Monday, 16 November 2015

3 seminars of interest this week / 3 Seminar diddorol

3 seminars of interest this week / O ddiddordeb yr wythnos hon:

Monday 16 November, 4.00pm / Dydd Llun 16 Tachwedd, 4.00pm
Room 230, Keir Hardie Building

The Richard Burton Centre in collaboration with the European Travellers to Wales AHRC Project, the Department of Languages, Translation and Communication and the Centre for Contemporary German Culture:

Dr Heather Williams (University of Wales Centre for
Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies / Canolfan Uwchefrydiau Cymreig a Cheltaidd Prifysgol Cymru Aberystwyth)

'Views and visions of Wales in French travel writing (c. 1780-1870)’

Tuesday 17 November , 1.00pm / Dydd Mawrth 17 Tachwedd, 1.00pm
Surf Room, Fulton House
CODAH Seminar:
Rhys Jones (Swansea University)

‘#DataMawr – Welsh Political Parties, Elections, and Reasonably Big Data’

Wednesday 18 November , 4.00pm / Dydd Mercher 18 Tachwedd, 4.00pm
Room 303, Keir Hardie Building
Department of English Seminar:
Dr Andrew Warnes (Leeds University):

‘Contactless?: Supermarket Flow and the Death of Experience in Randall Jarrell and Allen Ginsberg’

Friday, 9 October 2015

Raymond Williams Discussion Group

Raymond Williams Discussion Group

Grwp Trafod Raymond Williams 

A fortnightly discussion group, engaging with aspects of Raymond Williams’s life, thought and writings. The Raymond Williams Archive is located in the Swansea University Archives . PhD work is currently being undertaken on Williams as a Welsh intellectual (Clare Davies), Williams’s writings on drama within the context of 1930s Wales (Liza Penn-Thomas), Williams within the context of the 1980s (Catherine Beard), and Williams’s European Influences (Dan Gerke). This work is complemented by the research of this year’s two Richard Burton Visiting Fellows, Shintaro Kono and Takashi Onuki from Japan. The discussion group is open to all. 40 – 45 minute lectures will be followed by discussion.  

Bydd y grŵp yn cwrdd pob pythefnos i drafod agweddau ar waith, syniadaeth a bywyd Raymond Williams. Mae Papurau Raymond Williams wedi eu lleoli yn Archifau Prifysgol Abertawe . Ar hyn o bryd mae myfyrwyr PhD yn gweithio ar Williams fel deallusyn Cymreig (Clare Davies) , ysgrifau Williams ar ddrama yng nghyd-destun y 30au (Liza Penn - Thomas ), ar Williams o fewn cyd-destun y 1980au (Catherine Beard ) , ac ar y dylanwadau Ewropeaidd ar Williams (Dan Gerke) . Yn ogystal mae gennym ddau ymchwil Gymrawd Rhyngwladol yng Nghanolfan Raymond Williams eleni, Shintaro Kono a Takashi Onuki o Siapan . Mae'r grŵp trafod yn agored i bawb. Bydd darlith o ryw 40 – 45 munud yn cael ei ddilyn gan drafodaeth. 

The Discussion Group meet at 4pm in the Arts and Humanities Conference Room, Callaghan Basement, B 03
Byddwn yn cwrdd am 4 yn ystafell Gynadledda'r Celfyddydau a'r Dyniaethau

October 12.Clare Davies, CREW/ Burton Centre, Swansea University'Fathers and Phantoms: revealing the unconscious residues in Raymond Williams's Border Country'.

October 26Prof Dai Smith, Swansea University"Who speaks (now) for Raymond Williams?" 

November 9 Dr Shinatro Kono, Richard Burton Visiting Fellow, Swansea University / Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo.Remembering Wales, Remembering 1926: Novels of Growth and the Making of Welsh 'Identity'

Novemebr 23 Dr Hywel Dix, Bournemouth University'The Pedagogy of Cultural Materialism: Raymond Williams and Paulo Freire.’Dr Shinatro Kono, Richard Burton Visiting Fellow, Swansea University / Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo.Remembering Wales, Remembering 1926: Novels of Growth and the Making of Welsh 'Identity'

December 7 Andrew Webb. Bangor UniversityCombined and Uneven Development in Wales: Lynette Roberts and Dylan Thomas 

Other dates for the diary (Further information to follow):

October 26 5.30. After Professor Dai Smith’s Raymond Williams session there will be a reception in the Surf Room, Fulton House. The reception will celebrate the work of poet Bryn Griffiths who is depositing papers in the Swansea University Archive and welcome our new PhDs and Visiting Fellows.  

