Whether it’s debating the relevance of the May Day Manifesto, examining the future of screen technology, or explaining the challenges faced by the RAF during the Second World War, academics and honorary associates from Swansea University will be in the spotlight at this year’s Hay Festival.

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The Festival, now in its 30th year, runs from 25 May to 4 June in Hay-on-Wye.  It has famously been described by US President Bill Clinton as “the Woodstock of the mind”.  It brings together international writers and thinkers, film-makers, historians and novelists, philosophers, environmentalists, poets and scientists.

Hay Festival 2017Events featuring in the official Swansea University / Hay Festival partnership include:

The May Day Manifesto

Professor Daniel G. Williams from the Department of English Literature at Swansea University will join Leanne Wood, Leader of Plaid Cymru, Bonnie Greer, Stefani Collini and Merryn Williams, the daughter of Raymond Williams, to explore the relevance of the May Day Manifesto, edited by Raymond Williams. Published in 1967, the manifesto reflected the growing disillusionment on the Left with what the authors argued to be the surrendering of socialist principles by the Labour Party.

Friday 26 May 2017, 5.30pm (Venue: Good Energy Stage)

Fiona McFarlane‌The 2017 International Dylan Thomas Prize

Australian author Fiona McFarlane, winner of this year’s International Dylan Thomas Prize in partnership with Swansea University, will be in conversation with Professor Dai Smith, Chair of the judges. McFarlane’s collection of short stories, The High Places, scooped the £30,000 prize for writers aged 39 or under earlier this month.

Saturday 27 May 2017, 11.30am (Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage)

Breaking the Glass - the Future of Screen Technology

Computer Scientist Matt Jones will discuss the future of screen technology as his Swansea University team explores displays that mutate to create textures and change shape to reveal controls like dials and switches depending on our needs. There will be an opportunity to see some of the early prototypes that are enhancing our digital interactions with the physical world.

Tuesday 30 May 2017, 4pm (Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage)

Hay Festival 2017 credit Sam Hardwick

(image credit Sam Hardwick)

‌Welsh Legends … Or Are They Myths?

Swansea University historians Matthew Stevens, Louise Miskell, Sam Blaxland and Martin Johnes question three of the big legends in Wales: was Owain Glyndwr a national redeemer? Was Welsh industry more diverse than a land made by coal in the late 19th century? Were the Tories key architects of the devolved Welsh state?

Thursday 1 June 2017, 10am (Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage)

Ladybird Experts: the Battle of Britain

War historian and Swansea University Honorary Associate James Holland explains the different challenges faced by the RAF and the Luftwaffe in 1940, the technologies of the planes and, above all, the skill, bravery and endurance of the airmen engaged in a contest that was of critical importance to the outcome of the Second World War.

Thursday 1 June 2017, 11.30am (Venue: Tata Tent)

Other events featuring Swansea University academics, graduate writers and honorary fellows include lectures, writing workshops and BBC broadcasts. Highlights include a BBC Radio 3 recording on ‘Free Thinking: Women’s Voices in the Classical World’ with Catherine Fletcher; a screening of Owen Sheers’ BAFTA-nominated The Green Hollow; Hay Writers at Work scheme featuring Alan Bilton, Natalie Holborow and Rebecca F. John; and  Francesca Rhydderch with Courttia Newland and Frank Cottrell-Boyce.  You can find out more about these by clicking on the event titles below.

Professor John Spurr, Head of the College of Arts and Humani­­ties, said: 'Once again we have a wonderful range of colleagues and supporters appearing at this year's Hay Festival of Literature and talking about a really exciting array of subject matters.  Hay is rapidly becoming part of the Swansea calendar.  Swansea University is proud to be an official Educational Partner of the Hay Festival'.

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Friday 26 May 2017, 1pm (Venue:  Cube)

BEFORE THE END – TELLING YOUR STORY IN TIME

George Brinley Evans, Phil Steele and Mark Taubert talk to Hywel Francis
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Saturday 27 May 2017, 7pm - 8.30pm (Venue:  BBC Tent)

OWEN SHEERS:  THE GREEN HOLLOW

BBC WALES
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Sunday 28 May 2017, 2.30pm (Venue:  Cube)

FICTIONS:  LONDON TALES

Rebecca F. John and Jake Arnott talk to Georgina Godwin
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Sunday 28 May 2017, 4pm (Venue:  Writers at Work tent)           

HAY WRITERS AT WORK SCHEME,
FUNDED BY THE ARTS COUNCIL OF WALES

Featuring Alan Bilton, Rebecca John and Natalie Holborow

The event is unticketed and all are welcome.
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Monday 29 May 2017, 1pm (Venue: BBC Tent)

FREE THINKING:
WOMEN’S VOICES IN THE CLASSICAL WORLD

presented by Catherine Fletcher

BBC RADIO 3 (Broadcast on Tuesday 30 May at 10.00pm)
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Tuesday 30 May 2017, 10am (Venue:  Tata Tent)

REFORMATIONS 11: MEN

Owen Sheers
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Tuesday 30 May 2017, 11.30am (Venue: BBC Tent)

THE ESSAY

featuring Martin Johnes

BBC RADIO 3
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Tuesday 30 May 2017, 8.30pm (Venue:  Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage)

HINTERLAND

Ed Thomas, Ed Talfan and David Wilson

Chaired by Jon Gower
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Tuesday 30 May 2017, 5pm (Venue:  Summer House (Hay Festival Site))           

2017 TRANSLATION CHALLENGE (ENGLISH) PRIZE-GIVING
READINGS AND PERFORMANCES BY REFUGEES AND
ASYLUM SEEKERS IN WALES

Tom Cheesman will introduce refugee writers and writing projects from Swansea

This Pen Wales event is unticketed and all are welcome.
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Saturday 3 June 2017, 5.30pm
 (Venue:  Tata Tent)

THE ANEURIN BEVAN LECTURE

Michael Sheen (Swansea University Honorary Fellow)
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Sunday 4 June 2017, 2.30pm
 (Venue:  Good Energy Stage)

PROTEST!

Francesca Rhydderch, Courttia Newland and Frank Cottrell-Boyce
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Sunday 4 June 2017, 2.30pm (Venue:  Oxfam Moot)

BILL BAILEY’S REMARKABLE GUIDE TO BRITISH BIRDS

Bill Bailey talks to Jon Gower
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