T.W. (Tom) Hedley MA

Comparative Literature

I completed my PhD from Trinity College Dublin in autumn 2023. My thesis project explored the overlap between aesthetic modernism (modern literature, film and visual art) and modern mathematics (ca. 1890-1930), with particular focus on the representation/understanding of space and the role of language and objects in both domains. Throughout, the spatialities generated in these works are brought into conversation with wider social  structures at play in the modern epoch, from work and class stuggle to supposed paradigms shifts like 'New Woman' and women's emancipation. This PhD project was funded by the Irish Research Council.  

I also hold a BA in German Studies and Mathematics from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, and an MA in Comparative Literature from the Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Germany, which was funded by the Germanic Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Between September 2021 and January 2022, I was a Junior Fellow at the Descartes Centre for the History and Philosphy of Science. As of September 2022, I have worked as a lecturer in the Comparative Literature department. 

Regarding the potential overlap between mathematical thought and the creative arts, I am particularly interested in how challeneging lingering social inequalities (e.g. the underrepreseantation of women in mathematics) can help to uncover pathways towards a more meaningful interdisciplinary conversation — a topic I have explored in more informal research output, such as a podcast episode with historians of mathematics June Barrow-Green (Open University, UK), Mireia Martinez i Sellares (Utrecht University) and mathematics teacher Iseult O'Rourke. See: https:// soundcloud.com/tlrhub/tlrh-the-hublic-sphere-measuring-the-gap-the-gender-problem-in-mathematics. 

Aside from my PhD research, I have published and presented on contemporary German and (Northern) Irish representations of trauma, contested histories and the legacies of partition, from 'autofictional' and 'magical realist' responses to memory work in post-Holocaust, post-Cold War and post-Troubles writing and cinema (e.g. Herta Müller, Mark Cousins, Jan Carson and Anna Burns).