November 11. 6.30. The Richard Burton Annual Lecture will be delivered by Professor Angela V. John in Dyffryn School, Port Talbot on ‘Educating Richard: Actors and Educators in Port Talbot, 1925 – 55’. 

Two Guest Lectures: 

The Richard Burton Centre in collaboration with the European Travellers to Wales AHRC Project, the Department of Languages, Translation and Communication and the Centre for Contemporary German Culture

16 Nov. 4pm. Dr Heather Williams (University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies, Aberystwyth), Title TBC, in collaboration with the European Travellers to Wales AHRC Project and the Department of Languages, Translation and Communication 

30 Nov. 4 pm. Professor Mary Cosgrove (Warwick), “The Welsh Episode in W.G. Sebald’s Austerlitz (2001)”, in collaboration with the European Travellers to Wales AHRC Project and the Centre for Contemporary German Culture

Friday, 18 September 2015


North American Association for the Study of Welsh Culture and History
International Conference on Welsh Studies
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA 02138
20-22 July 2016
Call for Papers
The NAASWCH Program Committee seeks diverse perspectives on all aspects of Wales and Welsh culture – as well as proposals focused on the Welsh in North America – from many disciplines, including history, literature, languages, art, social sciences, political science, philosophy, music, and religion. NAASWCH invites participation from academics, postgraduate/graduate students and independent scholars from North America, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere.
Those wishing to present a paper suitable for a 20-minute reading may submit an abstract (maximum one-page).  Proposals for thematic sessions, panel presentations, or other formats in English or Welsh are also welcome.  Please include a brief (one-page) c.v. with your abstract submission.  The abstract-proposal deadline is Monday 4 January 2016, but early proposals are encouraged. Participants will be notified by mid-February. Email submissions are preferred and will be acknowledged promptly. If you have not received confirmation of your electronic submission within one week, please resend the document.
Keynote presentations for 2016 to be announced.

Visit the NAASWCH website for additional information, to be updated periodically:
Submit abstracts or session proposals by no later than 4 January 2016  (electronically if possible) to Professor Daniel Williams, Department of English, Singleton Park, Swansea SA2 8PP; small number of bursaries will be available for students currently enrolled in a graduate degree program. Interested applicants should provide, together with a paper proposal, a 250-word explanation of how attendance at this conference will make a difference in the advancement of their work and career.

Those who are not submitting proposals but who would like to receive conference information should contact Dr. Melinda Gray,

NAASWCH works to promote scholarship on all aspects of Welsh culture and history; to develop connections between teachers and scholars in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom who are committed to the study of Welsh culture and society, history, language, and literature; to provide an intellectual forum in which scholars and teachers of Welsh culture may share their research and teaching experience; and to provide support for the study of Welsh-North American history and culture. 

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

From Sao Paolo to Swansea: Ugo Rivetti's CREW experience

Last month, the CREWniverse were very sad to say 'Adeus' to Ugo Rivetti, a visiting scholar from Sao Paulo. Since October, Ugo had been a cheerful presence in the CREW office and quickly became accustomed to the ways of CREW (Raymond Williams worship, drinking and the annual AWWE shenanigans). Ugo's debut at this year's AWWE conference was a great success, and we are sure his work on Raymond Williams will continue to inspire, both in his native Brazil and beyond.

Ugo writes:

"I started my M.A. on Raymond Williams at University of São Paulo, Brazil in March 2013 and from the beginning I had thoughts of doing part of my research abroad. After some search on the Internet, I discovered that the Raymond Williams papers were held in the Richard Burton Archives, at Swansea University. In February, 2014 I got in touch with Professor Daniel Williams who answered immediately, not only accepting to supervise me but also offering me all the resources and facilities of CREW. 
I arrived in Swansea in October 2014 and stayed there until April 2015. Today, I can say that those six months were definitive for my research (putting aside the unbelievably rich personal experience). Researching Williams’s papers the archives gave me the opportunity to be in touch with a material that is barely known in Brazil. And the constant talks with Professor Williams and my CREW colleagues Kieron Smith and Clare Davies were decisive for the planning of my text and for the development of my own ideas.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Professor Daniel Williams, Kieron, Clare, the Archives team and all the lecturers and students linked to CREW with whom I had contact during those months. I can definitely say that if my period in Swansea was so pleasant it was due mainly to having been associated with such a research group as CREW."

