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March 03, 2020
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
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
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 , 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 .
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.
 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!
 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
Writing about web page https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i1
If 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
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
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
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
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!
January 15, 2019
I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas/winter  break. This is my fifth day back in the Exchanges saddle, although only my second one in the office due to conference attendance  and a spot of working from home. Always nice to be back at the IAS here in (currently not very) sunny Coventry though, as I find it’s a powerful and inspirational location at which to work.
My first day back on site last week was one filled with meetings, not least of which was our semi-regular departmental team meeting . So packed with meetings in fact, that I actually forgot to take a lunch break – whoops! Two meetings that day standout in particular. The first was a long and perhaps rather rhizomal conversation with one of my editorial board (hello Marcos). It’s always a real pleasure to spend some time with my editors in person, and their generosity in talking about their own research, teaching, careers and lives represents a particular honour. Part of what Marcos and I were talking about though, were some ideas we’d sketched out before Christmas around some invited bilingual submissions for a future issue of Exchanges. I can say, it is (fairly) early days with regards to this, but I think it looks like there’s some genuine interest in this from our contacts, so it’s quite exciting.
Later in the day I also had the chance to chat at length with a visiting lecturer in critical safety systems (and oddly expert in Viking culture, literature and life), from the University of York. She’s an old friend of mine, and she’d taken the time between lectures to pop in for tea and a chat. Once again the topic of contributions to the journal came up, and quickly it emerged there was a sense her own students (home and abroad) could benefit from a guest appearance from yours truly to talk about the wonders of publishing with Exchanges. And maybe even contributing to the journal, as I’m sure they’d have some wonderful contributions to make. Fingers crossed something comes of this, as there’s nothing I like more than talking with post-graduate and early career researchers about publishing opportunities.
That was enough for one day, but I’ve been delighted since then again, as on Monday this week I received a further approach from some literature scholars wanting to explore publishing a special issue through Exchanges. I’m very much looking forward to some longer conversations about this next week, but if this and the bilingual issue come off, there’s a very exciting 2020 in terms of new content, original thought and valuable additions to the research discourse ahead of us.
All in all, I’m sure you’ll agree a great start to the new year. Don’t forget I’m always happy to talk to potential authors (or groups of authors) about future submissions, special issues or where academic publishing is going these days. Just drop me a line. In the meantime, I’m going back now to continue writing some new marketing material for Exchanges, and planning my communications for scholars workshop for next month.
 Or summer, if you’re part of my southern hemisphere readership/editorial team!
 Understanding the Social in a Digital Age, UEA, Norwich. Delightfully for once I wasn't speaking!
 Probably less of interest to readers, but all the same a very handy way to keep up with what’s going on here in the IAS