All entries for January 2024

January 16, 2024

New Episode: Biochar, Artificial Pollination & Multispecies Justice

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A new year sees a new season of the Exchanges Discourse podcast launch

It hasn’t even been a month since our last episode went live, and here we are back again with more academic chat. This time our first episode of 2024 sees a return of an old friend of the journal and podcast, as geography academic Catherine Price (University of Nottingham, UK) talks about her contributions to Exchanges. Regular readers of this blog and Exchanges will recall Catherine’s not only been on the podcast before, but was our key collaborator on the Anthropocene and More-Than-Human Special issue which we published last March. She’s such a busy scholar that it’s taken us until January to find time when we could both sit down for this chat!

Listen in here:

In the episode the start by talking about Catherine’s conversation article with Sophie Chao entitled Multispecies, More-Than-Human, Nonhuman, Other-Than-Human: Reimagining idioms of animacy in an age of planetary unmaking. Incidentally, this paper was one of our most downloaded ones of 2023, and has even recently been republished in the Spanish language. If you’ve not read it yet, why not listen to Catherine’s over view of the debates it covers.

Moving on from this we then turn to Catherine’s other paper in that issue which was concerned with the question Do we need Artificial Pollination if we have Multispecies Justice in the Anthropocene? You’ll notice I manage to slide in a Black Mirror reference here – and if you know the series, you’ll know exactly which episode I’m talking about! We also take a moment to reflect back on the reception for Anthropocene and More-Than-Human-World special issue of Exchanges from last March, which was very warmly received by readers. Naturally we also talk about Catherine’s future work and, as always, close with some pointers and advice for would-be academic authors.

For more on publishing with Exchanges, see our ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠online guide for authors⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠. Or to read Catherine’s articles, visit:

To help you navigate the episode – here’s the index card for when we get to each part of the discussion:

  • Timecode
  • 0:00 Opening
  • 0:47 Introductions
  • 5:19 Multispecies Paper
  • 11:30 Artificial Pollinators Paper
  • 15:15 Special Issue Reception
  • 17:40 Future Research
  • 18:55 Advice for Authors
  • 24:28 Closing & Outro

January 11, 2024

Most Accessed Podcast Episodes of 2023

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Looking back on the most popular podcast episodes of 2023 from the Exchanges Discourse reveals a few surprises.

To paraphrase Shatner [1] ‘When it was 2023 it was a very good year. It was a very good year for author interview podcast episodes and soft academic chat’.

In 2023 I produced 13 new episodes of the Exchanges Discourse podcast, representing our fourth (!) production season. I know, I’m as surprised as you are that we’ve been going this long now - but also delighted too. Since we kicked off in the high-pandemic year [2] of 2020 with the intention to create a surrogate for the kinds of conversations we’d been having behind the scenes with authors – but were less able to enjoy so easily during the extended remote working period. Unlike a lot of things which arose during lockdown – banana bread, clapping for the NHS, panicking over the food shopping [3] – the Exchanges Discourse podcast is still alive and well.

Back in 2022 we produced 17 episodes [4] and 6hrs 49 minutes of content over the twelve months. Now you might think that with fewer episodes in 2023, this means there was less content for listeners to enjoy. Slightly less variety of voices, I’ll perhaps give you. However, checking on the episode statistics we clocked in with a grand total of 6hrs and 39 minutes of content produced - most which wasn't me talking! Hence, 2023’s podcast episodes were nothing at which to be sneezed. [5] Now if I were to make one behind the scenes observation, it concerns those conversations which continued followed the end recording. A lot of our guests, once we turned the mic off had a lot more interesting things to say - and while I enjoyed every minute, I wish I'd managed to capture them for our listeners to enjoy. So, my goal for 2024 is to try and let more episodes run longer this way.

Anyway, all this aside – what you want to know in this post are which were the most popular episodes we published this past year. As always, we pick a top five and with four episodes appearing in December I’m was curious myself to see if any of these made it into the list when I ran the stats:

Rank Title Duration Published
1 Across Two Professional Worlds: In Conversation with Intissar Haddiya 00:24:34 August 2023
2 Creating Critical Reflection Articles: The What, The Why, The How and The Where 00:23:58 January 2023
3 Environmental Humanities & Transdisciplinary Research: In Conversation with Justin Westgate 00:31:32 June 2023
4 Presidential History and Digital Pedagogies: In Conversation with Rebecca Stone 00:43:60 March 2023
5= ChatGPT, Reviewers from Hell & Linguistic Challenges: In Conversation with Beth Montague-Hellen 00:27:34 December 2023
5= Sustainability, Batteries & Pringle Cans: In Conversation with Jean Marshall 00:25:18 December 2023
5= Crossing the Creative Frontier: In Conversation with Sonakshi Srivastava 00:34:35 June 2023

Well there you go - and yes - a three way tie there for 5th place, with two of those being podcasts we launched in December! How especially gratifying to see them there, meaning a real potential for them to keep climbing up the ranks. I am personally a little delighted to see what occupies our number 1 slot, as it also happened to be the 50th episode of the podcast – which was a minor milestone all of its own. I think the one surprise for me is that my solo episode on creating critical reflections has proved so popular. I suspect, given we’ve two special issues which are critical reflection focussed, this episode likely had a bit of a boost from authors planning to submit to them. I can’t tell for certain, although I know one or two authors have mentioned listening to it ahead of submission - so there's some evidence to support this assumption.

