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