Cardiff Centre for Welsh American Studies

The Cardiff Centre for Welsh American Studies was established in 2001 in order to promote the study of the culture, language, literature and history of the Welsh in the Americas, and in the United States, Canada and Patagonia in particular.

The Centre is located in the School of Welsh at Cardiff University. Its co-Directors are Professor E Wyn James and Professor Bill Jones (of the School of History, Archaeology and Religion), who will be pleased to hear from anyone interested in the Centre and its work.


By organising seminars, lectures and conferences, through publications, and by encouraging scholarly collaboration and discussion, it provides a focal point for an international network of scholars who have an interest in this rapidly growing field of study.

Taught Postgraduate

There are opportunities for studying aspects of the Welsh in North and South America as part of the taught MA in Welsh and Celtic Studies.

Postgraduate Research

Supervision for research degrees (MPhil/PhD) is also available on a wide range of subjects relevant to the Welsh in North and South America.

PhD students supervised by staff of the Centre:

Sulien Morgan: ‘The response of Welsh Americans to the Nationalism of Plaid Cymru, 1925-1979’

Walter Ariel Brooks: ‘Welsh Print Culture in Y Wladfa: The Role of Ethnic Newspapers in Welsh Patagonia, 1865-1933’ - graduated summer 2013.


Strengthening our links with the Welsh settlement in Patagonia

Cardiff University’s School of Welsh has a number of connections with the Welsh settlement in Patagonia, some of them stretching back over a number of years.

  • Our Welsh for Adults Centre is one of the partners in the Welsh Assembly Government’s scheme which sends Welsh teachers to Patagonia.
  • The Welsh settlement in Patagonia is an area of significant research interest for our Cardiff Centre for Welsh American Studies. It has been the subject of a number of lectures and conferences organised by the Centre. Walter Brooks – who originates from Patagonia and is a Research Officer at the Centre – is currently researching the Welsh-language newspapers which were published there.
  • Professor Robert Owen Jones, who is a Professor at the School of Welsh and one of the leading authorities on the history of the Welsh language in Patagonia, has been working on a project – funded by the Leverhulme Trust – which focuses on the social history of the Welsh language in the Chubut valley and in the Andes.

And to top it all, one of the School’s secretaries, Alicia Arthur, comes from Patagonia!

But plans are afoot to strengthen our ties with Patagonia even further.

Banco Santander sponsors schemes which encourage links between universities in Europe and those in South America. Cardiff University is the first university in Wales to be selected as a partner institution in an international network called ‘Santander Universities’. A agreement of cooperation was signed in September 2008 between Cardiff University and Abbey National plc, Banco Santander’s UK subsidiary. This enables Cardiff University to establish a number of research and teaching links with South American universities who are also members of the ‘Santander Universities’ group.

This development is very exciting one for Cardiff University’s School of Welsh, as the funding from Banco Santander allows us to develop relations with a number of higher education institutions in Patagonia, and in particular with the National University of Patagonia in Trelew.

As one of the first steps in this development, a number of members of staff from the School of Welsh visited Patagonia in spring 2009 (that is, spring in Wales as it was autumn in Patagonia!). Amongst these were experts on teaching Welsh for adults, language planning, and the literature and history of the Welsh settlement in Patagonia.

The purpose of this initial visit was to lay the foundations for further cooperation, with the aim of promoting regular research and study visits to Patagonia by staff and students of the School of Welsh over the coming years; and for Patagonian staff and students in turn to research and study at Cardiff.

Staff and students from the National University of Patagonia visited Cardiff University during February 2010.

We are very grateful to Banco Santander for their generous sponsorship which allows an invaluable opportunity to further strengthen relations between the School of Welsh and the Welsh settlement in Patagonia. It will help significantly to promote the relationship between Wales and Patagonia in the field of higher education and academic research, with all the educational, economic and cultural benefits which will undoubtedly derive as a result.

Lead researcher

Academic staff

Bill Jones

Professor Bill Jones

Emeritus Professor in Modern Welsh History

Colin Williams

Professor Colin H Williams

Honorary Professor

Welsh speaking
+44 (0)29 2087 0413


Over the ten years between 2001 and 2011 the Cardiff Centre for Welsh American Studies held a series of annual conferences. Details of those conferences are to be found below.

Tenth Annual Conference: 'Welsh Travel Writing in the Americas'

Friday, 11 November 2011

Ninth Annual Conference: 'The Welsh and American Wars'

6 February 2010

Eighth Annual Conference: 'The Welsh and Latin America'

29 November 2008

Seventh Annual Conference: 'The Welsh and Native Americans'

24 November 2007

Sixth Annual Conference: ‘Welsh Women in the Americas’

25 November 2006

Fifth Annual Conference: ‘The Welsh in Patagonia: Past, Present and Future’

24 September 2005

Fourth Annual Conference: ‘Wales and the Caribbean’

27 November 2004

Third Annual Conference: 'Letter from America: Welsh Immigrants and their Correspondence’

29 November 2003

Second Annual Conference: 'The Welsh and American Slavery',

30 November 2002

Official Launch and Inaugural One-Day Conference

19-20 October 2001


The Ninth Annual Public Lecture

8 August 2013

Prof. E. Wyn James and Prof. Bill Jones on  'Gwilym Hiraethog, John Griffith ("Y Gohebydd"), and the emancipation of American slaves' in Societies Tent 1 at the Denbighshire and District National Eisteddfod.

The Eighth Annual Public Lecture

31 March 2011

Prof. Colin H. Williams, Research Professor in the School of Welsh, Cardiff University on ‘The Office of Language Commissioner: The Welsh Model from a Canadian Perspective’.

The Seventh Annual Public Lecture

18 February 2010

Prof. Robert Owen Jones, Emeritus Professor in the School of Welsh, Cardiff University on "The Sociology of Welsh in Chubut — Resilience, Integration, Rediscovery".

The Sixth Annual Public Lecture

22 May 2008

Prof. Ron Lewis, Dept of History, West Virginia University on "Welsh Coal Miners in America".

Fifth Annual Public Lecture

20 July 2007

Professor Michele Langfield (Deakin University, Victoria, Australia), 'Welsh Patagonians: The Australian Dimension'

Fourth Annual Public Lecture

24 November 2006

Dr Daniel Williams (English Department, Swansea University): 'Black Skins, Blue Books: Slavery, Translation and Victorian Wales'

Third Annual Public Lecture

6 May 2005

Dr Jerry Hunter (Department of Welsh, University of Wales, Bangor): 'The Great and Good Work Committed to His Hands: Robert Everett and the Abolition of American Slavery'.

Second Annual Public Lecture

1 June 2004

Dr Anne Knowles (Middlebury College, Vermont, USA): 'Welsh Labor in American Iron'

First Annual Public Lecture

20 May 2003

Dr Bill Jones (School of History and Archaeology, Cardiff University): ' "Raising the Wind": Emigrating from Wales to the USA in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries'