Gwenllian Lâs (ffugenw) —
Aoife Assumpta Hart, PhD
I am currently authoring a novel in Welsh titled Yr Hwyaden Fach Ddychrynllyd, which concerns an eggmode trans women in her early twenties navigating gender through language, calligraphy, useless teachers, and queer friends — set in Aberystwyth, mid-90s, when record shops and good nights out were still things.
Whatever use my writings may be of — all royalties, and other monies I earn from my book sales go directly to Stonewall Cymru.
From Boston, the love of my life has been the great teacher to me on American civic history. My spouse is a senior computer security architect and the most brilliant woman I’ve ever met. She has forever changed how i consider myself and the world. She and a Calico rescue cat (mae fy nghath galico i’n feddwl!) are my family.
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 that is developing a Welsh platform for accessing Twitter. Undergrad studies that I had to abandon for the narrowness of graduate school have decades later coincided with a very fortuitous work opportunity. Life is funny that way, no? 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.
Unsurprisingly, my favorite TV programme at the moment is S4C’s /Bang!/ — seriously, it’s soooo good. And its mutations-be-damned street Welsh is a powerful staging of Cymraeg cyfoes. #ProjectRunway and #AHS ‘CULT’ are must watches for me as well. I don’t think I could be more possibly fond of a cis gay man than for Mr Gunn. Also ‘Bojack Horseman’, fourth season especially.
Kate Roberts gydag un o ddosbarthiadau Ysgol Ramadeg y Merched, Aberdâr
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—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. Irish, Welsh, and Japanese folklorists influenced each other through various ways in which heritage takes shape (voices, landscapes, ghosts, etc). 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 languages activism.
In the comparative perspective of modernism, Ancestral Recall 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 :
I had been an adjunct (crap contracts, low pay, non tenure-track, 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. My research investigated sexual difference, queerness and youth narratives, identity politics and ethics — with specialized training in psychoanalysis, translation theory, and phenomenological theory. You can find my curriculum vitae here, which lists my peer-reviewed contributions.
Let me tell you about the time I was lying on my couch in agony, recovering from SRS only two weeks before, when my dept head sent me a rude and threatening letter, because I gave a student with severe mental health issues a conditional pass on a final exam based on her term work. Spoiler: I wrote back immediately resigning.
I now divide my time between Boston and Aberystwyth.
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. 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.
The terrifying hilarity of mockery will no longer deafen my future.
Willful anachronisms as psychic self-defense.