Welsh-language Literature

two canvas tents on the eisteddfod field with bunting reading Lolfa Len

Welsh has been a subject of study at Swansea University for a century. The Department of Welsh was established in 1921, when Henry Lewis was appointed as professor to the Chair of Welsh. His main research interest was the development of the Welsh language (the title of one of his influential volumes) and its relationship with other languages, yet he had a great interest in contemporary Welsh culture. There has never been a barrier between linguistics and cultural studies in Welsh here at Swansea. Scholars in both fields support the same cause – i.e. to support and celebrate a thriving Welsh language culture.  In 1922, Saunders Lewis was appointed to the department. It was here, through his literary studies, that he discovered a vision for a new Wales - a Wales with its own parliament, its own Senedd, and a Wales that would value the Welsh language.

In 1936, Saunders Lewis was sacked for his part in the political protest of Penyberth. Nowadays, in a very different Wales, Welsh culture continues to attract the attention of many of our scholars at Swansea University. A series of research surveys over the past twenty years have shown that we consistently produce cutting-edge work of international standard. Our research looks at Welsh culture in many different areas, including literature, the media, history, language policy and planning, legislation, education, theatre and creative writing.

To read more about our research on Welsh-language literature, culture and creative writing click on the link below.

Welsh Writing in English

book cover of queer square mile with figures in traditional women's costumes, moustaches and pitchforks

CREW, the Centre for Research into the English Literature and Language of Wales, is dedicated to research into the Anglophone literature of Wales. Established by M. Wynn Thomas in 1986, its research programme includes scholarship in fields such as nationalism and transnationalism, multilingualism and translation, comparative literature, postcolonial studies, queer writing, gender and women's writing, cultural history, proletarian literature, disability studies and medieval studies.  Scholars have published extensively on the relationship between the two literatures of Wales (in Welsh and English) and in linguistics, our research includes the study of Welsh English.

The series of monographs and essay collections, ‘Writing Wales in English’ (University of Wales Press) is edited from CREW, as is the Welsh Government commissioned series ‘The Library of Wales’ (Parthian) which reprints anglophone Welsh classics.

CREW runs an MA in Welsh Writing in English and a PhD programme and welcomes applications from visiting scholars. 

CREW runs a rolling series of events, including research seminars, public lectures and outreach events (in person and online).  We also work closely with schools and teachers, via the Wales and the World outreach programme and contributed to the development of the new curriculum for Wales. 

Click on the link below to visit CREW's website with information on research projects, events and resources for teachers.