Showcase sessions

Dylan Thomas in the American Century   

Houston: 28th October

Black Skin, Blue Books: Frederick Douglass, Wales and Transatlantic Abolitionism

Austin: 31st October

Daniel Williams

Professor Daniel G. Williams

Professor Daniel G. Williams was educated at the University of East Anglia, Harvard University and Cambridge University.

He is Director of Swansea University’s Richard Burton Centre for the Study of Wales and was a Leverhulme Trust funded Visiting Professor at Harvard University in 2012. 

Professor Williams’ research interests include Welsh literature in Welsh and English, American literature, African-American literature, Celticism, Multilingualism, Transatlantic Literature, Comparative Literature, Nationalism, Ethnicity, New Left, Critical Theory and Intellectual History.

He is the author of Ethnicity and Cultural Authority: From Arnold to Du Bois (2006) and Black Skin, Blue Books: African Americans and Wales (2012).

He has edited numerous books and publications including a collection of Raymond Williams’ writings, Who Speaks for Wales? Nation, Culture, Identity, and a special edition of Comparative American Studies on The Celtic Nations and the African-Americas (2010). 


Dylan Live - celebrating the Dylan Thomas centenary

Dylan Live performers

Swansea University Professor and jazz musician Daniel Williams led Dylan Live performances in universities across Wales as part of the Developing Dylan 100 project, celebrating the centenary of Dylan Thomas's birth. 

A bilingual performance combining lecture with poetry, jazz and hip hop, Dylan Live traced the Welshman’s influence on American culture in the period following his death in 1953. The show included several performances in Welsh as well as a poetry reading in Breton.

Dylan Thomas travelled to America four times during the early 1950s, a time when New York was witnessing a musical revolution, with musicians such as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillesie, Tad Dameron and others forging a new style of music known as Bebop. Many people compared Thomas’s lively and powerful readings with the new music, and the show recreated that unexpected connection.

Professor Daniel Williams, who is also a saxophonist with the jazz-folk group Burum, led the audience through the performance, and offered his academic interpretation of Dylan’s influence on American culture.

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