Professor Damian Walford Davies
Head of School
Since 2014 I have been Head of the School of English, Communication and Philosophy at Cardiff - a multi-discipline School with fascinating synergies between its constituent subjects. I continue to teach at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, and to supervise PhD students - please see the information under the adjacent tabs.
I joined the School of English, Communication & Philosophy at Cardiff in 2013 from Aberystwyth University, where I was Head of the Department of English & Creative Writing and Rendel Chair of English.
I served as Chair of Literature Wales, one of the national companies of Wales, from 2012 to 2018 (see http://www.literaturewales.org/), and am Chair of the Board of Cardiff University Press, Cardiff University's innovative Diamond Open Access institutional publisher (see https://www.cardiffuniversitypress.org/).
I am a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales.
I am currently Head of School and therefore my teaching time is limited, but my curriculum portfolio includes undergraduate and MA modules on Romanticism, Welsh Writing in English and Creative Writing.
The main fields of my research are Romanticism, in particular the relation between literature and politics in the age of revolution; the wider material cultures of the Romantic period; Romantic historicism and the methodologies of Romantic Studies; Romanticism and geography/ cartography; Welsh Writing in English; twentieth-century poetry; and Creative Writing (in particular poetry and ekphrasis/word-and-image) - together, of course, with the interfaces between these periods/disciplines.
I am interested in theorising, in a self-aware way, the methods we deploy as literary critics and editors to seek to know the Romantic period. One of my current projects is an edited collection entitled Counterfactual Romanticism, which explores the what ifs of literary history in order get a fresh purchase on our relationship with a literary past we all too unthinkingly 'inherit'. (In this book, I wrest the Frankenstein story from Mary Shelley and reimagine/ relocate it as the 1790s creation of her (surviving) mother, Mary Wollstonecraf.)
I am completing the co-authored final volume of the Oxford Literary History of Wales, of which I am General Editor. Recent publications include articles on Coleridge, shipwreck and trauma; Keats's creative-critical negotiations with the disease that killed him; an edited collection that explores Roald Dahl's formative relation to Wales - Roald Dahl: Wales of the Unexpected (2016); and the poetry collection Judas. Forthcoming projects include the Cambridge edition of Thomas Love Peacock's novel, The Misfortunes of Elphin (1829); a co-edited collection with Cambridge University Press entitled Romantic Cartographies; and a book-length ghost story in verse, set in late-Victorian Cardiff, entitled Docklands. I am also completing a creative non-fiction book, entitled Ground, that traverses and burrows into four adjacent fields in the Vale of Glamorgan.
I welcome applications for PhD study in the fields of Romantic-period literature and culture; literary geography/ cartography; Welsh Writing in English; and Creative Writing (epsecially poetry).