monitor these social media accounts to retrieve questions and submit them to the presenters. The presenters will be encouraged to respond to questions via the various social media platforms. For those without social media accounts, the moderators will respond on the presenter’s behalf.

Also, here’s a link that provides more insight for the varied approaches in how virtual poster sessions will be offered: 

*** Please note that the call for proposals for the TALS 2021 virtual conference does NOT include submissions for workshops or panels. The TALS 2021 Conference Committee will host a panel immediately after the opening Bannon Lecture and the Closing Keynote, and two additional Friday seminars on February 12th and February 19th.

Submission due date

Abstracts are to be submitted electronically no later than September 17, 2020. Abstracts submitted after this deadline will be returned without review. Please upload your abstract and fill out all of the required information using this link:

Submission process

During the submission process, the authors will be asked to indicate the abstract authors, their institutional affiliation, contact information, preferred presentation format(s), and whether the first author of the abstract is a student or recent graduate (within 12 months of receiving Ph.D. at the time of the conference).

All submissions should be submitted here:

11. Acceptance notifications

      Authors will be notified of abstract review results via email in early November 2020.

12. Correspondence regarding abstract

Contact Dr. Rasul Mowatt ( with questions and/or assistance with structuring your proposal.

TALS 2021 Annual Conference Committee:

Justin Harmon. University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Harrison Pinckney. Clemson University

Brooke Burke. Minnesota State University

Birgitta Baker. Penn State University

Corliss Outley. Clemson University

Monika Stodolska. University of Illinois

Rasul Mowatt. Indiana University, President of TALS and Chair