Swansea University - Speaker Biographies

Speaker Biographies


Daniel Williams (Swansea University)
Daniel Williams teaches undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the fields of Welsh, Irish and African American literatures. He is Assistant Director of the Centre for Research into the English Literature and Language of Wales and is particularly interested in the ways in which national and ethnic identities are manifested in literature, in the inter-relationships between literary traditions, and in the development of comparative approaches to literature.  From 1995-7 he was a Frank Knox Fellow in the Department of Celtic Languages and Literatures and the Du Bois Institute for African American Studies at Harvard University. He was also a member of the first 'Longfellow Seminar in American literatures in languages other than English,' contributing to the volume American Babel. He is the editor of a collection of Raymond Williams's writings on Wales, Who Speaks for Wales: Nation, Culture, Identity (University of Wales Press, 2003), and his most recent publication is Ethnicity and Cultural Authority: From Matthew Arnold to W. E. B. Du Bois (Edinburgh University Press, 2006).  His Transatlantic Exchange: African Americans and the Welsh 1845-1945 will appear in 2008 in the celebrated CREW series of monographs published by the University of Wales Press.

Mae Daniel Williams yn dysgu cyrsiau ar lên Saesneg Cymru, llên Saesneg Iwerddon a llenyddiaeth Affro-Americanaidd. Ef yw Dirprwy Gyfarwyddwr y Ganolfan Ymchwil i Lên ac Iaith Saesneg Cymru. Mae ganddo ddiddordeb arbennig yn y cysylltiad rhwng llenyddiaeth a chenedligrwydd ac mae'n awyddus i ddatblygu dulliau cymharol o astudio llenyddiaethau Cymru.

Yn 1995-7 roedd yn Gymrawd Frank Knox ym Mhrifysgol Harvard, â chysylltiad a'r Adrannau Celtaidd ac Affro-Americanaidd yno. Bu'n aelod o'r 'Longfellow Seminar' ar lenyddiaeth amlieithog yr Unol Daleithiau, ac mae llên Cymry America yn un o'i feysydd ymchwil.

Yn 2003 gwelwyd cyhoeddi ei gasgliad o ysgrifau Raymond Williams ar Gymru , Who Speaks for Wales: Nation, Culture, Identity (Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru, 2003), ac mae ei gyfrol Ethnicity and Cultural Authority wedi ei enwebu ar restr hir llyfr y flwyddyn 2007.

Assistant Organizers

Kate Gibbs (Swansea University)
Kate Gibbs is an undergraduate student at Swansea University and is due to graduate this summer. She has followed courses on African American Literature and Welsh Writing and Irish Literature and has developed an interest in minority literatures and is interested in debates surrounding national identities and cultural appropriation.

Myfyriwr israddedig yw Kate, a fydd yn graddio yn Haf 2007. Mae hi wedi dilyn cyrsaiu ar lenyddiaethau Affro-Americanaidd a Chymreig yn ystod ei chwrs, ac wedi meithrin diddordeb mewn llenyddiaethau lleiafrifol.

Wendy Hayes-Jones (Swansea Institute of Higher Education)
Wendy Hayes-Jones is a Senior Lecturer in English at the Swansea Institute, University of Wales. Her research interests are African American literature and the field of spirituality and literature. She is currently completing her PhD thesis in the paradox of margin and ethnicity in the works of Ishmael Reed.


Jochen Achilles (University of Wuerzburg, Germany)
Jochen Achilles has been Full Professor and Head of American Studies at Wuerzburg University since 1999. He taught at Mainz University for many years and was Visiting Professor at Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia, in 1992/93. His book publications include Drama als problematische Form, a study on the development of Sean O'Casey's plays in the context of modern drama, published in 1979, and Sheridan Le Fanu und die schauerromantische Tradition, a book on the interface between the gothic tradition and psychological fiction focussing on Sheridan Le Fanu, published in 1991. He co-edited Irische Dramatiker der Gegenwart (1996), a volume on contemporary Irish playwrights; (Trans)Formations of Cultural Identity in the English-Speaking World (1998); and Global Challenges and Regional Responses in Contemporary Drama in English (2003). He published numerous articles in American, Irish, and German journals on aspects of American and Irish fiction and drama, the development of modernist aesthetics, and on a host of individual authors. His research interests are the development of cultural identities, American spaces, and modern drama.