Anyway, what was your favourite episode in our top 5? Let us know if it was, or even if it wasn’t, in the comments below!

And now on to Season 5 - which I start recording today with an author interview again. Do join me.



[1] I know it’s by Sinatra originally, but I’ve only ever listened to Kirk’s version. It’s rather good. But no, I shan’t be performing it in karaoke any time soon.

[2] Rather than the pre-vaccination endemic COVID-19 pandemic we’re still experiencing.

[3] UK inflation being what it is, I don’t think this one’s gone away – it’s just evolved into a more fiscal than existential mode.

[4] 15 author interviews, two solo performances by myself

[5] For 2023 the average episode length is 30 minutes 41 seconds, for 2022 it was only 24 minutes 3 seconds – so we talked a lot more this year just passed.

January 10, 2024

Most Downloaded Articles of 2023

Follow-up to Top of the Articles: Exchanges’ Most Downloaded Articles 2022 from Exchanges Reflections: Interdisciplinary Editor Insights

The annual review of the most downloaded articles brings some new surprises and old favourites to the fore.

Welcome to 2024, a year which I suspect will be both a busy one and evolutionary one for the journal. As it traditional now, I like to start the new year by looking back at those articles which have been the most heavily accessed in the past year on the Exchanges site [1]. I always run off a report drawing this information together each October/November for our departmental IAS annual report. Naturally though, that doesn’t take into account those readers who might spend their winter holidays reading the journal! [2]. Hence, what follows is the definitive most accessed chart for the past year on Exchanges.

The following are based on downloads of the final article PDFs, rather than accesses to the top-level landing (summary) page. Consequently, they represent how many times the actual article itself has been accessed by readers.

Position Article Year: Volume (Issue) 2022 Position Type
1 Fedotov, Critical Analysis of the Electric Vehicle Industry: Five forces and strategic action fields. 2022: 10(1) #8 Article
2 Braddy, Utilizing the Octothorpe (#): Schizoanalytic cartographies recognized in War Games. 2022: 9(2) New Entry Article
3 Lewis, The Simultaneity of Loneliness and Popularity in Dear Evan Hansen. 2022: 9(3) New Entry Article
4 de Leeuw, 'A kiss is the beginning of cannibalism': Julia Ducournau’s Raw and Bataillean Horror. 2020: 7(2) #3 Article
5 Benhamou et al., From the Advent of Multiculturalism to the Elision of Race: The Representation of Race Relations in Disney Animated Features (1995-2009) 2014: 2(1) #2 Criticial Reflection
6 Varwell, A Literature Review of Arnstein’s Ladder of Citizen Participation: Lessons for contemporary student engagement. 2022: 10(1) New Entry Review Article
7 Price et al., Multispecies, More-Than-Human, Nonhuman, Other-Than-Human: Reimagining idioms of animacy in an age of planetary unmaking. 2023: 10(2) New Entry Conversation
8 Schaper, Conquering the Meatspace: The lonely nerd in David Fincher’s The Social Network (2010) and Baran bo Odar’s Who Am I (2014). 2022: 9(3) New Entry Article
9 Opaluwah, Participatory Development: A Tool of Pedagogy. 2016: 4(1) New Entry Review Article
10 Khair Allah, Review: The Body in Twilight: Representation of the Human Body, Sexuality and Struggle in Contemporary Arab Art. 2023: 11(1) New Entry Book Review

Looking at the chart I can see how once again we have a very healthy range of new entries appearing. Many of these are from the past two years of Exchanges’ publications, with perhaps a smaller than normal smattering of old ‘classics’ in the list. That said, last year’s #8 has leapt up – considerably – to become our number one most accessed article of 2023. A round of applause for that article and its author! [3] It was also nice to see our newest submission format (book reviews) having a day in the sunshine with one of these articles popping up in our top 10 for 2023. I think that clearly demonstrates this kind of article is a welcome addition to Exchanges, from our readers' perspective.

You can check out the statistics for yourself this and every article if you are interested – we always make the last 12 months of information publicly available. It is, you will see, a long way clear of the second placed article – which indicates a very healthy and laudable level of readership.

In contrast to last year where there was a fine balance between peer-reviewed and editorially reviewed formats, this year the top 10 chart is very heavily dominated by peer-reviewed publications (7:3): which must be very rewarding for authors and reviewers alike given the long hours they will have worked on these pieces. That isn’t to say it isn’t challenging to get one of the editorially-reviewed pieces into print, but it is a much longer labour for the peer-reviewed texts!

Will any of these articles appear in 2024’s most downloaded articles chart? I bet a couple at least will, but we shall have to see what this year brings. With potentially 5 new issues of Exchanges scheduled for publication this year, all bets for now are well and truly off. We shall have to see who next year’s top dogs are in another 365 or so days. [4]



[1] I did give away a few hard copies of the journal, but not to any degree that would have impacted on these statistics.

[2] I am not entirely kidding – I know we had an article submission on Christmas eve for example, long after I’d ‘downed tools’ for the year.

[3] I should note the author did an excellent job of sharing their article on social media over a protracted period last year, which I suspect helped them no end. My advice to authors – never be shy of sharing your research publications via your socials!!!

[4] There are an estimated 60-70 articles anticipated to appear across these issues, so there will be a lot of competition.

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