Aoife

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A page from the first draft of Traed mewn Cyffion, by Kate Roberts. From the digital archives of the National Library of Wales

AoifeWell


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Aoife Assumpta Hart, PhD — you can find my  curriculum vitae here, or here, which lists my peer-reviewed contributions. My research investigates sexual difference, queerness and youth narratives, identity politics and ethics; with specialized training in psychoanalysis, translation theory, and phenomenological theory. Unable to find any work in academia whatsoever after my sex transition, I left education and now work in tech/translation in the Boston area. My expertise is in Japanese and Welsh, and a lesser extent Irish and Hawaii’an; with particular interest in Welsh app adaptation and platform implementation . . . for example, Twitter and WatchOS.

I’m currently writing two books: y cwtch, a Welsh-language novel, and The Theology of the Marginal Body, which examines the conflict between doctrine, politics, and medicine for practicing transsexual Catholics (like me).

My first book Ancestral Recall: The Celtic Revival and Japanese Modernism was published last year (McGill-Queen’s UP, 2016). By examining Celtic and Japanese modernism, I demonstrate that folklore cannot be understood solely in terms of individual nations but must be situated within a global nexus of movements, ideas, and influences. Ancestral Recall analyzes Celtic nationalism, regional dialects, and globalization in the twentieth century. Eager to insulate tradition from the homogenizing forces of globalization, yet profoundly aware that traditions cannot be divorced from living cultural practices—I describe how Celtic nationalism developed a new conception of heritage that can exist within the transnational contexts of modernity, one that is locally produced but internationally circulated. This central claim, which emphasizes the degree to which Irish, Welsh, and Japanese folklorists influence each other and the various ways in which heritage takes shape (voices, landscapes, ghosts, etc), motivates interlingual examinations. My wonderful editor at McGill-Queen’s UP — Mr Mark Abley — is himself a prize-winning author with experience and expertise in Welsh and other minority language activism.

Much of my first book, in the comparative perspective of modernism, also presents my assessments of 21st century politics in the Celtic nations against Little England sensibilities. As Leanne Wood of Plaid Cymru declared in defiance of #Brexit, “I will forever remain a Welsh European.” Importantly, I am a passionate supporter of independence movements in the Celtic Nations, in response to #Brexit. Mae’n amser i Lywodraethau wrando ar gymunedau Cymru. Gyrrwch y neges drwy fwrw pleidlais i Plaid Cymru ar 4 Mai .

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y cwtch is about a trans academic who flees her past origins to do a dissertation on religious eunuchs at Aberystwyth. Entitled /y cwtch/; (nofel yn y Gymraeg), with undertow ripples of English dialogue (like how ‘Hinterland’ used to be). Atmospheric in the sense our girl pays too much for pints in queer pubs. Gets sappy at Eisteddfod. And uh is transgender.

Absolute quiet days reading with tea and rain free from chastisement in a fav dress to symbolise the unseen. Parents too far away to burst the door frame open in  witness and acrimony. Terrifying hilarity to lock the future. And yet. Wouldn’t it be great to just — be — all the time? no filters, love for the full honesty: the best decision of life, to recover life back.

I had been an adjunct (crap contracts, low pay, not tenurable, almost nil benefits) professor at UBC — with over seven years full time experience. I won a teaching prize and my evaluations and reviews were consistently among the very highest in the Faculty of Arts.  My teaching portfolio includes a range of syllabi that have explored the intersections of religion, gender, culture, and ethics through comparative literature.  See here for a seminar I gave on gender critical theory and praxis, the last which I offered at the University of British Columbia before resigning (Autumn, 2014). Handed in my resignation thereafter. The conditions both intellectually and pedagogically were horrid.

I’m an immigrant to the United States who has authorization for legal employment. My partner is a senior security architect and data encryption scientist. Our family includes Saoirse, our calico chimera-faced rescue kitty.

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I’m glad to be out of the university thumbscrews machine to be perfectly honest.

Undergrad studies that I had to abandon for the narrowness of graduate school would decades later coincide with a very fortuitous work opportunity. As an ex-academic, I’m still writing just as much, but also getting my hands on the research being integrated with all kinds of fascinating digital platforms. 

I use Facebook, iOS, and WordPress in Cymraeg (Welsh), although be wary of this dreadfully anoying localization bug with Word. Along with Hawai’ian (studied in Hilo, HI) — Cymraeg is one of the tongues of Heaven. I’m a member of the translation team developing a Welsh platform for accessing Twitter.  I am certified Level 1 as evaluated by the Japanese Language Proficiency Test. I speak — or rather bumble mouth — the North Wales dialect.

I do not have, nor have ever had, a Patreon or other income generator on this page. If my writings offer you something, and you’d like to reciprocate, I would politely ask you send a donation to Stonewall Cymru or Plaid Cymru.

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