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Making sense of a changing Wales

25 July 2017

Some of Cardiff University’s highest profile experts will be on hand at this year’s National Eisteddfod to make sense of a tumultuous period that will affect Wales for generations.

The seismic impact of Brexit, the repercussions of the remarkable 2017 snap election and the future of devolution in Wales are just some of the substantial issues to be tackled.

The University’s political talks and discussions will complement a range of other events focused on Welsh language and culture.

This year’s National Eisteddfod takes place in Anglesey from 4-12 August.

National identity

Professor Richard Wyn Jones at Eisteddfod 2015

Cardiff University political expert Professor Richard Wyn Jones presents the first detailed analysis of what really happened in Wales during the dramatic EU referendum, in a special lecture at 11:00 on Thursday 10 August in the Societies 1 tent.

Professor Jones seeks to explain why more than half the people of Wales voted to leave the European Union despite being in a part of the UK that benefits most from EU membership.

He will reveal dramatic differences of opinion in Wales depending upon attitudes to national identity.

The latest developments in the Brexit process are the subject of a Wales Governance Centre discussion at the Cardiff University tent, also on 10 August (13:00), as Dr Huw Pritchard, Manon George and Ed Poole seek to explain this most complex of uncouplings.

Political expert Professor Roger Scully, Acting Director of Cardiff University’s Wales Governance Centre, said the general election provided some notable upsets and could reasonably be described as the “most important for a generation”.

Professor Roger Scully

He examines the fall-out from the June poll, including its effect on Brexit and why Labour won in Wales for the 26th time in a row, at 14:30 on Tuesday 8 August in the Societies 2 tent.

Anglesey and the Assembly

Rhun ap Iorwerth, Assembly Member for Ynys Môn, offers his thoughts on Brexit, Anglesey and the future direction of Welsh politics at 16:00 on Wednesday 9 August in the Cardiff University tent.

Anglesey and the Assembly has been organised in partnership with ITV Cymru Wales and will see the Plaid Cymru AM in conversation with Y Byd ar Bedwar.

Devolution is further under the microscope when Professor Jones and National Assembly for Wales Presiding Officer Elin Jones, AM for Ceredigion, examine two decades of the transfer of powers from Westminster to Wales.

The discussion, chaired by BBC Cymru Wales broadcaster Dewi Llwyd and jointly organised by Cardiff University, BBC Cymru Wales and the National Assembly, takes place in the Societies 2 tent at 11:30 on Friday 11 August.

Crowd member asks question at 2015 Eisteddfod

This year’s Cardiff University media debate - at 14:00 on Wednesday 9 August - will be chaired by the School of Journalism, Media & Cultural Studies’ Sian Morgan Lloyd, who asks whether Wales is portrayed fairly on television.

The panel of industry leaders features Sian Gwynedd, Head of Content Production at BBC Cymru Wales; Amanda Rees, Creative Content Director at S4C; and Angharad Mair, Executive Director of Tinopolis and Chair of BAFTA Cymru.

Radio has its turn in the spotlight when BBC Radio Cymru Editor Betsan Powys gives further details about exciting plans for a new Welsh language radio station.

Find out what is planned for BBC Radio Cymru 2, at the Cardiff University tent at 15:00 on Tuesday 8 August.

Llais y Maes

Alex Jones and our Llais y Maes student at the 2015 Eisteddfod
BBC's Alex Jones and our Llais y Maes student at the 2015 National Eisteddfod

The University’s exciting Llais y Maes (Voice of the Maes) digital news service returns for its fifth appearance, in partnership with S4C, ITV Cymru Wales and the National Eisteddfod.

Cardiff University students studying at the School of Journalism, Media & Cultural Studies will work alongside industry professionals to create unique multi-platform content from the Maes.

The School of Welsh’s Dr Siwan Rosser will be joined by leading names from media and publishing in Wales to discuss how to engage young audiences with storytelling across print, media and digital platforms (Cardiff University tent, Friday 11 August at 13:00)

Anglesey-specific presentations also feature strongly including a talk by Dr Llion Pryderi Roberts, School of Welsh, on the contribution of Sir John Morris-Jones, eisteddfodic adjudicator and literary critic (Cardiff University tent, Monday 7 August at 14:00).

Dr Awen Iorweth delivering Welsh language lecture

The School of Medicine’s Dr Awen Iorwerth – who delivered the first ever medical lecture in Welsh earlier this year at Cardiff University - looks at Anglesey’s role in producing distinguished doctors and how a new generation can be similarly inspired (Societies 2 tent, Thursday 10 August at 16:30).

And sure to spark debate at the Cardiff University tent is a talk by Siôn Llewelyn Jones, from the School of Social Sciences, who asks whether Welsh-medium schools in south-east Wales are “middle class” (Thursday 10 August at 16:00).

Cardiff University’s theme for the 2017 National Eisteddfod is Cardiff Connected – how Cardiff University and its students, staff and alumni are connected to Wales and beyond.

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