Simon Brooks (School of Welsh, Cardiff University)
His current research interests include multiculturalism and race in twentieth century Welsh-language literature. His first monograph O Dan Lygaid y Gestapo: Yr Oleuedigaeth Gymraeg a Theori Lenyddol yng Nghymru (University of Wales Press, 2004) traced the influence of Enlightenment thought on Welsh literary theory. Subsequent articles have looked at the use of the word ‘hil’ (‘race’) in Welsh-language poetry, and critically examined notions that minority language activism is culturally exclusive, and hence ‘racist’. Previously editor of the Welsh-language current affairs magazine, Barn, and co-founding editor of cultural journal, Tu Chwith, his other academic interest is the national movement in 19th century Wales. 

Darlithydd yw Dr Simon Brooks yn Ysgol y Gymraeg, Prifysgol Caerdydd. Mae ei ddiddordebau ymchwil cyfredol yn cynnwys amlddiwylliannedd a hil yn llenyddiaeth Gymraeg yr ugeinfed ganrif. Olrheiniodd ei lyfr cyntaf O Dan Lygaid y Gestapo: Yr Oleuedigaeth Gymraeg a Theori Lenyddol yng Nghymru (Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru, 2004) ddylanwad y meddwl goleuedig ar theori lenyddol Gymraeg. Mae erthyglau diweddarach wedi bwrw golwg ar y defnydd o’r gair ‘hil’ mewn barddoniaeth gaeth, ac wedi beirniadu’r syniad fod gwleidydda dros ieithoedd lleiafrifol rywsut yn anghynhwysol, ac felly’n ‘hiliol’. Yn gyn-olygydd y cylchgrawn Barn, ac yn gyd-olygydd sefydlol Tu Chwith, ei ddiddordeb academaidd arall yw’r mudiad cenedlaethol yn y bedwaredd ganrif ar bymtheg.

Mairead Byrne (Rhode Island School of Design)
Mairead Byrne was born in Dublin and lived there for the first 20 years of her life. Her plays, The Golden Hair and Safe Home, were produced at the Project Arts Centre, Dublin, in 1982 and 1985. Her published works include a short book on James Joyce, two books of interviews with Irish painters, and in 2003, a collection of poetry: Nelson and the Huruburu Bird (Wild Honey Press). Mairead received her PHD from Purdue in 2001 and worked as a journalist for eight years in Ireland and the US. She has taught at the University of Mississippi, Ithaca College, and is currently an assistant Professor of English at the Rhode Island School of Design. She has published poetry in Ireland, Britain, and the United States, and her most recent projects include two new chapbooks: AN EDUCATED HEART (Palm Press 2005) and VIVAS (Wild Honey Press 2005).

Michael Cohen (New York University, New York)
Michael Cohen is a doctoral candidate in the Department of English at New York University. His dissertation, "Cultures of Poetry in Nineteenth-Century America," examines how theories of poetic genres and the public circulation and consumption of poems in U.S. culture helped to define ideas about national history, literature,  and race during the postbellum era. He has written on the critical genealogy of the term"Victorian Poetry," the antislavery ballads of John Greenleaf Whittier, the sale of broadside poems in early nineteenth-century New England, and the dialect poetry of Paul Laurence Dunbar.

Justin Edwards (University of Wales, Bangor)
Justin Edwards’ most recent research projects have focused on the gothic.  His first published work in this area was Gothic Passages: Racial Ambiguity and the American Gothic (Iowa University Press, 2003), which examined the development of U.S. gothic literature alongside 19th-century discourses of passing and racial ambiguity.  Of particular interest was the way in which writers of the period gothicized biracial and passing figures in order to frame them within the rubric of a demonization of difference. In Gothic Canada: Reading the Spectre of a National Literature (University of Alberta Press, 2005), he continued to delve into the frigid, dark waters of gothicism. With examples of gothic discourse from Canadian fiction, autobiography, film, poetry, and drama, he searched for the ghost at the heart of the nation by looking at how collective stories about national identity and belonging tend to be haunted by a fear that a shared narrative might be nothing more than an elaborate artifice. Currently, he is working on a book that examines the relationship between the gothic and the law in the early U.S. republic.

