Brett Lashua currently teaches sociology at University College London (UCL) in the Faculty of Education and Society. He was previously a Reader in Leisure and Culture at Leeds Beckett University, and also held posts at the University of Liverpool’s Institute of Popular Music, and the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University. He has worked with schools, community centers, musicians and arts organizations in the USA, Canada, and the UK to address questions of youth inequalities, racialized borderlands, leisure, popular music and urban place-making. His research is underscored by creative and collaborative ethnographic methods including participatory music-making, cultural mapping, documentary filmmaking, and digital storytelling, as well also archival approaches.
Originally from northeastern Ohio, after initial aspirations to become a musician and an undergraduate degree in History, Brett found leisure studies in the Master’s program at Kent State University through the guidance of Prof. Mary Parr. He was awarded his PhD (2005) from the University of Alberta, where he worked with Prof. Karen Fox; his doctoral research was centred upon a hip-hop music-making program with Aboriginal-Canadian youth at an inner-city cooperative school.
Dr Lashua has published extensively from his research activities and his academic record includes over 100 publications. This includes eight co-edited books such as the Palgrave Handbook of Leisure Theory (2017) and a sole-authored monograph Popular Music, Popular Myth and Cultural Heritage in Cleveland: The Moondog, the Buzzard, and the Battle for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (2019). He has delivered over 80 international, national, and regional conference presentations, including a number of keynotes and invited lectures. Brett serves as an Associate Editor of three international leisure journals: Leisure Sciences, Leisure/Loisir, and International Journal for the Sociology of Leisure. He is a commissioning editor (with Prof. Stephen Wagg) for two book series with Liverpool University Press: one is centred on studies of popular music and place; the other series explore the politics of popular culture. He still occasionally makes some noise behind the drums.