Research

Latest blog posts/entries

Tributes paid to Professor Meic Stephens

Posted on July 10, 2018 by

Jane Aaron pays tribute to writer, editor and former USW Professor Meic Stephens whose contribution to literature was 'enormous’

On July 4, members of the Welsh Assembly paid their respects to the memory of Meic Stephens, Emeritus Professor at the University of South Wales, who had passed away on the previous day.

Addressing the Assembly, Dr Dai Lloyd, Plaid Cymru AM for South Wales, hailed Professor Stephens as one whose ‘contribution to the nation’s literature, in both languages had been enormous’; ‘he will forever be remembered as a national literary hero’, said Dr Lloyd.

At the same time, tributes to Professor Stephens were fast proliferating on Facebook and Twitter, as other institutions and individuals throughout Wales testified similarly to the extent of the debt they owed him.

For some he will always be remembered primarily as the editor of ‘one of the most essential volumes in our culture’, the Companion to Welsh Literature (1986, 2nd edn. 1998), a reference dictionary on the lives and works of 3,250 Welsh writers in Welsh and English, many of whose names might have been lost were it not for the Companion.

Others remember him in their tweets as the founder in 1965, and editor until 1973, of the journal Poetry Wales. A school of new Welsh poets first found their way to publication through this journal, which thus played a key role in what has now come to be known as the ‘second flowering’ of Welsh poetry in English.

The development of Welsh writing in English in general in the 1960s and 70s owed much to Professor Stephens’ innovative energies: in 1968 he established the English-language section of the Welsh Academi, in whose annual conferences many of those who were later to become critics and teachers of Welsh writing in English first gave papers on the subject, and in 1970 he became the founding editor of the University of Wales book series Writers of Wales which by now includes some 120 volumes.

When Amy Wack, the poetry editor of Seren Press, tweeted that ‘Half the books on my shelves owe something to this tireless champion of the Welsh Arts’, she was expressing a truth general to all lovers of Welsh literature.

Meic was also a creative writer in his own right, in both Welsh and English, producing novels, poetry collections, literary travel writings and autobiographical works, as well as biographies, translations, critical works, scholarly editions of Welsh poets and poetry anthologies, including the Library of Wales’ Poetry anthology.

As author or editor, he was responsible for some 180 volumes in all, along with acting as chief literary reviewer for the Western Mail, obituary writer for The Independent, and editor of the periodical Cambria. Recognition for this lifetime of endeavour came with the award of an Honorary D. Litt from the University of Wales, and an Honorary Fellowship from Aberystwyth University earlier this year.

In 2014 he also won the Welsh Book of the Year Award for his critical biography of the Rhondda novelist Rhys Davies: A Writer’s Life, and in 2015 was made a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales.

Also prominent among the messages of appreciation currently surfacing on the web are grateful acknowledgements from Glamorgan students who write of him as ‘one of the most influential people in my writing career…one of the few individuals directly responsible for my becoming a writer and getting published.’

Meic Stephens started lecturing on journalism and creative writing at the University of Glamorgan in 1994, and was made a Professor here in 2001. The post held a special significance for him; I remember standing with him in front of Ty Crawshay in 1999 when he told me that he was born and lived the first 18 years of his life in Meadow Street, a stone’s throw away between the campus and the river. The land on which the house stood had once been part of the Crawshay estate, and the School of Mines, as it then was, dominated the horizon of his childhood.

To teach in the building and contribute to the higher education of another generation of aspiring Pontypridd students gave him much satisfaction.

In his dialect novel Yeah, Dai Dando (2008) the central character says of his hometown: ‘at least there’s a bit of a bustle bout Ponty it’s got style mun [...] they was always up for a laugh in the teeth of theyer misfortunes we are indomitable like.’

Meic Stephens was indomitable, and will be much missed by his USW students and colleagues, as well as all those indebted to him for over a half a century for his central role in the development of Welsh cultural life.

eCDR Postgraduate Researcher Alba Giménez co-organised graduate workshop in Utrecht

Posted on June 28, 2018 by

eCDR Postgraduate Researcher Alba Giménez co-organised with Christian Sancto (Utrecht University), and Jiyu Zhang (Leiden University) the 16th NECS Graduate Workshop titled To Prefer Not To: Media Inoperativities in Utrecht (25 June 2018, Utrecht University). The NECS Graduate Workshop has been designed to give scholars at the beginning of their career a platform for networking with established European film and media scholars.

Alba is also presenting a paper on Distance and Implication: Reconfiguring experience in Harun Farocki’s Eye/Machine series at the 2018 NECS Conference in Amsterdam.