Gwenno Ffrancon (Swansea University)
After completing undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Welsh and Film Studies at the University of Wales Aberystwyth, Dr Ffrancon was appointed Lecturer in Film Studies at the University of Wales Bangor in 2002. She joined Swansea in September 2005 to teach Media, with particular emphasis on Screen Studies. Her main research interests are imaging Wales, Scotland and Ireland on screen; the history of film in Britain and America during its Golden Age and the careers of some of Wales’ foremost actors including Emlyn Williams, Hugh Griffith, Rachel Thomas, Richard Burton, Rachel Roberts and Siân Phillips. Her monograph, Cyfaredd y Cysgodion, was recently nominated for the long short list of the Academy Book of the Year Competition for 2004–5. She is currently researching a biography of Swansea-born actress Rachel Thomas.

Dr Ffrancon is co-founder of the project Cyfrwng (Media) which was established in 2002. This project, which is supported by all the higher education institutions in Wales, consists of an academic journal, an annual conference and a website (www.cyfrwng.com) which provides a platform for the discussion of media in Wales and Wales and the media. The project also aims to bridge the divide between the world of media in higher education and the media industry. Dr Ffrancon is co-editor of the project’s multi-disciplinary and bilingual journal, Cyfrwng: Media Wales Journal – Cyfnodolyn Cyfryngau Cymru published annually by University of Wales Press.

Keith Hughes (Edinburgh University)
Keith Hughes holds a BA (Joint Hons) in English & American Literature from the University of Manchester, and a MSc & PhD in English Literature from the University of Edinburgh. He did postdoctoral research at Harvard University’s W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African American Studies. He has published on Thomas Carlyle, and delivered papers on Jean Toomer and J.G. Lockhart. Current research/publication interests are comparative readings of African American and Scottish literature , and Frederick Douglass’s mid-19th century tour of the British Isles.

Jerry Hunter (Prifysgol Bangor [University of Wales, Bangor])Mae Dr Jerry Hunter yn ysgolhaig Celtaidd sy’n meddu ar bersbectif rhyngwladol.  Y mae hefyd yn un o’r cenhadon mwyaf egnïol dros y Gymraeg a’i llenyddiaeth.  Ac yntau’n frodor o Cincinnati, Ohio, yn ninas ei febyd yr enillodd ei radd gyntaf.  Dysgodd y Gymraeg gyda chymorth cwrs WLPAN yn Llanbedr Pont Steffan cyn mynd i’r afael ag ymchwil i’r wedd onomastig ar y chwedlau canoloesol ar gyfer MPhil yn Adran y Gymraeg, Prifysgol Cymru, Aberystwyth.  Dychwelodd ar draws yr Iwerydd yn fyfyriwr ymchwil yn Adran Ieithoedd a Llenyddiaethau Celtaidd Prifysgol Harvard lle’r enillodd ei ddoethuriaeth; gwelwyd rhywfaint o ffrwyth yr ymchwil honno yn ei gyfrol Soffestri’r Saeson: Hanesyddiaeth a Hunaniaeth yn Oes y Tuduriaid (2000) a roddwyd ar restr fer Llyfr y Flwyddyn 2001. Ar ôl treulio cyfnod yn gweithio yn Adran Geltaidd Harvard, fe’i penodwyd i ddarlithyddiaeth yn Ysgol y Gymraeg, Prifysgol Caerdydd ac ymaelododd â staff Ysgol y Gymraeg, Prifysgol Cymru, Bangor yn 2003. Mae ei ddiddordebau ymchwil yn eang ac yn ymestyn o ryddiaith yr Oesoedd Canol hyd at ffuglen Kate Roberts ac o gronicl Elis Gruffydd yn yr unfed ganrif ar bymtheg hyd at lenyddiaeth Gymraeg America yn y bedwaredd ganrif ar bymtheg.  Profodd y maes hwnnw – llên Gymraeg America – yn hynod ffrwythlon iddo: enillodd y gyfres ddogfen Y Cymry a Rhyfel Cartref America wobr BAFTA Cymru ac enwyd y gyfrol a ddeilliodd o’r gwaith ymchwil ar gyfer y gyfres, Llwch Cenhedloedd: Y Cymry a Rhyfel Cartref America (2003) yn Llyfr y Flwyddyn 2004. Cymru.

Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, where he studied for his initial degree, Jerry Hunter later learned Welsh with the aid of the WLPAN course at Lampeter.  He went on to earn a MPhil for his research into the lore in the Middle Welsh prose tales at University of Wales, Aberystwyth before returning to his homeland to study for a PhD at Harvard University.  His research project formed the basis of his first book-length study, Soffestri’r Saeson (2000), an investigation into histriography and identity during the Tudor Age.   Following his period at the Department of Celtic Languages and Literatures, Harvard University he returned to Wales, this time as a Lecturer in the Department of Welsh, Cardiff University.  He joined the academic staff of the School of Welsh at University of Wales, Bangor in 2003.  His research interests are rich and varied, ranging from Welsh medieval prose to the twentieth-century fiction of  Kate Roberts and from the sixteenth-century chronicle of Elis Gruffydd to Welsh literature in America during the nineteenth century.  This particular field – American-Welsh writing - has proven to be highly successful: the television documentary series  Y Cymry a Rhyfel Cartref America (‘The Welsh and the American Civil War’) gained a BAFTA Cymru award and the research for the series led to Llwch Cenhedloedd: Y Cymry a Rhyfel Cartref America (2003) which was named Book of the Year in 2004. Dr Jerry Hunter has recently been collaborating once more with Cwmni Da, the Caernarfon-based media company, and the documentary series on Wales and slavery, America Gaeth: Y Cymry a Chaethwasanaeth yn America was transmitted on S4C in October and November 2006.  His eagerly awaited study of Welsh writing from the American Civil War, Sons of Arthur, Children of Lincoln, will also be published by University of Wales Press later this year.

E. Wynn James (Prifysgol Caerdydd / Cardiff University)Mae Dr E. Wyn James yn Uwch-ddarlithydd yn Ysgol y Gymraeg, Prifysgol Caerdydd ac yn gyd-Gyfarwyddwr Canolfan Uwchefrydiau Cymry America yn y brifysgol honno. Y mae wedi cyhoeddi’n helaeth ar agweddau amrywiol ar lên a diwylliant Cymru yn y cyfnod modern. O ran ei ymchwil, canolbwyntia yn bennaf ar feysydd yn ymwneud â chrefydd, hunaniaeth, beirniadaeth destunol, astudiaethau merched a diwylliant poblogaidd. Y mae’n awdurdod blaenllaw ar yr emyn a’r faled, ac ef yw Cadeirydd presennol Cymdeithas Alawon Gwerin Cymru. Dr James yw Golygydd Gwefan Ann Griffiths a Gwefan Baledi Cymru.

Dr E. Wyn James is Senior Lecturer in the School of Welsh at Cardiff University and co-Director of the University’s Centre for Welsh American Studies. He has published extensively (primarily through the medium of Welsh) on various aspects of Welsh literature and culture in the modern period. His research focuses mainly on areas relating to religion, identity, textual criticism, gender studies and popular culture. He is a leading authority on the hymn and the broadside ballad and is the current Chair of the Welsh Folk-Song Society. Dr James is Editor of the Ann Griffiths Website and of the Welsh Ballads Website. jamesew@Cardiff.ac.uk

Bill Jones (Prifysgol Caerdydd / University of Wales, Cardiff)Y mae Dr Bill Jones yn Uwch-Ddarlithydd yn Hanes Modern Cymru yn yr Ysgol Hanes ac Archaeoleg, Prifysgol Caerdydd. Ei brif arbenigedd ymchwil yw’r ymfudo o Gymru yn y bedwaredd ganrif ar bymtheg a blynyddoedd cynnar yr ugeinfed ganrif, ac ar y cymunedau Cymreig y tu allan i Gymru yn y cyfnod hwn. Y mae ei gyhoeddiadau yn y maes hwn yn cynnwys y llyfrau Wales in America: Scranton and the Welsh 1860-1920 (1993), Welsh Reflections: Y Drych and America, 1851-2001 (2001) (gydag Aled Jones) a nifer o erthyglau a thraethodau ar y Cymry yn Awstralia, Patagonia a llythyrau’r ymfudwyr Cymreig.

