The Personal is Political: Podcasting Political Science
By Heath Brown, City University of New York and Lilly J. Goren, Carroll University
Hitting the red “record” button to start the podcast is no different than any other button on a computer screen, but for the first dozen recordings, we were filled with dread. What if the enormous microphone malfunctions or I mistakenly call Dave Hopkins Dan, and Dan Hopkins Dave? Several hundred podcasts later, the dread has been replaced with nervous enjoyment of engaging in deeply personal conversations about remarkable new books in political science.
Academic podcasting fits into a suite of new approaches to sharing knowledge creation, understandings, and research findings, but it has unique strengths compared to blogging, social media, and novel conference formats. The ease of use, inexpensive distribution, and deeply personal nature make it incredibly valuable for the podcaster and listener.
This contribution focuses on our experiences producing and hosting a political science podcast for the last several years un-cleverly called the New Books in Political Science Podcast and affiliated with the New Books Network. Our goal—which is shared by all of the podcasts in the New Books Network—is to provide a platform to share the key findings of newly published books in interviews with the author or authors. More than five years in and more than 300 podcasts later, we continue to love the format and the opportunity to connect great work with a growing audience. We eagerly fight among ourselves on Twitter to be the first to invite a guest, as well as the chance to come together to reflect on our favorite books of the year during our year-end wrap-up podcasts in December.