New Director and Chair at Swansea
Swansea University has appointed Gwenno Ffrancon as Director and Tudur Hallam to the Chair in Welsh at Academi Hywel Teifi.
Dr Gwenno Ffrancon is the first Director of Academi Hywel Teifi - the academy recently established as the focus of courses and scholarship through the medium of Welsh in South West Wales. Originally from Blaenplwyf, Aberystwyth, but now living in Clydach, in the Swansea Valley, Gwenno Ffrancon was a Senior Lecturer in the College of Arts and Humanities at Swansea University before becoming Director of Academi Hywel Teifi. She is a cultural historian specialising in the history of film and media in Wales. Dr Ffrancon graduated with a BA in Welsh from Aberystwyth University before going on to study for a Ph.D. in the Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies at Aberystwyth University. She was a lecturer in Media and Film Studies at Bangor University before being appointed lecturer in the same field at Swansea University in 2005.
In 2003 Dr Ffrancon published Cyfaredd y Cysgodion: Delweddu Cymru a’i Phobl ar Ffilm, 1935-51 (University of Wales Press) and was co-editor of Llais Cenedl, Cyfrol Deyrnged John Roberts Williams (Gwasg Gwynedd, 2008).
Dr Ffrancon is the founder and co-editor of the journal Cyfrwng: Media Wales Journal – Cyfnodolyn Cyfryngau Cymru (UWP), and is currently writing a biography of the actress from Alltwen, Rachel Thomas.
Gwenno has contributed significantly to the work of widening and enriching the Welsh medium provision at Swansea University and is keen to ensure that many more students choose to study in Welsh and that they are given wide and varied opportunities. Dr Tudur Hallam, who is currently a Senior Lecturer in Welsh at Swansea University, has been appointed to the Chair in Welsh at Academi Hywel Teifi, Swansea University. He is originally from Ammanford and is now living in Foelgastell, Carmarthenshire. He joined the University’s Welsh Department in 1999, and specialises in the fields of literary theory and criticism and the media, including the work of RM Jones and the dramatic work of Saunders Lewis.
In 2010, Dr Hallam was awarded the Saunders Lewis Memorial Scholarship and is currently writing a comprehensive study of the playwright’s works.
This is the second chair that Tudur has been awarded recently, as he won the Chair at the National Eisteddfod of Wales, Blaenau Gwent last year for his poem ‘Ennill Tir’ (Gaining Ground) which is a tribute to Hywel Teifi Edwards.
Announcing these key appointments, Professor Iwan Davies, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Swansea University said: "At Swansea University and through Academi Hywel Teifi we provide a wide range of courses through the medium of Welsh. As preparations are made to launch the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol, we begin a new and exciting period, and the appointment of two prominent individuals, ensures that Swansea University is at the forefront of developments. "As Director, Gwenno Ffrancon will steer the development of Academi Hywel Teifi as she promotes the use of Welsh across the University and the region. She has a vibrant and exciting vision for the Academi.
“Moreover, the tradition of excellence in research in Welsh at Swansea University is in safe hands with the appointment of Tudur Hallam to the Chair in Welsh. I'm sure both will lay solid foundations for the work of the Academi."
Gwenno Ffrancon said: "It is a great honour to lead an academy that bears the name of Hywel Teifi Edwards and be given an opportunity to ensure that his invaluable contribution to Swansea University, to Welsh-medium education and scholarship, and to the culture, language and literature of Wales will not only be remembered but that his contribution is significantly built upon for the benefit of Wales."
Tudur Hallam added: "This is an exciting time for the Welsh language and opportunities are expanding, especially in education. Renaissance scholar William Salesbury said: "Mynnwch ddysg yn eich Iaith (Demand education in your own Language) as the Welsh were a monolingual people in the 16th Century. We are now bilingual people, but the principle remains and one which the Welsh people, both Welsh speaking and non-Welsh speaking must build upon. Ensuring the highest standard of Welsh medium education and scholarship is my goal. It is a tremendous honour to be appointed as Professor of Welsh at Swansea University."
As well as being home to Welsh as an academic discipline and to the work of teaching Welsh to adults, Academi Hywel Teifi will promote Welsh medium education across the University. It will support, enhance and enrich the provision of Welsh medium education and multidisciplinary research, promoting collaboration, entrepreneurship and creating opportunities through the medium of Welsh.
Swansea University has approximately 3,500 Welsh speaking students, the highest number in the region. At Swansea University, students have the best of both worlds – a completely Welsh experience in a University which has multicultural and international connections.
Swansea University launched Academi Hywel Teifi in 2010.
The Academi’s name is a tribute to Professor Hywel Teifi Edwards, who spent his academic career at Swansea University and it celebrates his unique contribution as a teacher, scholar, broadcaster, politician and defender and promoter of the Welsh language, especially in his support of Welsh learners.
The establishment of the Academi Hywel Teifi enables the University to support the Welsh Assembly Government’s Welsh Medium Education Strategy by increasing the number of students who receive their higher education through the medium of Welsh.
The Academi combines the Welsh Department - a department with a long and distinguished tradition of outstanding intensive research - with the widely recognised community based activity of the Welsh for Adults Centre in South West Wales.
Academi Hywel Teifi is located at the heart of the University campus and currently has 26 staff, including lecturers, tutors and administrative staff.
For more details about Academi Hywel Teifi, visit: www.swansea.ac.uk/cy/cofrestrfa/YGymraeg/PopethynGymraeg/AcademiHywelTeifi/
This news item has been posted by Beth Lauder, Swansea University’s Public Relations Office. Tel: 01792 513245 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org