New Head of Law and Professor of Creativity
Elwen Evans, QC, Head of the College of Law and Criminology
Elwen Evans QC is one of the UK’s leading lawyers. She is a Crown Court Recorder (a part-time judge) and has been Head of a highly-regarded Barristers’ Chambers for many years. She was appointed as Head of the College of Law and Criminology at Swansea University in August this year.
Professor Evans said: “The University has taken a progressive stance in appointing a practitioner as Head of Law. There is an artificial distinction between research and practice in Law – so much of it is about application - and there is a great importance in bridging the two worlds, which Swansea University recognises with this appointment.”
“Law for me is inspirational and integral because, far from being a dry subject, it is an enormously vibrant part of modern civil society and life. If you look at any news story, there is something of the law behind it; the highly topical impact of migration for example, an area which we are exploring within the College in our Department of Criminology.
“Law at Swansea is internationally acclaimed and I believe there is a golden opportunity for the College to play a significant role in a national and global context. There is a rapidly developing body of Welsh Law, fast becoming divergent from that in England in key areas. It is a changing time in the legal profession in England and Wales and globally, the interconnectivity between sectors of Law is becoming ever more significant.
“It is a very exciting time, and we have a great deal to celebrate in the College. We have an internationally recognised Institute of International Shipping and Trade Law, and pioneering research being conducted in our Research Centre for Criminal Justice and Criminology. We are also looking at research in highly topical areas including Cyberterrorism and Human Rights.
“One of my main commitments is to seek to ensure we get recognition for the calibre of the research we are undertaking, and gain the traction we deserve.
Owen Sheers, Professor in Creativity
Owen Sheers is a novelist, poet, and playwright and new Professor in Creativity at Swansea University. His latest novel, I Saw A Man (Faber, 2015) has been published across Europe and North America and is longlisted for the Prix Femina.
Appointed in May this year, Professor Sheers will be responsible for inspiring partnerships between researchers at Swansea University and artists, allowing for research to be expressed through creative projects.
Professor Sheers said: “The role of Professor in Creativity partly came about because of the new Bay Campus and awareness that Swansea University would essentially be split on either side of the city. The aim is to keep the two campuses talking to each other, and wherever possible, working with each other.”
“At the heart of the role is the use of artistic and cultural projects to showcase the best of Swansea’s research; introducing artists to areas of research or specific researchers across both campuses, with the idea that together, they can produce something really interesting.”
The kind of project that provided the blueprint for this approach was the Libretto that Professor Sheers wrote for the Oratorio A Violence of Gifts - designed to be a contemporary response to Haydn’s Creation - and performed by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales at St David’s Hall this year.
Professor Sheers said: “The composer of A Violence of Gifts, Mark Bowden, and myself wanted to visit a contemporary narrative of creation, so we went to CERN in Switzerland, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. So as well as an Oratorio, the piece is a different way of talking about the cutting edge research going on at CERN.
“That is what I am interested in: vitalising the dialogue between the arts and the sciences. Works of art are a great way of telling the story of research on a broader canvas.”
“The title of Professor in Creativity has so much scope. It is quite daunting, but also exciting; the fluidity of the role defines it in a way – there are no restrictions placed on what we can achieve, and it will hopefully lead to some quite extraordinary projects.”