EMYR HUMPHREYS AT 100: A RETROSPECTIVE

Speaker: Professor M Wynn Thomas OBE, Professor of English and Emyr Humphreys Professor of Welsh Writing in English, Swansea University

In the chair: Professor Helen Fulton, Member of Council

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Bydded cyfiawnder! Ffarwél i EnglandandWales

The Cymmrodorion Eisteddfod lecture (the Annual Sir Thomas ParryWilliams Memorial Lecture) for 2018 explores the role of the Commission on Justice in Wales, which is chaired by the former Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas of Cwmgïedd. The lecture examines the history and implications of ‘the England and Wales jurisdiction’, a legal concept which has its origins in the Acts of Union of 1536 and 1543. The central argument of the lecture is that while there are a number of contexts in which the phrase ‘England and Wales’ – or ‘Cymru a Lloegr’ in Welsh – might be used, the specific conjunction of the two place names in legal discourse is so distinctive and so significant to the future of Wales, in or out of Europe, that its legal uses might best be signified through a single close compound: ‘EnglandandWales’. The lecture argues that the establishment of a Commission on Justice in Wales by a devolved government in Wales has moved us one step closer to resolving this ‘anachronistic phenomenon’ whereby the only legal jurusdiction which currently operates in Wales – despite the establishment of a Welsh government in Cardiff – is the jurisdiction of ‘EnglandandWales’, an entity which came into being as a consequence of the infamous Acts of Union.

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Belgian refugee musicians in mid-Wales during the First World War

When Germany invaded Belgium in 1914, more than a million Belgians fled their homes and around 100,000 sought refuge in Britain. The Davies family of Llandinam assisted several families to come to Mid Wales and the artist members of this expatriate community were the subject of a major exhibition at National Museum Cardiff and Ghent’s Museum of Fine Arts in 2003.

Their musician colleagues were equally distinguished, yet their lives and careers are now almost entirely forgotten. Drawing on original sources in the UK and Belgium and offering powerful parallels with the migration crises of today, this lecture reconstructs a remarkable lost narrative and presents it in London for the first time.

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STUDYING WALES TODAY: A MICROCOSMOPOLITAN APPROACH

Drawing on Michael Cronin’s model of ‘microcosmopolitanism’ and its appreciation of the complexity and diversity of small nations, in this lecture Professor Wynn Thomas champions the importance of ‘studying Wales today’, and suggests developments for securing a sustainable and dynamic future for the field.

The text of the lecture may be downloaded here.

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Studying Wales Today: A Microcosmopolitan Approach

Drawing on Michael Cronin’s model of ‘microcosmopolitanism’ and its appreciation of the complexity and diversity of small nations, in this lecture Professor Wynn Thomas champions the importance of ‘studying Wales today’, and suggests developments for securing a sustainable and dynamic future for the field.

Download MP3