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Brian Kumm‑Schaley

Pronouns: His, Him, He
Associate Professor
Recreation Management & Recreational Therapy
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

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Brian Kumm‑Schaley Pronouns: His, Him, He

Associate Professor

Recreation Management & Recreational Therapy

Specialty area(s)

*     Community Recreation and Social Belonging

*     Leisure and Culture

*     Theories of Affect

*     Qualitative and Postqualitative Inquiry

*     Deleuze & Deleuzian approaches to research and leisure

Brief biography

Dr. Brian E Kumm-Schaley is an Associate Professor in the Department of Recreation Management and Recreational Therapy at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse.  His scholarship concerns the affective and emotive dimensions of leisure in the contexts of popular culture and media, particularly in relation to music and other creative arts.  The impetus of his scholarship is to generate critical yet affirmative interrogations of contemporary social conditions that give rise to common leisure behaviors and practices. Ultimately, his scholarship attempts to emphasize potentials for thinking, feeling, and living differently in relation to these social conditions to engender more hopeful, humane, and joyful futures.

Current courses at UWL

REC 150:  Leisure, Quality of Life, and Well-Being    

REC 732:  Human Development and Group Dynamics                                           

REC 735:  Risk Management                       

REC 301:  Leadership & Programming in Recreation                               

REC 402/502:  Risk Management in Leisure Services                                         

REC 440: Professional Wellness in Contemporary Leisure Services                  


Ph.D. The University of Georgia, Athens, GA, May 2015

Recreation and Leisure Studies | Department of Counseling and Human Development Services

Dissertation: Modest Experiments in Living: Intensities of Life

*Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate in Qualitative Methodologies


M.A. The University of Georgia, Athens, GA, December 2011                                                       

Recreation and Leisure Studies | Department of Counseling and Human Development Services

Thesis: A Shaman, A Sherpa, and A Healer: A Post-Intentional Phenomenology of Songwriting


 B.S. The University of West Georgia, Carrollton, GA, May 1999                                                                                                     

Recreation and Park Management


Research and publishing

Kumm, B. E. & Pate, J. A. (2023). “This machine kills fascists”: Music, joy, resistance. Leisure Studies, 1-12. [published online prior to print]. doi:10.1080/02614367.2023.2191982.

Cousineau, L. S., Kumm, B. E., & Schultz, C. (2023). Surveillance, capitalism, leisure, and data: Watching, giving, becoming. Leisure Sciences, 45(5), pp. 451-474.

Kumm, B. E. (2022). “Just give it up”: Embracing the immanence of post qualitative inquiry.  In C. W. Johnson & D. Parry (Eds.), Fostering Social Justice through Qualitative Inquiry: A Methodological Guide (2nd Ed.), pp. 251-266. New York, NY: Routledge.

Kumm, B. E. & Pate, J. A. (2022). Parting thoughts XI: Be idle, that is all. Leisure Sciences, 44(7), pp. 1031-1032.

Schultz, C. S., Kumm, B. E., & Legg, E. (2022). . . . But word can and do hurt: A rejoinder to “sticks and stones . . .” SCHOLE: A Journal of Leisure Studies and Recreation Education, 37(3), 208-213.

Kumm, B. E. & Harmon, L. K. (2021). Listening, learning, and leaning into pandemic pedagogy.  SCHOLE: A Journal of Leisure Studies and Recreation Education. (published online, pending print)

Kumm, B. E., Schultz, C. E., & Pate, J. A. (2021). The future is unwritten: Listening to the rhythms of COVID-19. Leisure Sciences, 43(1/2), pp. 85-89.

Pate, J. A., & Kumm, B. E. (2021). On Methods: "The situation's in control." Leisure Sciences, 43(3/4), pp. 375-388.

Kumm, B. E., Harmon, L. K., Evans, K., Plunkett, D., & Wduch, D. (2019). The benefits of collaboration: From curriculum mapping to a community of practice. Schole: A Journal of Leisure Studies and Recreation Education, 34(2), 71-83.

Kumm, B. E., & Berbary, L. A. (2019).  Questions for Post-Qualitative Inquiry: Conversations-to-Come.  Leisure Sciences, 40(1/2), 71-84.

Kumm, B. E., Johnson, C. W. (2018). In the garden of domestic dystopia: Racial delirium and playful interference. Leisure Studies.

Kumm, B. E., & Pate, J. A. (2018). Joyful Digressions: Going Gonzo. Qualitative Inquiry.

Kumm, B., E., & Johnson, C. W. (2017). Subversive imagination: Smoothing space for leisure, identity, and politics. In, K. Spracklen, B. Lashua, E. Sharpe, & M. B. Swain (Eds.), Palgrave Handbook of Leisure Theory (pp. 891-910). London, UK: Palgrave.



