The College of Arts and Humanities Celebrates Swansea Authors and Inspires Reading in Wales

Swansea University has now launched its Celebrating Swansea University Authors project on You Tube.

The project, coordinated by Information and Services Systems, and funded by the Welsh Government, is part of a regional grant by local libraries to inspire reading in Wales.

Published authors, from each College in the University, were asked to speak about what inspired them to write their chosen book and the authors were filmed.

Six authors took part from the College of Arts and Humanities at Swansea University:

Dr Joy Porter, Senior Lecturer and Associate Dean for Swansea University's College of Arts and Humanities (COAH), speaks of her book, Native American Freemasonry. Dr Porter's book deepens our understanding of how an institution once seen solely as elitist and secret could be used to give meaning to native American spiritual beliefs and social activism.

Professor Chris Williams, Director of the Research Institute for Arts and Humanities (RIAH), discussesRobert Owen and His Legacy, co-authored with Professor Noel Thompson of Swansea University. Robert Owen (1771-1858), a radical thinker and humanitarian employer, made a major contribution to nineteenth-century social movements including co-operatives, trade unions and workers education. He was a pioneer of enlightened approaches to the education of children and an advocate of birth control. He established utopian communities in both theUnited Kingdomand theUnited States of America, and is often thought of as a leading early British socialist.

Dr Matthew Stevens, talks about his book, Urban Assimilation in Post-Conquest Wales. This book is the first major work in medieval Welsh urban history for over twenty-five years as well as a critical reassessment of key points of parallel English manorial, social and legal history.

Dr John Goodby, a senior lecturer in the College, reads from A True Prize, a collection of his poetry published in 2011. Dr Goody reads a poem written from this book, 'The Uncles', which was the first prize winner in the Cardiff International poetry competition in 2006.

Dr Michael Franklin, talks about his book, Orientalist Jones: Sir William Jones, Poet, Lawyer, and Linguist, 1746-1794. Extensive archival research reveals new insights into this radical intellectual: a figure characterized by Goethe as 'a far-seeing man, he seeks to connect the unknown to the known', and described by Dr Johnson as 'the most enlightened of the sons of men'. Unpublished poems and new letters shed fresh light upon Jones in rare moments of relaxation, while Franklin's research of the legal documents in the courts of the King's Bench, the Carmarthen circuit, and the Supreme Court of Bengal illustrates his passion for social justice, his legal acumen, and his principled independence.

And Dr Krijn Peters, also from the college, talks about his book, War and the Crisis of Youth inSierra Leone. This book addresses the currently incomplete understanding of the conflict in Sierra Leoneby focusing on the direct experiences and interpretations of the protagonists. The data presented challenges the widely canvassed notion of this conflict as a war motivated by “greed, not grievance,” pointing instead to a rural crisis expressed in terms of unresolved tensions between landowners and marginalized rural youth, further reinforced and triggered by a collapsing patrimonial state.

There are ten short videos to view on you tube, and the books are on permanent display in the Library.  If you would like to see any of the short videos, please go to:  http://www.youtube.com/user/CelebrateSUAuthors#p/u.