Professor Chris Williams

Professor Chris Williams

Professor of History and Head of School

School of History, Archaeology and Religion

Media commentator

Research interests

  • The social, economic, political  and cultural history of the South Wales coalfield and associated ports
  • Political cartooning in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Britain
  • Alpinism, mountaineering and rock-climbing from the late eighteenth century to the present
  • The life and times of Richard Burton (1925-84)

Impact and engagement

Royal Commissioner, Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales

Education and qualifications

BA (Hons.) in Modern History, Balliol College, University of Oxford, 1985

Ph.D.   University of Wales (Cardiff) 1991: 'Democratic Rhondda: Politics and Society, 1885-1951'

Career overview

2013 to present: Professor of History and Head of the School of History, Archaeology and Religion, Cardiff University

2010-2013: Director of the Research Institute for Arts and Humanities and Deputy Head of the College of Arts and Humanities, Swansea University

2005-2013: Professor of Welsh History, Swansea University

2001-2004: Professor of Modern and Contemporary Wales, University of Glamorgan

1988-2001: Lecturer / Senior Lecturer in History, School of History and Archaeology, Cardiff University

Professional memberships

  • Royal Commissioner, Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales. Currently Chair of the Publications Committee, with responsibility for overseeing the Royal Commission's publications programme (both print and digital). Member of the Archive Committee and the Investigations Committee. Ex-officio member of the Effectiveness Committee.
  • Sub-Panel Member, Research Excellence Framework 2014, Sub-Panel 30 (History)
  • Member, AHRC Peer Review College
  • Trustee, Glamorgan County History Trust
  • Series Editor (with R. A. Griffiths and Eryn White) of Studies in Welsh History monograph series, published by the University of Wales Press.
  • Advisory Editor (Wales) for Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
  • Editorial Advisory Board member, Welsh History Review
  • Editorial Advisory Board member, Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, Transactions

Speaking engagements

  • 'Collier's Son: Richard Burton and the Heritage of Coalmining', Big Pit Blaenafon 30th Anniversary Lecture, 2013
  • 'Richard Burton and Wales', Toronto Welsh Society St David's Day Dinner, 2013
  • ' "For the Money We Will Dance": Richard Burton's Wealth of Talent', The Art of Business and the Business of Art Conference, Singapore Management University, 2012
  • 'Championing the "Alien Church": The Religious Politics of Edwardian Wales – In Cartoons', Friends of St David's Cathedral Annual Lecture, St Davids, Pembrokeshire, 2012
  • 'Sculpting the History of Wales' – Guest Lecture at the University of Michigan (Flint), 2012

In 2013-14 I shall be contributing to the following modules:

Teaching profile

I teach and supervise broadly in the areas of nineteenth- and twentieth- century British and Welsh history.

Research projects

Cartooning the First World War in Wales (funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund)