TALS 2022 Virtual Conference


March 1 – 4, 2022

Critical Realities: Culture at the Crossroads

Please register at https://indianauniv.ungerboeck.com/prod/emc00/register.aspx?OrgCode=10&EvtID=10493&AppCode=REG&CC=121100103651

Conference theme:

The theme of this year’s conference is “Critical Realities: Culture at the Crossroads.” Recent calls for papers in numerous academic journals within leisure studies present a plea for a “critical turn” in leisure. A social justice perspective challenges the construction of “leisure” in leisure studies, research, and teaching, while a three-pronged approach stemming from the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion, push for changes to policies and procedures related to matters of representation in the face of discrimination. Leisure can be treated as an umbrella concept that includes real world structures and industries tied to parks and public lands, travel and hospitality, festivals and events, and specific types of therapy and health interventions. Thus, the focus of this year’s theme is on the criticality of leisure in the present-day generated by generous funding from President of Indiana University initiative on advancing the humanities. This requires new and broad thinking that allows the field of leisure studies to delve into the arts and art expression, ethics and aesthetics, history and culture, humanities, and criticism and critical theory.  It is the “play of power,” as manifested in leisure settings and leisure experiences that proceeds from the assumption that a fuller accounting of the phenomenon of leisure must include an examination of, and engagement with, leisure as a venue for the active exercise of power, “The Critical Realities of Leisure,” to engage in what leisure fundamentally is and has become.

The TALS Conference on Research and Teaching provides opportunities to engage colleagues in theoretical and applied research, as well as humanities driven inquiries related to the study of, and teaching, of leisure. A tentative schedule that includes an outline of session themes will be available in October/November 2021.

Conference Format and Experience:

Due to the uncertainties with the Delta variant, this year’s conference will be held virtually again. However, much like past, traditional in-person conferences, the conference will be held ‘live’ in real-time from Tuesday March 1 at 3pm EST, beginning with our opening Bannon Lecture keynote panel through the morning of Friday March 4. Keynotes and co-current breakout sessions will be presented via Zoom meetings (embedded into our conference platform this year, Whova). Presenters will be able to use all the functionalities of Zoom to make their sessions engaging, useful, and inspiring; each session will also have a moderator and will be recorded. The recordings of the live session will be available for up to 6 months after the conference.

In addition to live keynotes and breakout sessions, we will also have a few planned social events and other creative initiatives throughout that week as ways to engage with each other and keep the spirit of the leisure community alive.

Please plan to ‘pencil’ out your time to spend at this virtual conference, giving yourself space to engage, reflect, think, write, and enjoy each other’s presentations.


We have three thought-provoking keynotes lined up for this year’s conference, including the opening Bannon Lecture keynote panel. Across the keynotes we will engage with topics that span the pillars of scholarship (teaching, research, service) as our speakers discuss topics such as colonialism, social justice and the intersections of race, gender, and class that can help leisure researchers deconstruct leisure practices, spaces, and policies.

Keynote presenters and their topics will be announced through October and November.


Conference registration can be accessed here: https://indianauniv.ungerboeck.com/prod/emc00/register.aspx?OrgCode=10&EvtID=10493&AppCode=REG&CC=121100103651

Registration includes access to the Whova conference platform which will house keynotes, concurrent breakout sessions, virtual social activities, and access to all recordings for six-months following the conference.

The pricing rates are as follows:



  • Regular faculty: $150
  • Retirees: $100
  • Students/ Adjunct faculty: $70

Members (institutional/group or individual TALS members receive a discount on the conference)


  • Regular faculty: $100
  • Retirees: $75
  • Students/ Adjunct faculty: $50

*To check institutional or individual membership status, please contact Gus Hallmon (hallmoax@jmu.edu); registration includes annual TALS membership.

A portion of every registration will include a donation to the Ella Thompson Fund (https://www.parksandpeople.org/get-involved/donate/the-ella-thompson-fund/). Under the auspices of the Parks & People Foundation, this fund was established to support programs that provide recreational opportunities to children in many of Baltimore’s most underserved neighborhoods as well as programs that connect children with nature and the environment.

Cancellation policy: We will provide refunds until 2/24/22 for the full registration cost, minus $17 for unrecoverable processing fees. All registrations (including registration cancellations) are processed and handled by Indiana University Conferences.

TALS 2022 Conference Committee:

Birgitta Baker, Penn State University

Lisbeth Berbary, University of Waterloo

Brooke Burke, Minnesota State University

Dana Kivel, Sacramento State University

KangJae "Jerry" Lee, North Carolina State University

Aby Sène-Harper, Clemson University

Mary Parr, Kent State University

Lauren Duffy, Clemson University, President-Elect of TALS and Co-Chair

Rasul Mowatt, Indiana University and North Carolina State University, President of TALS and Co-Chair