Ian Wiblin’s new film will be showing at the Jewish Film Festival

Posted on June 18, 2018 by

Ian Wiblin’s new film ‘Four Parts of a Folding Screen’, (made together with Anthea Kennedy) will be showing at the Jewish Film Festival in Berlin and Brandenburg. The screening is at 7pm on Saturday 30th June, at Kino Delphi Lux, Kantstr.10 / Yva-Bogen. It will be introduced by Prof. Gertrud Koch (Freie Universität Berlin) and there will be a Q&A.


Trailer: Four Parts of a Folding Screen (2018).

Ian Wiblin’s new film will be showing at the Jewish Film Festival

Posted on June 18, 2018 by

Ian Wiblin’s new film ‘Four Parts of a Folding Screen’, (made together with Anthea Kennedy) will be showing at the Jewish Film Festival in Berlin and Brandenburg. The screening is at 7pm on Saturday 30th June, at Kino Delphi Lux, Kantstr.10 / Yva-Bogen. It will be introduced by Prof. Gertrud Koch (Freie Universität Berlin) and there will be a Q&A.


Trailer: Four Parts of a Folding Screen (2018).

Prof Mark Durden has been invited to present a Post Photography workshop in Lucern

Posted on June 18, 2018 by

Professor Mark Durden has been invited to present my research at a Post Photography workshop in Lucern on Friday June 22nd and Saturday June 23rd. Mark will also be visiting the Hotel Schatzalp in Davos to begin new research on Thomas Mann’s ‘The Magic Mountain’.


Prof Paul Carr's report on International Best Practice in Music Performance Education Models and Associated Learning Outcomes for Wales

Posted on June 18, 2018 by

Professor Paul Carr’s new report for Welsh Government entitled ‘International Best Practice in Music Performance Education Models and Associated Learning Outcomes for Wales’ will launch this evening (Monday) at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.


Dr Emily Underwood-Lee published chapter in Storytelling: An Introduction

Posted on June 18, 2018 by

Dr Emily Underwood-Lee attended the launch of ‘Storytelling: An Introduction’ at Beyond the Border Festival, in which she has a chapter ‘Blooming Flowers and Stony Stares: Negotiating Identity through Story’. It is published by the History Press.


Prof Lisa Lewis published book on Performing Wales: People, Memory and Place

Posted on June 11, 2018 by

Professor Lisa Lewis’s book, Performing Wales: People, Memory and Place, was published by University of Wales Press. Click here for further details in Welsh and English.


Matt White is in Germany for 'Hidden Paradise' site specific installation

Posted on June 11, 2018 by

Matt White, eCDR member and BA Photography lecturer at University of South Wales, is currently in The Ruhr Valley in Essen, Germany installing a site specific installation, ‘Hidden Paradise’. Collaborating with German artist Patricia Hepp, the work investigates the contemporary meaning of home in a post-industrial German community.


Jesse Schwenk has been selected for BBC Drama Writers Room

Posted on June 11, 2018 by

Jesse Schwenk, MMD member and Senior Lecturer at the University of South Wakes, has been selected for this year’s BBC Drama Writers Room. Jesse is one of fifteen people selected for the group. The BBC received 3845 scripts in total for this year of which 572 made it to the second stage (30 page read), 137 made it to the full read stage, and 47 to double read by the BBC Writers Room Producer team.


Dr Damon Minchella will be playing with the The Rolling Stones

Posted on June 11, 2018 by

MMD member Dr Damon Minchella will be playing with the The Rolling Stones on Saturday in Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh.


Jack Zipes, Marina Warner and Philip Pullman

Posted on June 7, 2018 by

The George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling was delighted to present the fabulous Jack Zipes, Marina Warner and Philip Pullman at Hay Festival on Saturday 2nd June 2018.

The three authors were joined by our Emeritus Professor, Hamish Fyfe to discuss 'TALES OF WONDER, MAGIC, RESISTANCE AND HOPE’.

Dr Márta Minier discusses Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights at BookTalk event, 11 June 2018

Posted on June 5, 2018 by

GEECS member Dr Márta Minier will be discussing Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights as part of the Cardiff BookTalk series on 11 June 2018. The event will celebrate the bicentenary of Emily Brontë with a discussion of her only – confirmed – novel: Wuthering Heights..

This event will be held in Cardiff University’s Main Building, with tea, coffee, and biscuits at 6.30pm in the Viriamu Jones Gallery (the main reception area) before the main event at 7.00pm in the Wallace Lecture Theatre (0.13). To get to the VJ Gallery, approach through the central entrance of Main Building; after the reception, guests will be guided directly to the Wallace Lecture Theatre. If you’ll be joining us only for the main event, enter through the South entrance of Main Building. The Wallace Lecture Theatre is an accessible space.

All Welcome! Book your free tickets via Eventbrite by clicking here.

Dr Márta Minier discusses Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights at BookTalk event, 11 June 2018

Posted on June 5, 2018 by

MMD member Dr Márta Minier will be discussing Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights as part of the Cardiff BookTalk series on 11 June 2018. The event will celebrate the bicentenary of Emily Brontë with a discussion of her only – confirmed – novel: Wuthering Heights..

This event will be held in Cardiff University’s Main Building, with tea, coffee, and biscuits at 6.30pm in the Viriamu Jones Gallery (the main reception area) before the main event at 7.00pm in the Wallace Lecture Theatre (0.13). To get to the VJ Gallery, approach through the central entrance of Main Building; after the reception, guests will be guided directly to the Wallace Lecture Theatre. If you’ll be joining us only for the main event, enter through the South entrance of Main Building. The Wallace Lecture Theatre is an accessible space.

All Welcome! Book your free tickets via Eventbrite by clicking here.

Dr Márta Minier discusses Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights at BookTalk event, 11 June 2018

Posted on June 5, 2018 by

Centre for Media and Culture in Small Nations member Dr Márta Minier will be discussing Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights as part of the Cardiff BookTalk series on 11 June 2018. The event will celebrate the bicentenary of Emily Brontë with a discussion of her only – confirmed – novel: Wuthering Heights..

This event will be held in Cardiff University’s Main Building, with tea, coffee, and biscuits at 6.30pm in the Viriamu Jones Gallery (the main reception area) before the main event at 7.00pm in the Wallace Lecture Theatre (0.13). To get to the VJ Gallery, approach through the central entrance of Main Building; after the reception, guests will be guided directly to the Wallace Lecture Theatre. If you’ll be joining us only for the main event, enter through the South entrance of Main Building. The Wallace Lecture Theatre is an accessible space.

All Welcome! Book your free tickets via Eventbrite by clicking here.

Professor Ali Wardak speaks at the World Congress on Justice for Children 2018

Posted on June 4, 2018 by

Professor Ali Wardak was an invited speaker at the World Congress on Justice for Children that was held between 28 – 30 May 2018 in Paris.

The Congress was held at the UNESCO house and was attended by over 800 participants from 113 countries. Speakers at the Congress included senior government officials, diplomats, academics, policy makers, and professionals from different parts of the world.

Professor Wardak’s presentation focused on his recently completed field research in Palestine and was titled ‘A Hybrid Model of Juvenile Justice System in Palestine’. Professor Wardak argued that the proposed ‘hybrid model’ provides a coherent framework linking state justice and relevant traditional, religious and modern civil society institutions in mutually constitutive ways as checks and balances on each other. He further maintained that if appropriately translated into practice, the ‘hybrid model’ not only has a strong potential to minimise violation of children’s rights; it also promises the provision of more accessible, inclusive and restorative justice to all children in Palestine. The session was followed by a discussion with participants including customary judges from Faso Burkina, pictured below with Professor Wardak.

Birth, The Body and Performance

Posted on June 4, 2018 by

Our Research Fellow, Dr Emily Underwood-Lee is speaking at the 'Birth, The Body and Performance’ conference at Brunel University on 5th June 2018.

Birth is now prevalent in mainstream media, such as film, television and social media, as well as the focus for interventions in the performing and visual arts. The presence of birth in such sites is significant as it exemplifies a visibility of ‘returning birth to women’ when historically women’s role in birth has been absent, hidden or denied in the cultural sphere (Tyler & Baraitser, 2013: 10). Considering media, social media, visual arts, performing arts and the everyday, this day aims to bring together academics, practitioners and activists to discuss the shared issues, aims and links that emerge when exploring the performance of birth across these sites.

For more information visit http://www.brunel.ac.uk/research/News-and-events/Events/Birth-The-Body-and-Performance.

Dr Rob Smith leads a new 5-piece band ‘The Bread Makers’

Posted on May 25, 2018 by

Dr Rob Smith leads a new 5-piece band ‘The Bread Makers’, featuring current student Neil Langford on guitar and graduate Sam Thomas on drums, at Porters Bar tonight from 9pm. Compositions featured include some re-worked classics like a drum & bass version of John Coltrane’s ‘Naima’.

Dr Rebecca Williams was interviewed on LBC and Heart Radio

Posted on May 25, 2018 by

Dr Rebecca Williams was interviewed on LBC and Heart Radio on Monday about the new Star Wars film SOLO.


Dr Rebecca Williams was interviewed on LBC and Heart Radio

Posted on May 25, 2018 by

Dr Rebecca Williams was interviewed on LBC and Heart Radio on Monday about the new Star Wars film SOLO.