Dr Bill Jones is senior Lecturer in Modern Welsh History at The School of Archaeology, Cardiff University. His main speciality is researching nineteenth and early twentieth century emigration from Wales, and the worldwide Welsh communities of this time. His books on this topic include Wales in America: Scranton and the Welsh 1860-1920 (1993), Welsh Reflections: Y Drych and America, 1851-2001 (2001) (with Aled Jones) and a number of essays and articles on the Welsh in Australia, the Welsh Colony in Patagonia and the letters of those who have emigrated from Wales.

Dave Jones (Neath College)
Dave Jones is an accomplished  jazz pianist and college lecturer in popular music at Neath  College. Having spent several years in East Anglia his recently returned to his native Wales and has established himself as a key figure on the contemporary jazz scene. A resident pianist at the Jazz Café Cardiff, Dave also leads his own trio and is the pianist with the band ‘Burum’ who will perform at the  conference.

Harri Pritchard Jones
Ganwyd yn Lloegr yn 1933. Cafodd ei addysg yn Sir Fôn ac yng Ngholeg y Drindod, Dulyn. Bu’n feddyg, ac yn seiciatrydd, yn ardal Caerdydd. Ei brif ddiddordeb, er hynny, yw llenyddiaeth, a chyhoeddodd pymtheg cyfrol, yn nofelau, casgliadau o storïau byrion, cyfieithiadau a beirniadaeth lenyddol. Cyfieithwyd ei waith i saith iaith, a darllenwyd ei waith ar Radio Cymru, Radio Wales, Radio 4 a 3, a Radio Denmarc. Sgrifennodd nifer o sgriptiau teledu. Enillodd Wobrau Barn , yr Eisteddfod Genedlaethol a Chyngor y Celfyddydau. Mae’n byw yng Nghaerdydd, ac yn gyd-gadeirydd Yr Academi Gymreig.

Harri Pritchard Jones was born in England in 1933 and was educated on the island of Anglesey and in Trinity College, Dublin. He worked as a doctor and a psychiatrist in the Cardiff area. His main field of interest however is literature and he has published fifteen collections of poetry, novels, collections of short stories, translations and also acts as a judge for Welsh language poetry and literature awards. His work has been translated into seven languages (to date) and has been read on Radio Cymru, Radio Wales, BBC Radio 3 and 4 and Radio Denmark, he has also written several TV scripts. He as won prizes from Barn, the National Eisteddfod and the Arts Council. He lives in Cardiff and previously was chairman of Academi Gymreig.h.pritchard-jones@ntlworld.com

Helen Mary Jones AM (Assembly Member for the Welsh National Assembly)
Helen Mary Jones is the Shadow Health Minister in the National Assembly of Wales. She joined Plaid Cymru: The Party of Wales in 1979 after the first devolution referendum was lost. “I simply couldn’t believe that there was such a thing as a nation that would vote against its own freedom – I decided I needed to do something about it!” After working in Special Education and youth and community work, Helen Mary was elected to the first National Assembly in 1999. This May, she will attempt to unseat Labour in Wales’ most marginal seat, Llanelli, which only changed hands last time with a majority of 21 votes and two recounts. Balancing her commitment to internationalism and the women’s movement with working for national liberation through a male-dominated political party has always been a bit of a challenge. Alice Walker was a big help!

Robert Lawson-Peebles (University of Exeter)
Bob Lawson-Peebles’ research field is transatlantic cultural relations, from pre-Columbian times to the present.  His work on American environmental history includes Landscape and Written Expression in Revolutionary America (1988); two collections of essays co-edited with Mick Gidley (now of the University of Leeds), Views of American Landscapes (1989), and Modern American Landscapes (1995); and “Foucault’s Mirror, the Amazon Basin, and the Topography of Virginity,” Working Sites: Texts, Territories and Cultural Capital in American Cultures, ed. John Leo and William Boelhower (2004).  He has also published essays on, amongst others, Sir Walter Raleigh, George Washington, Susannah Rowson, James Fenimore Cooper, Henry George and William Carlos Williams.  American Literature Before 1880, setting American Literature in an international context beginning in the eighth century BC, appeared in 2003.   Current projects include a cultural history of the British transatlantic empire and a biography of Benjamin Franklin.

