• Claudia Hirtenfelder

The Animal Turn: A Year in Review


It's been a really big year for the Animal Turn! Not only was I awarded the inaugural prize for the AASA Popular Communication of Animal Studies (thus making The Animal Turn an Award Winning Podcast - Yay!) but The Animal Turn also reached 10,000 downloads! Woot woot! And that's not all - 15 episodes were released, we launched Quick Clips on Youtube and started a calendar with animal studies events. .


It's been an incredible journey and while I had hoped to produce more in 2021, I am super pleased with what this podcast is achieving. I had never in a million years thought I would be the host of a successful podcast. After receiving the AASA award I think it is safe to say that The Animal Turn is successful and doing something right. The AASA award is one of the most meaningful accolades of my life. It means so much to get this from a group of people who are not only impressive animal studies scholars but are also dedicated to making a better world for animals. A special thank you to Siobhan O'Sullivan who has tirelessly worked to make infrastructure, resources, and communication accessible to animal studies scholars.


Needless to say, I have so many ideas and hopes for how the podcast could grow in future. I am exploring different sponsorship models and want to figure out ways to make the episodes more useful pedagogical tools. I'm also really eager to plan some Animal Turn Events and to expand the website to better feature work that is created by folks in Animal Studies Communities (including art, poetry, and writing). So watch this space. I think the next couple of years are going to be exciting!


At the onset I want to say a huge thank you to the long time sponsor of the Podcast: Animals in Philosophy, Politics, Law and Ethics. They remain a dedicated and supportive sponsor. They also recently put up a call for a postdoctoral fellow This is a brilliant opportunity and the deadline is the 14th of Feb (Find out more here). Also a huge thank you to to the iROAR Network which the podcast is part of. If you haven't checked out make sure you do. They have so many great podcasts featured!


The rest of this post is designed to give you a quick snapshot of 2021. Did you miss an episode of a post? Never fear, you will find it here!



 


Episodes

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We released 15 episodes, spanning 3 seasons. These included discussions with activists, ecologists, geographers, sociologists, designers, and philosophers:



I thoroughly enjoyed each of these discussions and I have learnt so much! I loved talking to pattrice, the clarity of her convictions and ideas is awe-inspiring. Marie Carmen Shingne raised important questions about which species have claims to the city. Nicolas Delon bent my mind with ideas about the limits and extent captivity. I often find myself muttering Paula's phrase that animals are "so much part of the wall paper of our lives" when I see animals in cages and on screens. How do we see them without seeing t hem? The depth of urban knowledge of both Krithika Srivinvasan and Yamini Narayanan and historical knowledge from Catherine Oliver and Philip Howell's were exciting and made me just want to sit down and write! And I can't help but think I am engaged in forms of re-design every time I try to put a toy in another toy in a new place for Linus.


The current season of The Animal Turn is far removed from anything I know and it has been fun learning about the technical and methodological requirements of getting to know animals through sound. On top of that Season 4 launched and brought with it two new sponsors (the Sonic Arts Studio and the Sonic Arts of Place Laboratory, SAPLab) and an additional voice to the show - Hannah Hunter with the Animal Highlights. Season 4 hit a bit of a technical speedbump in December but will be resuming in full force in January. Hurrah!


 


Youtube

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The Animal Turn has a Youtube Channel and I am slowly working on adding more content to this platform. I am working my way through adding Season 3 to it and this is taking a spot of time because every time I release an episode I also release some Quick Clips, which are brief videos with insightful bits from the episode. So far, I have release the following:


I have also put together several playlists related to a variety of interesting themes and topics, such as:

I know I am missing a lot in these playlists and I would like to add some more lecture type material to these. If you have some ideas please feel free to leave a comment or drop an email!



 


Blog

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I started a blog (you're on it!). So far I have mainly used the blog to share upcoming events but I am hoping that it will become a more active space in future. There have been a couple of guest entries and I wrote two short pieces too:



 

Additional Resources


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The Animal Studies Calendar is a cool feature on the website where we are trying to list as many upcoming events as possible. If you know of any upcoming events feel free to send them to us or to tag us on Twitter or Instagram!


Other

  • Because of my fancy pansy status as a podcast host I have also been invited as a guest to other podcasts. I made an appearance on the Sentientism Podcast where I spoke to the ever-lovely (and super dedicated) Jamie Woodhouse. If you haven't listened to his show be sure to check it out!



 


Some Fun Stats

  • November saw the most downloads for the podcast (849)

  • 50% of the downloads for 2021 were in Europe and 34% in North America

  • Most folks (48%) listed to the podcast using an Apple iPhone

  • The most downloaded episode in 2021 in its first 7 days of life was Pervasive Captivity with Nicolas Delon

  • The most downloaded episode in 2021 in its first 30 days of life was Urban Biopolitics with Krithika Srinivasan

  • This most listened to episode of all time is the first episode ever - Animal Rights with Will Kymlicka


 

Reviews

A huge thank you to everyone who left reviews for the podcast. These go a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG way to helping the podcast!



Thank you dear listeners for your time and for your thoughts and ideas! I wish you all a lovely end to 2021 and I hope 2022 starts really well too!





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