Call for Papers | Leisure and forced migration: Reframing critical analysis of lives lived in the asylum system | Collected volume in Routledge’s “Advancing Leisure Series”. Call ends May 1, 2019


  • Nicola De Martini Ugolotti, Bournemouth University, UK 
  • Jayne Caudwell, Bournemouth University, UK 

In the last two decades, leisure practices and opportunities in the lives of migrants resettling into host countries in Europe, North-America and Oceania have received an increasing academic attention. This interest reflects the relevance that forced migration assumed in public, policy and media coverage and debate in numerous locations around the world. However, as Lewis (2015) notes, a wealth of scholars’ interest in the topic tends to centre policy-driven themes, concepts and questions, which identify leisure activities and constraints in relation to refugees’ adaptation, integration, skills-acquisition, and/or (mental) health and wellbeing (see Amara et al., 2005; Stack and Iwasaki, 2009; Whitley et al., 2016; Hurly, 2017, 2018).  Building on what Bakewell (2008) argued in the field of refugee studies, we contend that leisure research that have adopted categories and priorities of policy makers and practitioners as the frame of reference have left invisible and unexplored a series of significant questions. Some of these questions relate to the role of leisure in: challenging humanitarian discourses that describe refugees as passive objects of moral compassion; highlighting the contested and multi-layered histories of post-colonial (forced) migration; challenging perpetuated analysis and implicit assessments of forced migrants’ activities as either relating to becoming ‘integrated’ or not; enabling the redefinition of diasporic identities within and beyond ethnic/national/religious lines; and making possible and visible the practices of intersectional solidarity and activism, or situational appropriations of ‘in-between’ urban spaces.

By exploring these themes through the lens of leisure, this collection aims to develop existing accounts of leisure and migration, as well as offer a unique contribution to analysis of forced migration and its intersections with identity, community, rights, security, citizenship and humanity in our historical present.

In the collection, leisure will be considered in its broadest sense to include practices and contexts such as recreational physical activities and active leisure, expressive and artistic endeavours, moments and places of consumption and sociality, cultural and religious events, the everyday, routine and mundane.

Building on the contribution of critical leisure studies perspectives on class, gender, race and ethnicity, and migration, we welcome work from multiple disciplinary perspectives, including sociology, cultural geography, gender studies, migration studies, anthropology and the humanities. In particular, we invite contributions from non-western and global south contexts, and from community activists/organizers.

Potential Themes

The role of leisure in:

    • highlighting gendered experiences and negotiations of forced migration trajectories;
    • challenging perpetuated analysis (and implicit assessments) of forced migrants’ social activities and spaces as either relating to becoming “integrated” or not;
    • highlighting the contested and multi-layered histories of post-colonial [forced] migration;
    • challenging humanitarian discourses of trauma, victimisation and passivity in relation to refugees and asylum seekers;
    • enabling practices of intersectional solidarity and activism;
    • enabling situational, controversial and (in)visible appropriations of ‘in-between’ urban spaces by members of refugee communities;
    • enabling the redefinition of diasporic identities within and beyond ethnic/national/religious lines;
    • facilitating processes of participatory and action-research with refugee communities.


Submissions of abstract: May 1st 2019
Invitation to submit chapter: May 10th 2019
Chapter submission December: 20th 2019
Feedback to authors: 31st January 2020
Completed chapters due: 24th April 2020
Completed book submission to Routledge: 1st August 2020

Invited contributors will be asked to submit a full-length chapter of approximately 5,000 words by 20th December, 2019. We welcome chapters that are authored, or co-authored, by activists or community organizers. Activist/community organizers who are interested in contributing to this volume, but are less familiar with writing for academic publications can contact the guest editors to discuss how proposed contributions can be converted into a potential submission

For further information, contact

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.