J. R. Kerr-Ritchie (Howard University, Washington D.C.)J. R. Kerr-Ritchie did his Bachelor’s degree in history and politics at Kingston Polytechnic in England.  He received his Masters and Doctorate in history from the University of Pennsylvania.  He has taught at several private and public universities in the United States and currently teaches in the history department at Howard University in Washington D.C.  Dr. Kerr-Ritchie’s teaching and research interests concern slavery, abolition, and post-emancipation societies.  He has written Freedpeople in the Tobacco South: Virginia, 1860 to 1900 published in 1999.  His new book Rites of August First: Emancipation Day in the Black Atlantic World is due for publication in the Spring 2007 by Louisiana State University Press.  His current project examines New World emancipation from the perspective of the African Diaspora.

April F Masten (State University of New York, New York)April F. Masten is a professor of American history at the State University of New York, Stony Brook, whose primary interest is the interplay between cultural production and political economies.  Masten’s recent publications include “Dancing Through History” (Common-Place vol.  6, no. 1, www.common-place.org, October 2005), an article about teaching history through dance and "Shake Hands? Lilly Martin Spencer and the Politics of Art" (American Quarterly, June 2004), for which she won the Nineteenth-Century Studies Association 2005 Article Prize for interdisciplinary writing.  Masten’s book Laborers in the Field of the Beautiful: Women, Art, and Democracy in Nineteenth-Century New York is currently in production at the University of Pennsylvania Press. Her current research explores the exchange of music and dance among African, Irish, and Native North Americans.

Gareth Miles
Mae Gareth Miles wedi bod yn awdur proffesiynol er 1982. Cyn hynny bu'n athro Ffrangeg a Saesneg ac yn Drefnydd Cenedlaethol Undeb Cenedlaethol Athrawon Cymru (UCAC). Llwyfanwyd dros ugain o ddramâu gwreiddiol a chyfieithiadau o'i eiddo a chyhoeddodd bump o nofelau a phedair cyfrol o straeon byrion. Sgrifennodd yn helaeth hefyd ar gyfer y teledu.  Ar hyn o bryd mae'n cwblhau  Merched Duw, nofel am Ddiwygiad 1904-04, a Cariad Mr Bustl,  trosiad o Le Misanthrope  gan Molière a lwyfannir gan Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru yn y dyfodol agos. Roedd Gareth yn un o sylfaenwyr Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg.

Gareth Miles is a Welsh language novelist, dramatist and scriptwriter. His translation of Hamlet was performed across Wales by the Welsh National Theatre in 2005. In the introduction to the published version of his translation Gareth Miles described how it was James Baldwin who taught him to stop hating Shakespeare.

Michael Newton (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
Michael Newton was awarded a PhD in Celtic Studies by the University of Edinburgh in 1998. He has written a number of books and articles on Scottish Gaelic culture, and has recently focused on the hitherto untold story of the Scottish Highlanders in the United States. He has given lectures and taught workshops on a number of Scottish topics - from Scottish Gaelic language lessons to Scottish cultural geography - at venues such as the Smithsonian, the Library of Congress, Slighe nan Gaidheal in Seattle, and the Toronto Scottish Gaelic Learners' Association. His most recent publications include (with Rhiannon Giddens) Calum and Catrìona’s ’s Welcome to the Highlands (Chapel Hill: Saorsa Media, 2006) and “We’re Indians Sure Enough The  Legacy of the Scottish Highlanders in the United States (Chapel Hill: Saorsa Media, 2001)

Robert Nowatzki (Ball State University, Indiana)
Robert Nowatzki is an Associate Professor of English at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, U.S.A.  He is finishing on a book-length study focusing on the connections between abolitionism and blackface minstrelsy in Britain and the U.S.  He has also written an article about Black Atlantic identity in Charles Johnson's Middle Passage and S. I. Martin's Incomparable World (published in Ethnic Studies Review in 2003).  In addition, he has written articles about blackface minstrelsy that have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Studies in American Fiction, American Transcendental Quarterly, Eire-Ireland, and LIT (Literature Interpretation Theory).

