Ceallaigh's Blog

Monday, June 4, 2018

Editor Rhonda Parrish has announced the title of the next instalment of the ALPHABET ANTHOLOGIES series, which will be F IS FOR FAIRY. I've known about this for some months and have already started work on my own contribution, which will be set in the north of Iceland in the year 1625. Here's the link to Rhonda's announcement.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

E IS FOR EVIL had a book birthday today! This instalment of the ALPHABET ANTHOLOGIES series contains my story "H is for Hindsight/He Who Steals the Sun Shall Bear its Gravity." Here's the first paragraph:

If Katus watched the sun set, a red stain slipping over the rocky lunar plain of the dome, if he stood transfixed like a tourist by its white companion shining in the distance, he might ignore the way people were staring. An artificial breeze lifted the perfume of the flower garden below. He leaned over the parapet and breathed it in. A small, pure memory for a mind unworthy of it. Somewhere in the outskirts of the Capèmont binary system, the Sun Thief was besieging the most formidable military in known space with all the patience of an...

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Sunday, March 25, 2018

This semester I opted to complete a pedagogical project for my Music 7007: Race Gender and Class course in lieu of writing a traditional term paper. This project required me to prepare a graduate-level lecture and teach it to a group of classical musicians. I'll teach that class on Tuesday, and it will be my first time teaching Master's-level students, which is exciting for me. My topic will be the Norwegian metal scene in the 199os, how it shaped European metal thereafter, and the ways Northern European symbols like Thor's Hammer and the Elder Futhark have been used in metal music.

I won't be able to upload the materials for that class to Academia.edu, since the platform doesn't really support the sharing of pedagogical materials. So I'm uploading them here. Please feel...

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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

I will bloom in the autumn,
When the sun is fat and golden,
And the night is not quite cool.
My petals will uncurl
On a too-warm evening
Still clinging to daylight.

My perfume will be heady;
Crushed juniper needles,
Home-bottled rose hip syrup,
Wind over canyon stone,
And that blossom, full and redolent,
May yet become fruit.

Watch for a late harvest, easy to gather
From a hardy, thornless vine
On the last cold days before the frost.

- C.S. MacCath

Sunday, January 28, 2018

This semester, I'll be writing a paper on performance theory, activism, and scholarship using the work of a few well-known activist scholars but primarily that of Dwight Conquergood. My research question, while not fully formed yet, will have something to do with positioning the self in scholarship when the topic is familiar, or even dear to the researcher. I'm presently in this position and will continue to be so throughout the remainder of my PhD research and writing, since I'll be studying the beliefs and performances of animal rights activists in Canada.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the idea of subject positioning, Bronwyn Davies and Rom Harre define it as:

...the discursive process whereby selves are located in conversations as observably...

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Saturday, January 13, 2018

I undertook a bit of primary research last semester on the topic of unverified personal gnosis among Heathen women. The results of that research became the underpinning of a PhD term paper I've uploaded to my Academia.edu account. Here's the abstract:

Contemporary Northern European-inspired Neo-Paganism (also called Heathenry) is a vernacular religion practiced by individuals and small groups which thrives, in part, on gnostic experiences mediated by the individuals who have them. This gnosticism, sometimes labeled "unverified personal gnosis," is a nuanced supernatural transmission of knowledge rooted in a substratum of supernatural beliefs and practices which are part of Heathen religion for many adherents.

My research on this topic synthesizes the surveys of six Heathen women about unverified personal gnosis with selected critical literature on the ethnographic study of belief. The gnostic experiences of these women are highlighted in the contexts of...

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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

During Yuletide, I made a set of runes using birch wood I brought back from Iceland in April of last year. Because I'm a folklorist, I thought it might be interesting to document the process in pictures and share them with you. The tools and the burning/soldering kit (not shown) were gifts from my husband (I've needed proper electric tools for a while now), the cutting board oil is made of coconut oil and essential oils that smell faintly of lemongrass, and the velvet comes from my grandmother's quilting stash, which I inherited in the late nineties before she passed away.

I usually allow a set of runes to germinate for at least four seasons; two to cure the wood, one to make the runes, and one to let them rest before blessing them. I prefer to make runes at Yuletide, and I'll bless this set on May 1st when I return from Newfoundland. Meanwhile, it sits on the altar in my studio at home in Nova Scotia, sleeping as the snow falls outside.

This is a particularly sacred...

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Monday, January 1, 2018
 

2017 was incubative for me. Nearly all of my energy was spent on the two semesters of graduate school I completed, which required a level of engagement I'm not certain I could adequately describe if pressed. I've told friends if Sean hadn't cooked my meals and washed my clothes while I was studying, I'd have eaten tinned soup and worn dirty jeans, and that's the Gods' own truth. But I produced a great deal of writing during those semesters, which taught me what I was capable of, and that's a valuable lesson. I also came close to cementing my dissertation topic, and while I have a bit of tweaking to do on that score, I can tell you with some certainty that I'll be researching Canadian animal rights activists and activism. Finally, I began to see the nascent future...

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Sunday, December 17, 2017

There’s a reason I use the word “fuck.” I was raised without the word and several others like it by conservative, religious parents and a grandmother who said “h-e-double-hockey-sticks” when she meant “hell.” But as an adult who valued the full richness of not just my own mother tongue but that of all languages, I came to resent limitations placed on my use of certain words for the sake of other people’s (real or feigned) linguistic fragility (I don’t worship your god, and mine don’t care which words I use).

To some extent, that fire has mellowed, though I do still actively defend my right and that of others to use the entirety of whatever language we’re speaking. I also believe minority language preservation and propagation is crucial to understanding the full range of human expression, past and present. That’s at least part of the reason for my interest in Gàidhlig and Gaeilge.

I learned yesterday that the Trump administration has cast the authority of the...

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Friday, October 27, 2017

Went for a drive on this blue and gold autumn day with a bag of Sugar Mama's cookies in the car. Passed a flock of about a hundred crows and stopped beneath them on my way back. I got out of the truck and tossed cookie bits on the ground under the electrical line some of them were sitting on. They watched...and watched...and watched. I ran out of patience, turned around, walked to the truck, and looked over my shoulder to find about fifteen flapping their black wings and fighting over my offering.

So I moved the truck a few feet away, rolled down the window, and tossed out another broken cookie. Oh, they wanted that one, and I was clearly in the truck, so a handful figured it might be safe. They swept down, one or two at a time, and gave me the side-eye while they bobbed forward. One...

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