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Professor Dai Smith 'In the Frame'

The Raymond Williams Research Chair in Cultural History at Swansea University, Professor Dai Smith, marked the launch of his newest work In the Frame, Memory in Society 1910 – 2010 with a reading in Swansea on 11 November 2010.

The Welsh Assembly Government’s Minister for Children, Education and Life-Long Learning, Leighton Andrews, said: “An awareness of our cultural history is crucial in helping connect our past to our present and, as importantly, in understanding the vital and continuing role education plays in achieving a successful, prosperous and progressive society. Dai Smith is one of our most prominent public intellectuals and cultural activists. His new book is an extraordinary and exciting mixture of history, autobiography and cultural commentary.”

In the Frame is a powerful alternative history of twentieth-century South Wales. The book pieces together, without sympathy or sentimentality, the consciousness of a community that searched for fame and fortune while struggling for rights and recognition.

The story, which is based on intensive research and critical study, is interwoven with personal viewpoints, experiences and memories. It takes the reader into a territory formed by the influence of writers and painters, boxers and historians, friends and relatives, rioters and correspondents, critics and photographers.

Professor Dai Smith, Chair in Cultural History at Swansea University and the Series Editor of the Welsh Assembly Government’s Library of Wales, explained: “I felt compelled to write In the Frame to show the deep relevance of our history to the understanding of contemporary issues.

As a prolific writer, Smith has authored many books on literature and society that deliberately break down artificial discipline boundaries - including Aneurin Bevan and The World of South Wales (1993) and Wales: A Question of History (1988). He has also published path breaking histories such as The South Wales Miners, The Fed (1980), with Dr Hywel Francis MP, and Fields of Praise (1993), with Professor Gareth Williams, which highlights the social significance of rugby in Wales.   

Smith’s most recent publication follows on from the success of his earlier work including Raymond Williams: A Warrior’s Tale (2008). This authorised biography of one of Wales’s most influential twentieth-century intellectual figures was selected by Archbishop Rowan Williams as his ‘biography of the year’.

Professor Richard B Davies, Vice-Chancellor of Swansea University concluded: “Professor Dai Smith is himself a cultural icon in Wales. We are all delighted that he is maintaining Swansea University’s position at the forefront of scholarship in the cultural history of Wales.

“Professor Dai Smith was also instrumental in bringing to Swansea the papers of three principal Welsh writers - Raymond Williams, Alun Richards and Ron Berry – now safely housed in the University’s state-of-the-art Richard Burton Archive Centre.”

The reception, hosted by Swansea University, was one of several events planned by the author. For more information visit: www.parthianbooks.com

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