Ainsley Hawthorn

Ainsley Hawthorn, PhD, is a cultural historian and author who lives in St. John’s.

Latest from Ainsley Hawthorn


If we want to reform our police forces, we have to overcome their history of racial violence

Reforming law enforcement won't be a matter of going back to a time before racism, writes Ainsley Hawthorn in a guest column. She says it will require acknowledging that policing in North America has, from the beginning, been deeply infused with racism.
Apocalypse Then

A brief history of bubbling: Why quarantine habits are much older than you might think

Since March, we've been slowly adapting to a new way of living. As Ainsley Hawthorn writes, there's a long, rich history in quarantines and managing disease.
Apocalypse Then

Plague doctors and PPE: Today's gear has nothing on the medical garb of the Renaissance

If today's personal protective clothing is impersonal, its 17th-century equivalent was downright sinister, writes Ainsley Hawthorn.
Point of View

You know what? A pandemic is a perfect time for serious social change

COVID-19 has caused harm, but it also has opened the door to rethink a great many things, writes Ainsley Hawthorn, who says we should take advantage of an opportunity to restructure our society for the better.
Point of View

This extinct N.L. dog is the ancestor of all modern retrievers

The Newfoundland dog and the Labrador retriever are two of the world's most beloved breeds, and both owe their existence to a common ancestor: the St. John's water dog.
Point of View

On our own: Social distancing is making our loneliness visible

The practice of social distancing, implemented as a health measure, has had the side effect of revealing that we were a socially isolated society long before the COVID-19 outbreak, writes contributor Ainsley Hawthorn.

The Ode to Newfoundland, just not as you ever heard it

The Ode to Newfoundland has stoked pride in generations of Newfoundlanders, writes contributor Ainsley Hawthorn, but you might be surprised by the theatrical way it was introduced to the public more than 120 years ago. 
Point of View

Pandemic groceries: 1 person, once a week may be the ideal, but it shouldn't be the law

Hard limits on grocery store visits would burden those most at risk from COVID-19, writes contributor Ainsley Hawthorn.
Point of View

In a public health crisis, let's look at an unsung hero: the sidewalk

Public health and equal rights were built into the pavement beneath our feet, writes contributor Ainsley Hawthorn.
Point of View

You don't need to travel to Ireland to find fairies

There are stories of wee folk right here in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Point of View

Sorting out the confusion of service dogs — and the rights they hold

Each type of service dog plays a different role, and each has different rights under the law.
Point of View

In the midst of adversity, NE Avalon health-care workers continue to show heart

For better or for worse, writes Ainsley Hawthorn, she had an insider's view of one of our hospitals during the recent state of emergency, and was truly moved by what she experienced.
Point of View

When every January is dry: The surprising appeal of living without alcohol

Do you really need to have beer, wine or a cocktail to have a good time? Not at all, writes Ainsley Hawthorn.
Point of View

Celebrate Christmas the old-fashioned way: with drunken mayhem

Quality time with family and friends, peaceful evenings under a twinkling tree, writes Ainsley Hawthorn, are these the activities that come to mind when you think of an old-fashioned Christmas?
Point of View

Church attendance is diminishing as multiculturalism is rising, and that's no coincidence

People are also leaving religion for reasons that are rooted in idealism, rather than discouragement, writes Ainsley Hawthorn.