We wish Ugo every success, and hope he will stay in touch- he will always be welcome back in the CREW office!

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Launch of John Ormond's Collected Poems

The long-awaited launch of John Ormond's Collected Poems is finally here. This Tuesday (5th May) will see Rian Evans, Ormond's daughter and editor of the book, in conversation with Jeff Towns. Hopefully this collection, alongside the pioneering work done on Ormond's documentary films here at CREW, will begin to see Ormond gain the credit he deserves. The launch starts at 7.00 at Galerie Simpson, Swansea. Free Entry. All welcome. Email for more information.

Inaugural Lecture and Launch of Wales Unchained

Last Thursday saw the launch of Wales Unchained, the latest book by Professor Daniel Williams. This work, a collection of essays reflecting Daniel’s multiple research interests (Raymond Williams rubs shoulders with Dylan Thomas, Charlie Parker and D H Lawrence, among others), draws together lines of comparison and connection that only a critic of Daniel’s calibre could achieve so brilliantly. Elegantly written, intellectually vigorous and yet accessible, Daniel’s book is a must-read (and a must-buy- please support UWP!!) for anyone interested in the concept of Welshness, Britishness and  the relationship between culture and politics. The book launch was accompanied by a lecture, 'Un Genedl! Pa Genedl?: Cymathu Cymru o Shakespeare i Miliband' (One Nation! Which Nation? Assimilating Wales from Shakespeare to Miliband),  which explored the fraught relationship between Welshness and Britishness, moving seamlessly from Henry V to  Matthew Arnold and onto Slavoj Zizek. Daniel’s work has always explored  he idea of Welshness, but not in any insular way; his work is committed to situating Wales within broader national and international contexts, especially through a comparative approach between Wales and African America. Both the book and the lecture are timely, given that the forthcoming UK general election has had the idea of Britain and the union at the heart of many debates. We could see the beginnings of a re-structuring of the union and how we perceive 'Welshness'; the book closes with a call to pluralize our definitions of Welshness through both Welsh and English.  

Daniel’s lecture was followed by some closing remarks from M Wynn Thomas, who highlighted Daniel’s role as a public intellectual in his deep commitment to his both his work and to Wales. I’m sure I wasn't the only person in the lecture theatre that night who felt privileged to be able to work with such an inspirational figure; the audience included staff, students, friends and family. In his introduction to Slanderous Tongues a few years back, Daniel celebrated the work of the late Ian Bell and Victor Golightly. In his tribute to these two men, Daniel praised both their commitment to their scholarship and their dedication to their families. At the lecture last Thursday, where many members of Daniel’s family were present, it was clear Daniel has the same commitment to both his work and his family. The pride they felt for Daniel’s considerable achievement was evident, as I hope was the pride his students at CREW felt for a lecturer who is tirelessly committed to the future generation of scholarship.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

CREW Updates and Forthcoming Events

If the CREW blog has been a little quiet of late, the CREW have been anything but. Our postgraduates have been teaching, marking, researching and even WRITING their way through this current academic year like students who know only too well the threat of post-PhD unemployment. Speaking of, congratulations must go to three of our students- Kieron Smith, Georgia Burdett and Charlotte Jackson- who have all been awarded their PhDs within the last year. Academic triumphs are the order of the day for CREW in general, as we can see by Rhian Barfoot's new publication on Dylan Thomas and Professor Daniel Williams's latest book (both published by UWP). CREW associate Dr Jasmine Donahaye has been very busy, with three books out this year alone: one, a Honno re-issue of Lily Tobias's My Mother's House, edited and introduced by Donahaye; the second, a biography of Lily Tobias (again published by Honno) and lastly, a memoir, Losing Israel (Seren). Jasmine will also be in discussion with both Daniel Williams in Cardiff's Cameo Club (next week) and Francesca Rhydderch at the Hay festival.

The annual highlight for any Welsh Writing in English scholar is undoubtedly the AWWE conference at Gregynog. I'm not even going to attempt to offer an account of it here- I'll never reach the masterful blogging levels of Plashing Vole, so read his brilliant report here instead. All I will say is that CREW made a real day of the journey up, stopping off at the Penderyn Distillery to learn about distilling whiskey (honest) and then at Abbeycwmhir to commemorate Llewelyn the Last. When we did finally make it to Gregynog, the CREW were an unstoppable force: Alexandra Jones, Georgia Burdett, Sarah Morse and visiting scholar Ugo Rivetti all gave fantastic papers. The rest of us were there in a supporting role (although not all of us managed that. Naming no names, of course). One of the main things we took away from the conference was an uncomfortable awareness of the dangers facing the University of Wales Press at this time: the basic message I can impart to you all is to support the press as much as possible (buying the aforementioned books would be a good place to start) and to subscribe to the journal here.

