Ainsley Hawthorn

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

Latest from Ainsley Hawthorn

Apocalypse Then

Think wearing masks in everyday life is a new concept? Think again

Wearing masks day in, day out may be new to most Canadians, but it's been part of everyday life in many East Asian countries for years.
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Writing in isolation: How pandemics can lead to wonderful art

Maybe we weren't quite as creative as we had hoped a year ago, writes Apocalypse Then columnist Ainsley Hawthorn. Still, history shows that prior pandemics helped foster many landmark works of art and literature.
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Plague upon the waters: How a disease-ridden steamboat spread yellow fever

When COVID-19 began to spread globally, the first large case cluster outside China wasn’t in another country. It was on a cruise ship: the Diamond Princess.
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An election in a pandemic? Let's take an old, old-school look at that

Newfoundland and Labrador is far from the only jurisdiction where a pandemic has affected the political process.
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Pandemics and labour: COVID-19 isn't the first time there's been upheaval at work

COVID-19 has sparked much conversation about labour, working conditions and fair pay, Ainsley Hawthorn writes in the latest segment of her Apocalypse Then series. It's not the first time the labour market has undergone dramatic change.
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Quack cures: How fraudulent claims and pandemics sadly go together

A carcass attracts vultures, and a catastrophe attracts profiteers, keen to exploit widespread suffering and anxiety, Ainsley Hawthorn writes.

The Christmas season, not Hallowe'en, was once considered the spookiest time of year

 It's no coincidence that the most famous Yuletide yarn of all time, A Christmas Carol, is also a ghost story, writes Ainsley Hawthorn, who says people for centuries celebrated Christmas as a time to enjoy tales of the supernatural.
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Health-care workers and everyday heroism: A case study in curbing disease

Six years ago, the staff at a single hospital were faced with a situation that would determine the fate of their country. In her latest Apocalypse Then column, Ainsley Hawthorn writes about the bravery of staff who dealt with an Ebola outbreak in Nigeria.
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Pandemic shaming is far from a new problem

COVID-shaming is a sad reality in this pandemic. But as contributor Ainsley Hawthorn writes, it's nothing new. It's common, she says, to blame people for getting sick.
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From hard pants to consumptive chic: How pandemics influence fashion

Fashion as we know it — clothing and cosmetic trends that change from year to year — was kick-started by a pandemic, writes Ainsley Hawthorn in the latest instalment of our Apocalypse Then series.