The cultural distinctiveness of Wales was, for almost 2,000 years, intrinsically bound up with the Welsh language. But with the emergence of English as a ‘majority’ Welsh language in the twentieth century, a new Anglophone literature was developed. Defining figures in this literature have included Dylan Thomas, Margiad Evans, David Jones, R. S. Thomas, Raymond Williams, Gillian Clarke and Emyr Humphreys.
At the beginning of the twenty-first century, this literature may be seen both as complementing the other non-English literatures of the "Anglo-Celtic Archipelago" (Ireland, Northern Irelan, Scotland) and as a local instance of the worldwide proliferation of postcolonial literatures in English.
The MA and PhD programmes offered by CREW are set in the context of a number of major research initiatives:
- Preparation of the Academi’s groundbreaking Encyclopaedia of Wales.
- The archiving and scholarly exploration of Raymond Williams’s unpublished papers.
- Editing of the unpublished diaries of Richard Burton.
- Innovative publications on the visual culture of Wales.
- Pioneering conferences and publications on Wales and Black America.
- The first online and print Bibliography of Welsh Literature in English Translation (BWLET)
- Writing Wales in English: a CREW series of publications through the University of Wales Press.
- Groundbreaking publications on Wales and Postcolonialism.
- Digitised David Parry Archive: a Survey of Anglo-Welsh Dialects.
The most recent of the external examiner’s reports on CREW postgraduate research programme notes that students produced ‘some very fine pieces of literary and cultural analysis that were not far off from being publishable’; that scholarly feedback had been ‘hugely informative’; and that overall there was a rare feeling of ‘participating in the making of a subject.’
CREW also has a new BLOG