In other conference news, CREW associate Dr Kieron Smith is currently organising the Alun Lewis centenary conference 'On Embarkation' on the 27th June. This timely conference will offer an opportunity for all those interested in this neglected Welsh writer to hear some great lectures and papers on him in his hometown of Cwmaman. Further information can be found here

And finally, the annual Richard Burton Conference is fast approaching. This lively conference, open to Swansea postgraduates working on any aspect of Welsh Studies (literature, politics, history) is currently seeking abstracts. For more information, check out our sister blog

Friday, 27 February 2015

Fragments of Union Blog

A new undergraduate module here at Swansea, Fragments of Union: The Cultural Making and Breaking of Britain (taught by CREW's dynamic duo, Professor Daniel Williams and Dr Kieron Smith), has its very own blog. I'd encourage you all to have a read- it's likely to be a great resource not just for students of this course, but for anyone interested in a four-nations approach to literature and history. Happy reading!

AWWE 2015: The Country and the City Conference Details

Registration is now open for what looks like an absolute corker of a conference- register by the 10th March! Contact the organisers, Dr Aidan Byrne and Prof Diana Wallace at for more information. Full programme below:

AWWE 2015 ‘The Country and the City: Rural and Urban Wales

Conference Programme


Friday 27 March

2.00-5.00 Registration


2.30pm            AWWE Annual Business Meeting (Library) All Welcome.


4-5pm                         Tea/coffee (Blayney Room)


5-7pm              Welcome Drinks (Senior Common Room)

                        Award of M. Wynn Thomas Essay prize

Honno Books Showcase: chair Jane Aaron.

My Mother’s House, by Lily Tobias, with an introduction by Jasmine Donahaye (Honno) and The Greatest Need: The creative life and troubled times of Lily Tobias, a Welsh Jew in Palestine by Jasmine Donahaye (Honno)

Poetry reading and conversation: Sally Roberts Jones


7-8                  Dinner


8.15pm            Keynote Lecture 1 (Seminar Room 1)

Chair: M. Wynn Thomas

Professor Helen Fulton (Bristol University),

                   ‘Arthur in Caerleon: Remembering a Roman City in the Literature of Wales


Saturday 28 March

8.00-9.15         Breakfast


9.30-11am       Parallel Sessions

                        Panel Session 1:  Raymond Williams I

Chair: Daniel Williams

Yasuo Kawabata (Japan Womens University), ‘Orwell, Raymond Williams and “Double Vision”: A Reading of Loyalties

Shintaro Kono (Hitotsubashi University, Japan), ‘Beyond ‘“Developmental Narratives”: Virginia Woolf, Emyr Humphreys and Haruki Murakami’

                        Ugo Rivetti (University of Sao Paulo, Brazil), ‘Literature and Capitalism in

                        Raymond WilliamsThe Country and The City


Panel Session 2: The Urban and the Industrial

Daniel Hughes (Bangor University), ‘“At the hand of the mangle”: Urban Modernism and Meaninglessness in Gwyn Thomass Oscar

Alexandra Jones (Swansea University), ‘Deformed Landscape, Disabled Industry: Disability in South Wales Coalfields Literature

Daryl Leeworthy (Cardiff University), ‘Making Room for Jesters: Male Sexuality, Class, and the Urban in the Writing of Ron Berry and Stead Jones


11-11.30am     Coffee (Blayney Room/ Dining Room)


11.30-1pm       Parallel sessions

Panel Session 3: Raymond Williams II

Malcolm Ballin, ‘”A Kind of Fall”: Some Welsh Perspectives from The Country and The City

David JG Barnes (University of South Wales), ‘Raymond Williams and contemporary realist art practice

Steve Hendon (Cardiff University), ‘An emotional ‘border crossed: industrialised masculinities in Gwyn Thomass All Things Betray Thee (1949) and Raymond Williamss Border Country (1960)’ 


Panel Session 4: Landscapes of Ceredigion/ Cardiganshire

Jayne Bowden (University of South Wales), ‘“The Devils Grandmothers Jointure”: Elisabeth Inglis-JonesGothic Wales

