About

Ainsley Hawthorn is an author, cultural historian, 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 sensory studies, Mesopotamian literature and religion, Middle Eastern dance, word origins, and the history of writing. 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, Canada, and the United States. Distant Impressions, which she co-edited with Anne-Caroline Rendu Loisel, is the first academic volume on sensory studies in the ancient Near East,

Hawthorn uses her academic knowledge to bring groundbreaking new ideas about the senses, history, and religion out of the ivory tower and to the general public. She is a columnist for CBC, blogs for PsychologyToday.com, has contributed to The Globe and Mail, the National Post, and the Newfoundland Quarterly, and is currently finishing her first non-fiction book, The Other Five Senses (represented by The Margret McBride Literary Agency).

Hawthorn is also a Middle Eastern and international folk dancer with extensive teaching and performance experience. Her latest performance project is the short film Calamus by Kenneth J. Harvey, in which she is co-starring alongside Darren Ivany.

In her spare time, she creates textile art. Her first solo exhibition of fine embroidery was held 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.