Swansea University hosts landmark Celtic Studies conference

Postgraduates of Celtic studies across the UK came together between 12-14 September for Clasarch, a conference enabling students to discuss their work and culture.

At the conference’s opening, students enjoyed Welsh and Scots Gaelic lessons for beginners, and a poetry competition held at Taliesin Arts Centre with Poet Tudur Dylan Jones as judge.

The second day of the conference offered advice on the PhD journey from former postgraduates of Swansea University, Hannah Sams and Alex Lovell, along with a presentation on the importance of networking and the creative process of writing. The University of Wales Press also presented to the attendees, offering advice and information on publishing.  

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            The second day drew to a close with a celebratory launch of Esboniadur, a new open, online resource created by Coleg Cymraeg. The new tool was explained by two of the project leaders, Dr Simon Brooks (Morgan Academy) and Robert Rhys (Swansea University Department of Welsh). The anthology of critical terms was drawn up by lecturers, and will facilitate research by both students and academics.

The conference came to a close on the final day with presentations on language activism and tips for creating a creative successful research project. Throughout the conference, research posters were displayed, giving an overview of students’ PhD research.

Clasarch is run by a Celtic consortium of AHRC-sponsored institutions (Arts and Humanities Research Council). The consortium consists of 13 organisations: the Universities of Aberdeen, Bangor, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Oxford, Swansea, Queens Belfast, Ulster, Highlands and Islands/Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Trinity Saint David, and the Centre for advanced Welsh and Cheltic, Aberystwyth.

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Rhian Jones, Head of Swansea University’s Department of Welsh language said: “Clarsach was a fantastic opportunity to celebrate and better understand our rich Celtic connections and inheritance.  The event was a great start to a new academic year.”

Professor Tudur Hallam of Swansea University's Department of Welsh language said: "Clarsach is a unique research school for Welsh and Celtic studies students. There were many brilliant discussion issues, shared research posters, a tale, folk music and an opportunity to listen to experts in language, culture and linguistic campaigning.

                                                                                    It provided a brilliant opportunity to compare the contexts of the Celtic languages and the research being carried out in this field in thirteen higher education institutions in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland."