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August 06, 2020

Forthcoming Attractions in 2020/21

Writing about web page https://exchanges.warwick.ac.uk/

I thought it would be worth discussing, publicly, where we are with Exchanges, in terms of future journal issues. Those of you who read my editorial in the most recent, and slightly delayed, issue will be aware the pandemic has had some unavoidable impacts on our planned timescales. Hence, I thought rather than leaving this information on a spreadsheet on my machine, it’d be a healthy and productive to share with the wider community.

Oct/Nov 2020 (Issue 8.1): The next issue of Exchanges would normally be published in October. I would dearly like us to continue this tradition, especially following the delayed spring 2020 volume. Naturally, a lot depends on how many articles we have ready by this date. I am hopeful that as scholars have become more acclimatised globally to working under these current difficult conditions, our contributors and editors alike will be more able to deliver in a timely manner. It is notable we’ve already one article ready for publication, and I believe a second one will be ready in the next week or so. This is a significant improvement on where we were at a similar stage for the Spring 2020 issue and suggests we may be able to hit the deadline this time. Naturally, things may yet slow down again with the summer ‘break’ and new academic year affecting academic available writing time, alongside the ongoing pandemic conditions. Nevertheless, I would hope we would see a new issue produced by the end of November at the very latest with how things are progressing currently.

Jan 2021 (Special Issue 8.2: Climate Fiction): If there was one future issue whose production has the been most impacted by lockdown: it is our forthcoming CliFi issue. My associate and full editors have been working diligently behind the scenes, but we’ve hit a number of reviewer and author snags due to the global situation. We had initially targeted September 2020 for this volume to see publication, While there are a handful of papers ready, or close to it, there is as of yet an insufficient corpus of them to call an issue or indeed to make a 100% confident prediction on that issue’s publication date. I have to admit we have lost a couple of manuscripts under consideration for this issue, due to the authors’ personal circumstances requiring them to withdraw their participation. I cannot begin to describe how sympathetic we are to these authors, and wish them every future success, and perhaps a resubmission with us down the line. Nevertheless, for the editorial team members who’ve laboured over these papers, this has been a somewhat disheartening experience. Consequently, after talking it over with the special issue lead, we’ve agreed, with considerable regret, to push this issue’s anticipated publication date back to a likely January 2021 date. Hopefully, this means we will be able to bring together a great issue in the vein [1] of the cannibalism issue at that point.

April 2021 (Issue 8.3): Assuming we keep getting manuscript submissions arriving and passing through review at close to the same rate as normal [2], I would anticipate a regular issue of Exchanges should appear around this time. Naturally, with the pandemic and its devastating disruptive impacts, nothing is certain. All the same, this is the goal line towards which the whole editorial team is working towards.

May 2021 (Special Issue 8.4: Then & Now): This is point at which my prognosticative powers begin to fail. We have commissioned a special issue, in collaboration with Warwick’s Faculty of Art to appear in the first half of 2021 we hope. If the Fates smile upon ourselves and the contributing authors, this might even be an issue which appear sooner than expected. That is, if all the papers are submitted in the timely fashion myself and the special issue leads are hoping. Additionally, given our assumption many of the papers for this issue will need to undergo editorial rather than peer review, this could speed publication processes up considerably. At this stage though, we are still at the stage where we’re talking with potential authors about their submissions, and while I’ve seen a few outlines, I’ve yet to see a single paper even close to a first draft yet. Hence, I can’t make too many exact predictions for now. I am however, acutely aware that I personally need around a month between each new issue coming out to ensure I have sufficient time to deliver on my own editorial due diligence on each new volume’s content. Hence, there may need to be some gentle massaging of the timeline to ensure this and the proceeding expected volume don’t collide.

June/July 2021 (Special Issue 8.5: Lonely Nerds): Like the Then & Now volume, this is at a very early stage, although unlike that volume we went with an open call for abstract contributions. After this closed, the special issue leads selected the best submissions, and hence we’ve commissioned the authors who will be writing for this issue already. Excitingly we had TOO MANY potential submissions to include in this volume, which is a unique position for Exchanges. Unlike the preceding volume, the articles for this issue are largely expected to all be peer reviewed pieces, which means there’s going to be a longer editorial process before they’re publication ready. Although, hopes are high after examining the quality of the submitted abstracts, that we’ll be overseeing the editing of some very exciting, well written and impactful contributions to this special issue. Naturally, once I have the actual draft submitted manuscripts to hand towards the end of 2020, I’ll be ready with a keener idea on the likely issue publication date.

October 2021 (Issue 9.1): Right now, next October might only be 14 months away(!), but it feels like the far, far future, after everything 2020’s thrown at everyone [3]. Hopefully, we will all still be here to welcome in the 9th volume of Exchanges with this regularly scheduled issue. Currently, there aren’t any special issues planned beyond this point, so things might get a little quieter for a while as we return to our ‘regular’ schedule. But after two years of special issues…I’m not quite sure what that’ll look like.

There you have it - a potted guide to the next year and a half of planned publication for Exchanges, as things stand here from the ramparts of mid-summer 2020. Given the speed with which society has changed this year, and the uncertain impacts from that and other events on the higher education sector [4], nothing here is written in stone. Now though, at least you might be able to appreciate where our publication ambitions are leaning towards in the medium term.

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[1] No pun intended. #SorryNotSorry.

[2] An assumption which might be foolish to make under the current circumstances but then there’s no other data I have to draw on. August is normally the quietest month for us in terms of new papers, as people take well-deserved summer breaks, so I’ll have a clearer idea in about 8 weeks on this.

[3] So far. There are still 5 months to go of this year, and so many known (and likely many unknown) global and national events which could throw a digital-sabot in the electronic printing press.

[4] Student numbers, ‘the B word’ and university finances alone being a major bump in the road ahead.


July 01, 2020

New Podcast Episode: Art Students Then & Now

Writing about web page https://anchor.fm/exchangesias/episodes/Art-Students-Then--Now-eg62eq

We've just rolled out our next episode of the podcast, and I'm really excited because it is the first time we've hosted a guest on the series. I'm joined in conversation with Pierre Botcherby from History, talking about the student-led Then & Now Project, which is collaborating with Exchanges towards a special issue we're looking to publish in 2021.

Listen online at: https://anchor.fm/exchangesias/episodes/Art-Students-Then--Now-eg62eq

I'm lining up a few more guests for future episodes, so the series will hopefully continue to not always be solely my voice to which you're listening.



March 03, 2020

Special Issue Call Announced Nerds, Culture and Loneliness

Writing about web page https://exchanges.warwick.ac.uk/announcement/view/20

Hopefully by now you’ll have seen the announcement from Exchanges about our latest call for papers. This time we’re teaming up with SOAS and the University of Oxford to produce an issue with papers which ‘explore fictional representations of nerds and loneliness across various media and culture’. Naturally, those of you who know me in real life, know this is a topic very close to my heart and lived-experience. Unlike earlier calls, we’re only seeking abstracts in the first instance (300 words by 6th April), so hopefully this’ll net us a rich range of potential contributors.

If you’ve been keeping track, this represents the third of our special issues we’ve formally launched preparations towards: with the recently published Cannibalism issue being the first and the pending CliFi issue the second. Interestingly, with each of these issues we’ve followed a slightly different pattern for submissions. For Cannibalism, we had a preselected number of authors who had already contributed to a conference, who were directly invited to submit. For CliFi, while we were associated with last year’s European Utopian Society’s conference in Prado, the call for contributions was very much open to any scholar globally. This time we’re almost blending these prior approaches, by starting with a call for abstracts, which will be followed by a workshop event (in early 2021), and then expecting contributors to the workshop to contribute a paper to Exchanges’ special issue.

In many respects, I think this last model may be my favourite, as it embeds Exchanges in the workshop processes and discourse from the outset. It’s not to say it’ll be the only model we’ll use in the future. I’d be lying if I suggested that. Certainly though, given a free hand with future collaborative special issues, I’d hope we can emulate as many elements as possible of this approach, as I believe it’ll serve to offer dividends in thematic coherency and editorial efficacy alike.

I should note at this point, my big thanks to Dr Filippo Cervelli (SOAS) and Dr Benjamin Schaper (Oxford) who came to me with this proposal a few months ago, and following some enthusiastic discussions on both sides, have helped guide us to this point. I’m very much looking forward to seeing what sort of material this call elicits, and working with Filippo and Ben over the months to come.


February 04, 2020

Special Issue on Cannibalism Published

Writing about web page https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i2

I’m delighted to announce that we have published our first special issue, after a year of preparatory work behind the scenes. I couldn’t be happier with the way the issue has turned out, not least of which the fact that this is the BIGGEST ever issue we’ve published. By my calculations this issue contains 63% more peer-reviewed articles than its nearest comparator (v5.1 fact fans), and fully 38% more total pages than our previous longest issue (way back to v2.1). It’s also, incidentally, the fifth issue to come our under my stewardship, one more than any previous lead editor’s stewardship, so I’ll be basking in that minor glory for a few days at least.

If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to read the special issue, I’d strongly encourage you to do so. This is a really fascinating issue, on a topic I confess I’ve given very little thought to personally, before working on the collection. Nevertheless, there are some corking pieces in there and as you’ll see in the editorial, I’ve a few favourites among them. That’s not to denigrate the other pieces, which have all passed successfully through our rigorous quality filter and are filled with fascinating insight, but rather purely personal taste.

Maybe I shouldn’t mention taste in an issue on cannibalistic issues?

Nevertheless, the next week or so will see the usual post-publication activities of promoting the issue and each article as widely as possible. For ease of viewing, here’s a table of contents (TOC) for the issue.

Shorland, A., 'Bites here and there': Literal and Metaphorical Cannibalism Across Disciplines Conference Review. https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i2.550

Ramos-Velasquez, V.M., Anthropophagic Re-Manifesto for the Digital Age: 10th Anniversary Rendition. https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i2.465

Frost, D., ‘Provisions being scarce and pale death drawing nigh, / They'd try to cast lots to see who should die’: The Justification of Shipwreck Cannibalism in Popular Balladry https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i2.459

D’Antonio, C.S., Consuming and Being Consumed: Cannibalism in the Consumerist Society of Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Edible Woman’ https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i2.446

Henderson, L., Anthropophagy of the Werewolf. An Eco-Feminist Analysis of Justine Larbalestier's Liar (2009). https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i2.402

Moran, T.F., The Camera Devoured: Cinematic Cannibalism in Pedro Costa’s Casa De Lava (1994). https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i2.461

Shames, D., Consumption from the Avant-Garde to the Silver Screen: Cannibalism, Fetish, and Profanation. https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i2.466

Wheatley, M., For Fame and Fashion: The Cannibalism of Creatives in Chuck Palahniuk’s Haunted (2005) and Nicolas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon (2016). https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i2.458

Jackson, K., Dejects and Cannibals: Postmodern Abjection in Ana Lily Amirpour's The Bad Batch. https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i2.476

Alsop, J.S., ‘Funeral Baked Meats’: Cannibalism and Corpse Medicine in Hamlet. https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i2.460.

Leta, M., Cannibal Basques: Magic, Cannibalism and Ethnography in the Works of Pierre de Lancre. https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i2.408

Green, W.D., 'Such Violent Hands'. The Theme of Cannibalism and the Implications of Authorship in the 1623 Text of Titus Andronicus. https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i2.462

Davis, H., ‘Monkey Meat’ and Metaphor in Shohei Ooka’s Fires on the Plain. https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i2.457

De Leeuw, U., 'A kiss is the beginning of cannibalism': Julia Ducournau’s Raw and Bataillean Horror. https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i2.463

Das, R., Haun-Maun-Khaun: A Postcolonial Reading of the Cannibals in Some Fairy Tales from Colonial Bengal. https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i2.454

Johnson, G.J., 'But He Looked Suspiciously Well Fed': Editorial, Volume 7, Part 2. https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i2.561

Phew. That really is quite the collection of work. And now if you’ll excuse me, I must return to catch up with the outstanding submissions for this issue, and the submissions for the next few issues of Exchanges. Safe to say, 2020 is off to a cracking start for the journal, and long may it continue.


November 28, 2019

Special Issues are Like Buses

Behind the scenes at Exchanges right now we’re working hard on preparing for the launch of our first ever special issue, scheduled for very early in 2021. We’re also on the cusp of closing the call for contributions to our second special issue, but it’s not too late (yet) to submit! Meanwhile, I had the pleasure this week to travel down to meet with a couple of friendly academics from SOAS and the University of Oxford (hello Ben, hello Filippo), who wanted to propose a third special issue of Exchanges. This is rather exciting as while we’ve been thoroughly enjoying working with the Warwick and Monash scholars in preparation for the first two special issues, this time the approach has come from outside of Warwick and the IAS’ direct collaborating institutions.

We’re still in the process of finalising the exact theme, although I can reveal that broadly it will fall into the area of ‘interdisciplinary representations and evolutions of narratives of loneliness and nerds’. As a somewhat geeky nerd at heart [1], this rather appealed to me on a personal level. Moreover, the underlying plans to tie this proposed issue into a mid-2020 symposium and ongoing research work from an intrinsically diverse research community forms an especially welcome prospect. Diversity, in terms of geographical origin, research domain and seniority are also another core component of the proposed issue, which should add a wonderful diversity of voice, insight and opinion to the issue.

Incidentally, for Exchanges, working with these scholars absolutely resonates with our desire to continue to evolve away from our early Warwick-centric roots, and become a more integral part of the national and international early-career researcher publishing culture [2].

There’s also the additional bonus, that we will likely be able to engage with external post-graduate researcher communities to join us as associate editors for this issue. Hence, this very much matches our second core mission, to enable developmental experience within scholar-led publishing practice for emerging scholars. It also answers our third, and oft unnoticed, mission – to experiment and explore new publishing models and patterns that are attractive to our contributor community. Someone should really remind me in the new year to get round to formally publishing more about our experiences in this domain.

For Exchanges, this development chimes agreeably with our shift in 2019 towards publishing special issues. We have, in the past, published themed sections, but I strongly believe through offering these focussed individual issues, we’re witnessing the slow evolution of the journal into its second phase of existence. As our esteemed Institute Director, Prof Peter Scott said this new development is very much ‘Taking things to another level again’. It’ll also keep me surprisingly and gainfully busy alongside the day to day running of the title, I can assure you.

That said, it is currently early days for this third special issue. Indeed Ben and Filippo’s anticipated timescales are such that we’re likely looking towards a 2021 publication date, something which seems a vast time away right now, but doubtless will be upon us all before we know it. I’ll continue to update our readership and contributor community of developments as we move in to 2020.

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[1] Something painfully obvious I’m sure to anyone who’s met me in the flesh, or listened to one of my (near) countless science fiction podcasts and videos!

[2] I include those scholars I’ve worked with on the other two special issues as well, it’s been a wonderful experience for myself as well as (I hope) for them.


November 05, 2019

New Issue (Volume 7 No. 1) Published

Writing about web page https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i1

exchanges_cover_v71-small.jpgIf you’re a registered reader of Exchanges, or follow our twitter feed, you’ll have already spotted the great news that last week we rolled out the 13th issue of the journal. For those keeping score, this makes it the 4th issue under my own august editorship, equalling the previous best run of my predecessor. This issue’s varied table of contents is as follows:

Johnson, G.J., 2019. Effective Contributor Communication and Editorial Process Efficacy: Editorial, Volume 7, Part 1. https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i1.538

Tan, I., 2019. The Artist in and of the Work: Joyce’s Artistic Self-Fashioning. https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i1.400.

Eze, V.C., & Ejiofor, S.O., 2019. Problems of Reading Comprehension In Learning Chinese As A Second Language Among Undergraduates of Chinese Studies in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria. https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i1.451.

Tho, N.H., et al. 2019. Multi-objective Production Planning for a Flexible Manufacturing System based on NSBBO Method. https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i1.288.

Pisaturo, M., & Senatore, A., 2019. Electric Motor and Dry Clutch Control in Launch Manoeuvres of Mild-Hybrid Vehicles Based on AMT/DCT Transmissions. https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i1.319.

Heyerick, I., 2019., Is there an I in Impact? Considering the two-way process of public engagement. https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i1.520.

Vince, R., & Teichler, Hanna., 2019. Challenging Binaries and Unfencing Fields: An Interview with Bryan Cheyette. https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i1.517.

It’s been great once more to bring together such a wide-ranging set of articles and authors; with notably two of our first published authors from Africa. This just leaves South America and Antarctica as the continental regions from which we’ve yet to publish work: if you’re a scholar based in these regions looking for a friendly, early career focussed, quality assured title to publish in, we’d love to hear from you.

Meanwhile, as I go back to deal with all the various promotional and post-publication tasks for Vol 7(1), I’m also scaling work in preparation for our anticipated January publication of the Cannibalism special issue, not to mention dealing with submissions for consideration for future volumes. Naturally though, as an editor, my appetite for manuscripts remains unsated, so hopefully there’ll be plenty more potential submissions coming to us over the last couple of months of this decade. Do get in touch if you’d like to talk through an outline article, or just take the plunge and submit – we look forward to hearing from you!


August 15, 2019

Call for Papers: Climate Fiction, Friction & Fact

Writing about web page https://exchanges.warwick.ac.uk/announcement/view/17

Following the Utopia, Dystopia and Climate ChangeUtopian Studies Society conference, attended by myself in an editorial capacity, we are delighted to announce a call for contributions to a special issue entitled ‘Climate Fiction, Friction & Fact’. The special issue, which is scheduled for publication in late 2020, explore interdisciplinary issues and perspectives relating, but not limited to, the conference themes (helpfully summarised in the call).