Alan Vaughan Jones (Independent Scholar) ‘Representations of Ceredigion in Alun Lewiss ‘Dwellers in the Valleyand Idris Daviess ‘Teify Side

Kate Woodward (Aberystwyth University) ‘Noiring the Picturesque: the discovery and abandonment of landscape in Hinterland / Y Gwyll’


1-2                   Lunch


2-3                   Centenary Panel: Caradoc Evans, My People (1915) (Seminar Room 1)

Chair: Kirsti Bohata

Dinah Jones, an award-winning programme maker, will talk about her documentary film Caradoc Evans Ai Bobl (S4C) with M. Wynn Thomas and Mary-Ann Constantine


3-4                   Parallel sessions

Panel Session 5: Short fictions                    

Jane Aaron (University of South Wales), ‘Hiraeth and the Pastoral in the Welsh Short Story in English

Michelle Deininger (Cardiff Metropolitan University), ‘“Ugly cracks against the sky: rural landscapes and the politics of disease in the short fiction of Elizabeth Baines


Panel Session 6: Rural fictions                                 

Georgia Burdett (CREW/ Swansea University), 'Bobbing along a sea of urbanism: the rural fiction of Cynan Jones'

Lisa Sheppard (Cardiff University), ‘“Escape to the Country”or into the Heart of Darkness?: “Going Native” in Joe Dunthornes Wild Abandon (2011)’


4-4.30              Tea (Blayney Room/ Dining Room)


4.30-5.30         Keynote Lecture 2 (Seminar Room 1)

Chair: Aidan Byrne

Ed Thomas, film maker, title tbc


5.30-6.30         Parallel sessions                       

Panel Session 7:  R.S. Thomas and the rural

Ceri Subbe (Bangor University) ‘From Iago to Ianto: How the Welsh peasant lost the voice it never had

Andrew Webb (Bangor University), ‘Post-rural, post-urban space in R.S. Thomas


Panel Session 8: Village life and country ‘folk

Catriona Coutts (Bangor University), ‘The Influence of the Gwerin Writers on the Work of Rhys Davies

Liz Jones (Aberystwyth University), ‘Performing the Language of the Grotesque: The “malignant beauty” of Caradoc EvansTaffy                  


7-8                   Dinner


8.15-9.15         Creative Keynote (Seminar Room 1)

Chair: Diana Wallace

Professor Christopher Meredith (University of South Wales)

                        'I'r Bur Hoff Bau'



Sunday 29 March

8.00-9.30         Breakfast


9.30-11            Parallel sessions

Panel Session 9 : Curious travellers: travel writing and tourism

Mary-Ann Constantine (University of Wales, CAWCS),  ‘“Mountain-plants brought into a stove”:  Country and City in Catherine Huttons The Welsh Mountaineer (1817)’

Elizabeth Edwards (University of Wales, CAWCS) ‘”[S]eventeen different processes”: Mary Bruntons border crossings

Rita Singer (Prifysgol Bangor University), ‘German Travel Writing in Search of the Poet as a Bohemian Dropout


Panel Session 10: Post-devolution gender and place

Emma Schofield (Cardiff University), ‘Returning to Ground Level: Rediscovering Rural, Urban and Coastal Spaces in Stevie DaviesKith and Kin and Erica Woofs Mud Puppy

Robert Walton (Cardiff University), ‘The ruralisation of gender relationships in the novels of Trezza Azzopardi

Rhiannon Heledd Williams (University of South Wales), ‘Local or National? Gender, place and identity in post-devolution Walesliterature           


11.11.30          Coffee (Blayney Room)


11.30 -1pm      Parallel sessions

Panel Session 11: Re/inhabiting the rural

Siriol McAvoy, (Cardiff University), ‘“My mother gave me a pure white book with thick leaves and in it I pressed wild flowers”: Lynette Roberts, neo-Romanticism, and gendered re-visions of national identity

Rosie Milnes (Bangor University), ‘A geocritical re-examination of Brenda Chamberlains Tide Race

Sarah Morse, (CREW), ‘Reinhabiting the Rhondda: Reading Ron Berry as an Eco-Centric Writer


Panel Session 12: City and Country

Jessica George (Cardiff University), ‘“The unknown region that lies beyond the Grays Inn Road”: Evolutionary anxiety in the country and the city in Arthur Machens The Green Round

Sally Roberts Jones, ‘THE LITERATURE OF WALES: City and Country

Shan Morgain (University of Swansea), ‘Mabinogi Man: a structural analysis of town and country portraits


1-2pm                         Lunch and departure