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Research seminars

Our research is at the heart of what we do as a school and has an impact on our teaching but also in wider society.

We host several research seminars throughout the year which give our doctoral students an opportunity to share their work (in development) with a public audience.

All our research seminars are free, open to all and take place at 17:15 and end at 18:15. There is no need to book.

Seminars in 2018/19

Access to the inaccessible: how translation can be a driver for social change in the performing arts

Date: 10 October 2018

Venue: 2.18 66a Park Place

Speaker: Patrick Young (OPRA Cymru)

In collaboration with the School of Modern Languages.

The world’s only Welsh-language opera company OPRA Cymru was founded ten years ago. The brief was simple: to create Welsh-language performance editions of classics from the operatic repertoire.

The vision was equally simple, if slightly more challenging: to create a new audience for opera amongst Welsh speakers. Since then the company has grown, and it now boasts a considerable public following. This talk is a reflection on the valuable cultural contribution that performance in translation makes both to the works that are translated and, especially in the case of Welsh, to the language itself.

Taking the experience of OPRA Cymru as a test case, the talk will also look at the unforeseen benefits of such a vision for performance in translation; and examine the extent to which those benefits may outstrip the primary objectives, and encourage social as well as cultural (ex)change.

Welsh as a second language instruction: What pupils and teachers think about the way we teach Welsh in school

Date: 16 October 2018

Venue: 0.36 John Percival Building

Speaker: Dr Kevin Smith (School of Social Sciences) and Dr Mirain Rhys (Cardiff Metropolitan University)

Something troubling?: spectrality and gender in modern Welsh fiction

Date: 13 November 2018

Venue: 0.36 John Percival Building

Speaker: Professor Katie Gramich (School of English, Communication and Philosophy)

What is the impact of Welsh-medium education on the aspirations of young people in the South Wales Valleys?

Date: 11 December 2018

Venue: 0.36 John Percival Building

Speaker: Dr Siôn Jones (School of Social Sciences)

Despite the growth of Welsh medium education in south east Wales, very little research has been undertaken regarding the impact of Welsh medium education on the aspirations of young people.

In this presentation, I will be discussing some of the findings from our research which looked at the aspirations of students in year 11 (the final year of compulsory education in Wales) attending a Welsh medium school and an English medium school in the south Wales valleys.

In the research, I came across clear differences between the aspirations of the students who attended the Welsh medium school and those who attended an English medium school. In the presentation, I will be discussing to what extent does attending either a Welsh medium school or an English medium school have an impact on the aspirations of young people.

Welsh Cultural Dialogues and Khasi: the cultural exchange between Wales and North East India

Date:  05 February 2019

Venue: 2.03 John Percival Building

Speaker: Dr Lisa Lewis (University of South Wales)

The seminar will provide an overview of the ‘Welsh and Khasian Cultural Dialogues’ funded by the Leverhulme Trust. The project looks at performing methods, film documentaries and music to explore the cultural history of the Welsh and the people of Khasi Hills in north-east India.

It is based on the Foreign Missionary period of the Welsh Calvinist Methodists in the area (1841-1969). However, there is more to the relationship than that; it inspired a complex and varied collection of intercultural material which continues to this day. Our cross-cultural dialogue explores and responds to this material as well as the current cultural context between two large countries.

“It would be difficult for me to find someone to practice Welsh with here” – Beliefs and Ideologies of Poles in Aberystwyth on learning Welsh.

Date: 14 February 2019

Time: 13:00-14:00

Venue: 1.69 John Percival Building

Speaker: Dr Karolina Rosiak (Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań)

The present paper will discuss findings of an ethnographic study into language repertoires and language practices of Polish migrants in Aberystwyth, Wales. Aberystwyth is an academic town of 13 000 inhabitants in Ceredigion, one of the heartlands of the Welsh language. Since 2004 the town has been attracting Polish migrants looking for employment in the area. In addition, the town’s University has been attracting Polish students on a large scale with the help of a Polish recruiting agencies.

Having rudimentary knowledge about Wales, its languages and culture, it is upon arrival in Aberystwyth when most of Poles first learn about the Welsh language and form their opinions and ideologies about the language. In this talk I will discuss the study participants’ first impressions on the Welsh language and their beliefs about the usefulness of learning Welsh for their future careers.

This seminar (Language contact, language change, and regional identity) has been postponed, it will be rescheduled to take place during the first semester of the next academic year.

Language contact, language change, and regional identity: The Case of French and Gascon in Béarn, France

Date: TBC

Venue: 2.03 John Percival Building

Speaker: Dr Damien Mooney (University of Bristol)

(In collaboration with the School of Modern Languages)

This presentation will examine the outcomes of language contact between French and an indigenous language, Gascon, in the region of Béarn in southwestern France. Ongoing linguistic changes in the regional variety of French spoken in Béarn will also be explored with the aim of investigating how regional identity may be performed by younger generations in the dominant language (French), when the indigenous language (Gascon) has become obsolescent.

Hispanicisation, dialect levelling and standardisation: analysing the contemporary varieties of Welsh in Patagonia

Date:  09 April 2019

Venue: 2.03 John Percival Building

Speaker: Dr Iwan Wyn Rees (School of Welsh)

Although some recent sociolinguistic studies have been inspired by the revitalisation of Welsh in Chubut Province in Argentina since the 1990s (Johnson 2009; Coupland and Garrett 2010; Carter et al. 2011), it is still surprising that no detailed analyses of Chubut’s contemporary dialects of Welsh have been conducted since the early 1970s (R. O. Jones 1973/4; 1976).

The aim of this paper therefore is to address this gap by investigating the various varieties of Welsh in Patagonia today. Based on some new linguistic data, it will be shown how the use of different dialect features has developed since the early 1970s. Moreover, this study will be the first to examine the effects of the Welsh Language Project on the variation and change patterns seen today among Chubut’s Welsh speakers, and questions relating to the future of ‘Patagonian Welsh’ will be probed