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Fulbright Scholar visits School

07/10/2009

In September 2009, Dr Sarah Campbell joined the School on a Fulbright Scholarship from the United States. She will be delivering a seminar at the School on 13 October.

Here’s an interview with her where she talks about her background, her work, and the seminar itself.

Tell us a little about your background?
I have a Doctorate in Medieval Drama, in particular Latin Medieval Drama, both religious and secular, and English, Cornish and Welsh Medieval Drama. I was drawn to Welsh Drama as so little research had been done on it. The most recent published work is almost a century old. The play ‘Y Gwr Kadarn’ has not been available to scholars. I am planning on both publication and performance of the work.

Do you think a medieval play can work with a modern audience?
It certainly does from my experience. The play itself is very clear and has enough comic moments for everyone!

What will you discuss in the seminar ‘Late Medieval Welsh Dramatic Texts Do Exist: A Close Look at Y Gwr Kadarn’?
To start, I will deal briefly with different types of Medieval Drama in England, and then I will move on to what has been studied in Welsh. Most of the work is religious. Then I will pose the question, which relates to the title of the seminar, “Is this really Welsh or a translation from Latin or English?” and “Was it ever performed?” I will also talk about the play itself. It contains some stock characters and ideas – and is both a morality play and an interlude, which indeed what makes it interesting… and Welsh!

Tell us about the Fulbright Scholarship?
The Fulbright Scholarship aims to bring scholars from the United States and different countries and cultures together. At the moment there are approximately 30 Fulbright recipients in the UK, 8 are research and teaching scholars and the others are postgraduate students. I was delighted to receive the grant! I had to study in Wales, and it just would not have been possible otherwise.

How did you gain an interest in this field?
With regards to Welsh Medieval Drama, my grandfather was Welsh, and I had been studying Middle Welsh. I found that Medieval Drama is remarkably diverse. It is real and honest, often in a gritty way. When performed properly it can be an extremely powerful experience.

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