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Dr Rebecca Thomas

Dr Rebecca Thomas

British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow

School of Welsh

Email
thomasr165@caerdydd.ac.uk
Campuses
John Percival Building, Colum Drive, Cardiff, CF10 3EU
Welsh speaking

Overview

I am a medieval historian and British Academy Postdocotral Fellow, specializing in the history, culture, and literature of medieval Wales. My research focuses especially on the construction of Welsh identity in medieval texts, and my monograph on this subject, History and Identity in Early Medieval Wales, was published by Boydell & Brewer in April 2022. This volume investigates the characteristics used as markers of identity in ninth- and tenth-century Latin and vernacular texts, including names, territory, language, and origin legends. Intertextuality is a key theme, and I explore the influence of texts from other parts of Britain and Europe on Welsh strategies of identity construction.

I am also interested in political and cultural connections between Wales and the wider world in the Middle Ages. My research in this area includes an investigation of royal Welsh pilgrimage to Rome in the ninth and tenth centuries, and discussion of the Irish Sea connections of the Welsh king Gruffudd ap Cynan (d. 1137). I am currently examining the depiction of eleventh-century Anglo-Welsh relations in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles.

My interest in Welsh identity construction also spans later periods, and I am currently working on a study of medievalism, identity, and language in twentieth-century Welsh nationalistic writing.

Projects

2019-present: British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship ('Writing the Medieval Welsh World')

2019: Research Assistant, Vitae Sanctorum Cambriae Project (AHRC-funded project, University of Cambridge and University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies)

Creative Writing

I also write creatively and my Welsh medieval historical novel for young adults, Dan Gysgod y Frenhines (In the Queen's Shadow), will be published by Gwasg Carreg Gwalch in July 2022: Gwales: Dan Gysgod y Frenhines

My personal essay on landscape and names in south Wales, 'Cribo'r Dragon's Back', won the inaugural O'r Pedwar Gwynt Essay Prize in 2021: Cribo'r Dragon's Back

Biography

Academic Positions

2019-present: British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, Bangor/Cardiff University

2019: Research Assistant, Vitae Sanctorum Cambriae Project (University of Cambridge; University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies)

Education and Qualifications

2019: Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy

2019: PhD, Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic, University of Cambridge (funded by an AHRC Full Doctoral Training Partnership Award; honorary Vice-Chancellor awrad (University of Cambridge); St John's College Cambridge scholarship)

2015: MPhil, Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic, University of Cambridge (funded by a St John's College Cambridge scholarship)

2014: BA History, University of Cambridge

Other positions

2014-19: Research Assistant, Sylloge of Coins of the British Isles

2017-18: Teaching Assistant, King's College London

Publications

2022

2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

Teaching

I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

I have taught extensively at Cardiff, Bangor, KCL, and Cambridge in the following fields: medieval history (especially Britain and Wales); History in Practice; Welsh identity and culture (medieval and modern); Welsh Language and Literature. I have supervised undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations on topics relating to medieval and modern Wales. 

My research interests in the field of medieval history include: 

  • Connections between Wales and the wider world
  • Identity construction
  • Historical writing and origin legends
  • Language, multilingualism and the translation of Latin texts into the vernacular
  • Intertextuality and scholarly networks
  • Nations and nationalisms

I am also interested in the reception of the medieval past in modern Wales.

Supervision

Past projects