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Cardiff scholar undertakes lecture tour in the U.S.

05 March 2010

An expert on how Wales moulded modern America is embarking on a prestigious lecture tour of the United States this week (11 – 27 March 2010).

Welsh historian, Dr Bill Jones of the School of History and Archaeology at Cardiff University, will be undertaking a short lecture tour highlighting the role of the Welsh in the industrial, cultural and social development of America. During the tour, Dr Jones will also be speaking at the opening of an exhibition based largely on his research findings on Welsh migration.

Dr Jones, an expert in nineteenth and early twentieth century Welsh emigration and Welsh communities outside Wales and Co-Director of Cardiff Centre for Welsh American Studies, will be visiting several prestigious academic and heritage institutions. These will include Harvard University, Campbell University, the Great Plains Welsh Heritage Centre, Nebraska and the Scranton Anthracite Museum, Pennsylvania – which will house the exhibition.

Dr Jones, said: "I am particularly looking forward to speaking at Scranton because the area was formerly an important coal, iron and steel making centre, so it is unsurprising that it attracted migrants and expertise from the Welsh coalfields and became the largest Welsh community in the USA in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The history of the Welsh in Scranton was the subject of my first book, Wales in America: Scranton and the Welsh 1860-1920. "

Also on display at the Scranton Museum will be a touring exhibition on the Welsh in America organised by New York office of the Welsh Assembly Government, to which Dr Jones contributed.

During his visit to the US, Dr Jones will be giving papers on his recent research into Welsh American letters at the Department of Celtic Languages and Literatures, Harvard University and at Campbell University, North Carolina. He will be speaking about the Welsh American writer and women’s rights campaigner Margaret Evans Roberts (1833-1921) at Great Plains Welsh Heritage Centre, Wymore, Nebraska. He will also address meetings of the St. David’s Welsh Society of Nebraska and St. David’s Welsh Society of Minneapolis at which he will talk informally about various aspects of his research into emigration from Wales.

Professor Peter Coss, Head of the School of History and Archaeology at Cardiff, commented: "Bill Jones is a remarkable and prolific historian. His research reveals the dramatic role that Welsh communities played in moulding modern America, as such it has great significance for reinforcing long-standing cultural and collaborative links between Cardiff University and Wales, more broadly, and academic schools, heritage institutions and communities across the United States."


Notes to Editors

Dr Bill Jones’ lecture tour includes the following:
Thursday 11 March. Seminar paper Department of Celtic Languages and Literatures, Harvard University.
Title: ‘Llythyrau mawr a llwythog’: the personal correspondence of Welsh immigrants to the USA in the nineteenth century

Sunday 14 March, Scranton Anthracite Museum, Scranton Pennsylvania.
Public presentation on the history of Welsh migration to Scranton to mark the opening of an exhibition on the same subject plus book-signing.

Thursday 18 March. The Annual Anne T Moore Humanities Lecture, Campbell University, Buies Creek, North Carolina.
Title: Emigration and ethnicity: the Welsh in the United States in the nineteenth and early twentieth century

Saturday 27 March. Great Plains Welsh Heritage Centre, Wymore, Nebraska.
Public lecture on the Welsh American writer and women’s rights campaigner Margaret Evans Roberts (1833-1921), a current research project.
(The Great Plains Welsh Heritage Project works to discover, preserve and interpret regional history; to expand the Great Plains Welsh Heritage & Culture Centre in Wymore, Nebraska; and to present Welsh involvement in the U.S. westward expansion.)

1. Cardiff School of History and Archaeology
The School of History and Archaeology carries out teaching and research in four main areas: History and Welsh History; Ancient History; Archaeology; and Archaeology Conservation.
History and Welsh History offers a broad survey of the main aspects from the medieval period to the twentieth century. Areas of expertise include: Medieval England, the Crusades, military religious orders; early modern England and Wales; early modern Spain; and modern Indian historiography and gender history. The broad area of Europe and the British Empire in the Twentieth Century encompasses such research themes as: modern Germany; biological racism and ethics; the Right in France; and the Wilson era in British politics. Areas of expertise in Welsh history include early modern Wales; the gentry; industrialisation; popular culture and Welsh emigration/dispersal (with particular reference to North America)
Ancient History focuses on the social and economic history of the ancient world, with particular emphasis on: warrior elites; warfare and the formation; organisation and social effects of armies; violence and its control inside ancient societies; issues of identity, especially gender history and ethnicity; and slavery and other systems of labour and land exploitation.
Archaeology offers expertise in two main areas: the archaeology of Britain, Europe and the Mediterranean 5000BC-1000AD; and studies in ancient technology and the analysis of materials and conservation science.
The Archaeology Conservation degree scheme offered by the School is one of only two such undergraduate courses in Britain. It attracts conservation commissions from throughout the UK, giving students valuable hands-on experience. The teaching of Ancient History and Archaeology was assessed as "Excellent" in the recent national assessment of teaching quality in UK universities.

2. Cardiff University
Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities and is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s most research intensive universities. Among its academic staff are two Nobel Laureates, including the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine, Professor Sir Martin Evans.

Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning.

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3. For further information
Lowri Jones
Public Relations
Cardiff University
Tel: 02920 870995