About

Ainsley Hawthorn is an author, scholar, and multidisciplinary artist based in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.

She holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from Yale University, and her academic expertise includes the cultural history of the senses, Mesopotamian literature and religion, Sumerian and Akkadian language, and Middle Eastern dance. Hawthorn is a past fellow of Distant Worlds (Munich) and the Advanced Seminar in the Humanities (Venice), and she has been invited to lecture on her research at universities in Germany, Austria, Italy, and the United States. She is co-editor of the first volume on sensory studies in the ancient Near East, coming in 2019 from Eisenbrauns academic press.

She is now using her knowledge to bring groundbreaking new ideas about the senses, history, and religion out of the ivory tower and to the general public. She is currently finishing her first non-fiction book, The Other Five Senses, and is a point-of-view columnist for CBC.

Hawthorn is also a dancer and a textile artist. She teaches and performs Middle Eastern and international folk dance and is mounting her first exhibition of embroidered art at the gallery of the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador in March 2019.

She is available for interviews, speaking engagements, and workshops. Please send an e-mail for details.

Photo by Jie Fang