Sasha Mader, Recreation Management Graduate Program; Lisa Meerts-Brandsma, University of Utah; and Brian Kumm-Schaley, Recreation Management & Recreational Therapy; presented "Leisure Studies: A Shameful Master Narrative?" at The Academy of Leisure Sciences Annual Conference on Feb. 1 in New Orleans, LA. This presentation leveraged the master narrative framework alongside conceptions of shame to examine undergraduate experiences in expressing their chosen major in a leisure or recreation field. This one-hour workshop engaged educators and scholars from institutions across the United States to grapple with the on-going identity challenges of studying and working in an undervalued yet critically important field of endeavors.

Submitted on: Feb. 6



Brian Kumm-Schaley, Recreation Management & Recreational Therapy, received the Excellence in Teaching Award at The Academy of Leisure Sciences annual conference on Feb. 1 in New Orleans, LA. This international (United States and Canda) award recognizes a colleague who has demonstrated outstanding teaching of leisure services over the course of their career. This award focuses on outstanding teachers and the celebration of the field's most talented educators, according to award criteria.

Submitted on: Feb. 6



Jon Evans, Katherine Evans, Laurie Harmon, Brian Kumm-Schaley and Daniel Plunkett, all Recreation Management & Recreational Therapy, presented "WPRA Recreation Management Pre-Conference Panel Discussion" at Wisconsin Park & Recreation Association Annual Meeting on Jan. 30 in La Crosse, WI. This panel discussion reviewed recent curriculum changes, departmental responses to post-COVID student needs, student recruitment and retention strategies, and a Q&A period. Highlights included: modifications for the RM curriculum; development of certificate programs, facilitation of student learning experience, internship requirements and opportunities, departmental reach and initiatives to increase enrollment and professional engagement, and collaboration opportunities between the academic unit and professional counterparts in the field.

Submitted on: Feb. 6



Brian Kumm-Schaley, Recreation Management & Therapeutic Recreation, presented "Music, Joy, Resistance" at Leisure Studies Association 2023 Conference on July 12 in Bournemouth University, United Kingdom. In his invited presentation, he was a panelist in the session dedicated to the academic study of emotions and leisure. By examining contemporary and historical movements within music, the theoretical conceptualization of affect as impersonal intensities was leveraged to demonstrate a public, collective sociality of feeling. From this point of departure, conventional frameworks of emotion were reconsidered to emphasize the ontological, bodily, and corporeal dimensions of shared, collective feeling. Finally, discussion was opened to questions related to the augmentation of various capacities as a joyful resistance to the oppressive weight of our contemporary moment within musical and leisured contexts.

Submitted on: Aug. 30, 2023



Brian Kumm-Schaley, Recreation Management & Therapeutic Recreation, co-authored the article "Surveillance, Capitalism, Leisure, and Data: Being Watched, Giving, Becoming" in Leisure Sciences published on April 11 by Taylor & Francis. This conceptual paper expands leisure discourse by examining three distinct yet mutually imbricated theorizations of surveillance: 1) panoptic (Bentham and Foucault); 2) post-panoptic (Deleuze); and 3) contemporary surveillance (Galic et al and Zuboff). Our examination following contemporary leisure practices to illustrate each body of theory (e.g., Elf of the Self, Fitbits, smart-home and wearable, haptic technologies). Ultimately, we approach the inescapability of big data and surveillance capitalism within leisure spaces, times, and/or practices as a subsumption of the fleshy body and the problematic emergence of various data-avatars to inspire resistance to dehumanizing datafication.

Submitted on: April 25, 2023



Brian Kumm-Schaley, Recreation Management & Therapeutic Recreation, co-authored the article "This Machine Kills Fascists: Music, Joy, Resistance" in Leisure Studies published March 22 by Taylor & Francis. Within this article we move amongst the varied relationships between music, feeling and politics. We begin by exploring difference and interrelations between affect and emotion to forward a conception of joy as the intensification of life capacities. We then locate joy in music and draw from various musical artists, poets, and activists to advance a modest programme of joy as a form of micropolitics. Ultimately, the focus of this article is an affective reimagining of leisure with a Deleuzian brush through the political potential of punk. We call for the expansion of life capacities, for the revivification of the soul, for music as joy as an act of resistance.

Submitted on: April 7, 2023



Brian Kumm-Schaley and W. Thomas Means, both Recreation Management & Therapeutic Recreation, presented "Mindfulness, Leisure, and Higher Education: Negotiating Pitfalls, Navigating Benefits" at The Academy of Leisure Sciences Annual Conference on Feb. 8 in New Orleans. The goal of the presentation was to elevate awareness of, and open dialogue related to, the pitfalls of cultural misappropriation as it pertains to mindfulness and contemplative practices while also leveraging those concerns to better design courses that actualize the benefits of such practices.

Submitted on: Feb. 12, 2023