Excitingly, while we hope that many of the early career and PhD researchers attending the conference will consider submitting a manuscript, the call is open to all. So, if you were unable to attend the conference but would still love to write something for us - you can!

You can read the formal call for papers here or download the full details directly. Authors looking to contribute have a deadline of the end of November 2019 to submit a manuscript for consideration for this issue. I'm really looking forward to seeing the variety of submissions for this as it couldn't be a more timely and pressing topic.

Meanwhile, for those of you interested in our other special issue already in progress, I'm pleased to report that most of the manuscripts are either in the middle of peer review or undergoing author revisions at the moment. My thanks to all the authors, reviewers and editors working on these over the summer - your efforts are much appreciated. My especially thank to Giulia and Zac for their advice and support in pulling this call together.

Of course we still have two other open calls for papers for our in-between spaces themedcall, and our general open call for papers. So, even if cli-fi isn't really your thing, but you wanted a great journal to work with to publish - then Exchanges should really be your destination!


June 04, 2019

Après Nous, Le Déluge

The title of this post, drawn from an expression attributed to Madame de Pompadour, traditionally refers to a tipping point, a moment after which unremitting chaos will rain down. Truth be told, it’s actually nothing as disastrous as that in the world of Exchanges today (thankfully). Rather it’s the delight of opening up the OJS submissions list and discovering a large number of new manuscript submissions awaiting me and my editorial team’s scrutiny. I was rather expecting these, given they’re all manuscripts linked to one of our forthcoming special issues, as we have just passed the submission deadline last week.

Nevertheless, it’s a bit more than our normal weekly ingest of new works. Not to mention I’m aware of at least four more authors for the issue who’ve been in touch to ask for brief extensions. Hence, I’m anticipating a few more works as part of the tail end of the ‘deluge’ still to come.

For a relatively small academic journal like Exchanges, getting a large number of manuscripts submissions in a short period of time represents both a blessing and a challenge; in that our processes don’t normally have to cope with this level of new works. However, I’m more confident that myself and the rest of the team will rise to the occasion splendidly, and really is a genuine pleasure to see all this new scholarship potentially heading for our pages.

I do find myself musing though, that I hope the start of every week from hereon out won’t be like this…as I might need to do some drastic rethinking on how we operate the journal.


April 10, 2019

Welcoming our Special Edition Associate Editors

I had the pleasure this morning of spending a couple of hours training my newest members of my Exchanges Editorial Team. Sophie, Giulia and Fiona are post-graduate researchers based here at Warwick who will be supporting the production of our forthcoming Cannibalism: Bites Here & There special issue, scheduled for publication in early 2020. My hope is, like the members of the Editorial Board, that these three will not only contribute to Exchanges but have an excellent learning experience at the sharp end of publication. They’ll be working alongside and supplementing the work of my regular Board members, whom I’m sure will be supportive and grateful in equal measure for the newcomers’ contributions.

I strongly suspect that if all the papers relating to this issue for which I’ve received abstracts (30 and counting) are submitted as manuscripts, then I may well be recruiting a few more willing helpers onto the team. It’s great because this kind of community involvement really helps satisfy part of Exchanges remit as an academic training resource for emerging scholars, alongside its regular dissemination mission. I expect exciting and insightful times lie ahead for us all over the next few months as we pull the issue together.


February 21, 2019

Some Very Special Issues

Regular readers of this editorial blog will recall I mentioned we’d been approached to host two special issues. Well I can happily confirm these are both going ahead. The first will be drawing on papers from the Bites Here and There conference, hosted here at Warwick last November. If all the interested authors who’ve submitted abstracts for my interest produce papers, we’ll have a bumper special issue towards the end of 2019, early 2020 with around 28 papers in it. Even if only get half of these as publishable manuscripts, I think it’ll still make for a really excellent edition of the journal. The other special issue will be drawing on the Utopia, Dystopia and Climate Change Conference, being held in sunny Prato, Italy this July. There’s the potential for as many papers (if not more) to come out of this conference, which makes me doubly excited that Exchanges has such a valuable part to play in facilitating scholarly and interdisciplinary discourse.

Okay, I’m also more than a little excited because I’ve been invited to speak at a pre-conference panel about Exchanges and scholar-led publishing, which means I’ll get to experience some of the conference first hand. It’ll also mean I get to speak with many of the potential authors about their publication plans too, an opportunity something I always value.

Needless to say, with these publications coming in alongside our regular submissions and issues, it looks like being a busy couple of years for Exchanges!


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