Submit a Manuscript to the Journal

World Leisure Journal

For a Special Issue on

Visual Methods in/as Leisure Research

Abstract deadline
31 January 2024

Manuscript deadline
01 October 2024

Cover image - World Leisure Journal

Special Issue Editor(s)

Louise Todd, Edinburgh Napier University
[email protected]

Mabel Victoria, Edinburgh Napier University
[email protected]

Brett Lashua, University College London
[email protected]

Terence Heng, University of Liverpool
[email protected]

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Visual Methods in/as Leisure Research

This Special Issue of World Leisure Journal invites submissions that (re)centralise visual methods in leisure research. Within wider and increasing attention to sensorial research (e.g., Pink, 2015), visual methods offer creative, critical and immersive approaches to leisure research.

We aim to build upon scholarship in this area by Johnson (2014) published in World Leisure Journal. Johnson defined visual methods primarily as the use of “images, video or artwork to trigger discussion and guide a qualitative interview between researcher and participant” (p. 318). Other visual approaches have included photo-elicitation, photovoice, visitor-generated photographs of parks and natural areas, or collaborative work with marginalised or disadvantaged groups (Klitzing, 2004; Todd, 2022) in which there is a rich legacy within leisure research. In another key publication, Stewart and Floyd (2004) co-edited the Journal of Leisure Research special issue on “Visualizing Leisure.” They argued visual images do more than simply add to qualitative research approaches. Rather, “visual leisure research provides a different kind of data that repositions research questions in ways that verbal information is not able to do” (p. 445). Noting that we live in a “visual age”, Stewart and Floyd (2004, p. 448) lamented “the latent visuality in leisure research is out of step with fundamental changes in society.” If anything, the past 20 years of advances in digital media and in research methods should invite additional attention to questions of visualising leisure research.

While visual methods are established in social science research (Banks, 2001; Pink, 2007; Rose, 2022), and used in tourism studies (Rakić & Chambers, 2011), emphasis remains upon photography, largely ignoring the vast array of other ocular approaches (Balomenou & Garrod, 2019; Urry & Larsen, 2011). Recently, Rakić and Pernecky (2019) showcased the potential of visual approaches in event studies and beyond. Nevertheless, in leisure studies the potential of visual methods remains underexplored across ocular media. Indeed, as the range of visual methodologies has advanced, Pink (2012) argued “it is losing none of its momentum and [...] continues to inspire innovative and important studies across a range of disciplines” (p. 3) – including the broad interdisciplinary areas that contribute to leisure research.

Digital visual methods using new media have emerged (Dinhopl & Gretzel, 2016; Volo & Irimias, 2021), including using smartphones as integrated visual data devices. Other advances such as TikTok, Instagram, AI-generated images and AI-assisted analysis of images (Wang, Luo, & Huang, 2020) open further avenues to question the primacy of “the visual” in everyday leisure. Alternately, not all new visual research prioritises digitality. The use of “residual” visual media (Williams, 1977) invites attention to continuing practices such as film photography, print media, and artwork (e.g., paintings). The range of visual approaches as ways to rethink and reimagine fieldwork and data collection, as well as generate visual ‘outputs’ and share knowledge, are vast and exciting areas for exploration.

Visual approaches raise important questions of research philosophies, strategies and methods. They “not only enable researchers to produce knowledge in innovative ways,” but also “can be seen as a liberating and emancipatory force, whereby researchers, participants, and communities gain access to knowledge and expressions that might have not otherwise been accessible due to the inevitable strictures of traditional methods” (Rakić & Pernecky, 2019, p. 180). Accordingly, we invite submissions that challenge researchers to think critically or differently about visual methods in/as leisure research. Topics could include, but are not limited to:

  • Visual arts-based methods
  • The visual, digital media, and leisure
  • Visual ethnographies in leisure
  • ‘Social’ media (Instagram, TikTok, Weibo), leisure and visual approaches
  • Decolonizing visual methods within leisure
  • Indigenous visual methods within leisure
  • Representing difference in leisure research
  • Visualising genders and sexualities in leisure research
  • LGBTQIA+ leisure and visual research representations
  • Visualising cultural heritage
  • Semiotics in leisure research
  • AI, Virtual Reality, or re-imagining “reality” in visual leisure research
  • Ethics and visual leisure research
  • Visual leisure research across cultures
  • Visualising leisure landscapes, places and spaces
  • Collaborative / Participatory approaches in visual leisure research
  • Visual artefacts and arts objects in, and after, leisure research

We would welcome submissions that centralise visual materials, visual stories, or alternative ways of sharing and showcasing visual approaches.

Submission Instructions


  • Abstracts are invited by 31 January 2024, sent directly to Louise Todd ([email protected]); Abstracts should be 300-words maximum, plus references. Abstracts should also include the title, authorship, author affiliation(s) and contact information.
  • Successful authors will be notified on or before 21 February 2024
  • The submission date for final manuscripts is 1 October 2024

Further information

  • Authors of accepted abstracts will be invited to submit their full manuscripts to the journal's online submission portal. These manuscripts should follow the style requirements of the World Leisure Journal that can be found via the journal's homepage.
  • When submitting, authors should select manuscript type as a Special Issue paper.
  • Full manuscripts should be in English and must not exceed 9000 words, inclusive of references and a 200-word Abstract. Manuscripts that exceed this limit will not be reviewed.
  • Manuscripts should be double spaced, in 12 pt Times New Roman font.
  • Manuscripts should adhere to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA, 7th edition, 2020).
  • Manuscripts should be submitted as .doc or .docx formats.
  • Publication is expected in July 2025.

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