Erich Nunn (University of Virginia)
Erich Nunn is a graduate student at the University of Virginia, working on a project entitled "Strange Harmonies: Race, Music, and American Literature, 1900-1940," which examines how ideological constructions of black and white "folk" condition American literature and popular culture, music in particular, during the latter part of the 19th century, and how these ideological conceptions, deeply invested in notions of racial difference, collide during the formative decades of the 20th century's culture industries.

Branwen Okpako
Branwen Okpako was born in 1969 in Nigeria. She studied Political Science and Economics in England, followed by studies in Film Direction at the German Film & Television Academy Berlin (dffb) from 1992-2000. Her films include the shorts Probe (1992), Frida Film (1993), Vorspiel (1994), Landing (1995), Market Forces (1996), Searching for Taid (1997) and Love Love Liebe (1998), and the features Dirt for Dinner (Dreckfresser, 2000) — winner of the Bavarian documentary film prize The Young Lion and First Prize at the Dubrovnik Documentary Film Festival in 2001, and Valley of the Innocent (Tal der Ahnungslosen, 2003). 

Lauren Onkey (Ball State University, Indiana)
Lauren Onkey teaches Irish and postcolonial literature at Ball State University in Indiana. She is currently completing a book manuscript entitled CELTIC SOUL BROTHERS: BLACKNESS AND TRANSATLANTIC IRISH IDENTITY which explores real and imagined relationships between African Americans, the Irish, and Irish Americans. Her most recent publications are “Ray Charles on Hyndford Street: Van Morrison’s Caledonian Soul.” The Irish In Us: Irishness, Performativity, and Popular Culture. Diane Negra, ed.  Duke University Press, 2006. 161-195.“James Farrell’s Studs Lonigan Trilogy and the Anxieties of Race.” Eire-Ireland 40.3-4  (Fall/Winter 2005): 104-118.“Voodoo Child: Jimi Hendrix and the Politics of Race in the Sixties.” Imagine Nation: The American Counterculture of the 1960s and 70s. Michael William Doyle & Peter Braunstein, eds.  Routledge, 2002. 189-214.

Linden Peach (University of Northumbria)
Linden Peach is known for his work on Welsh writing in English and on Toni Morrison for which he has been twice honoured by the Toni Morrison Society, University of Georgia. He is particularly interested in placing Welsh writing in the context of other established fields of study such as African American, Irish and Women's Studies. His most recent book, Contemporary Irish and Welsh Women's Fiction: Gender, Desire and Power is due shortly from the University of Wales Press and his recently published 'Masquerade, Crime and Fiction: Criminal Deceptions' includes a study of criminality in Toni Morrison's 'Love'. He was awarded a Personal Chair in Modern Literature by Loughborough University and has subsequently been awarded the personal title by two further universities. He is an Honorary Research Fellow of the University of Wales, Swansea.

Alasdair Pettinger (Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham)
Alasdair Pettinger is the editor of Always Elsewhere, an anthology of travel writings of the Black Atlantic (Continuum, 1998) and a number of articles on transatlantic cultural history.  He is currently working on a study of Frederick Douglass, Scotland and the antebellum South, and a history of the word 'voodoo' in English.  He is a Visiting Research Fellow at Nottingham Trent University.

Kieran Quinlan (University of Alabama, Birmingham, USA)
Kieran Quinlan is the author of John Crowe Ransom’s Secular Faith (1989), Walker Percy, the Last Catholic Novelist (1996), and Strange Kin: Ireland and the American South (2005).  Born in Dublin, educated in England and America, he currently teaches at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. KieranQuinlan@aol.com

Alan Rice (University of Central Lancashire, Preston, England)
Dr. Alan Rice is Reader in American Cultural Studies at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston He has published widely in African American Studies and in Ethnic Studies, including editing with Martin Crawford, the first book of essays on Frederick Douglass's 1845 visit to Britain Liberating Sojourn (Georgia UP, 1999). His first interdisciplinary monograph Radical Narratives of the Black Atlantic was published by Continuum Press in 2003. He is academic advisor to and board member of the Slave Trade Arts Memorial Project (STAMP) in Lancaster which was responsible for the commissioning and building of a monument to the victims of the slave trade unveiled in Lancaster in October 2005. He has recently been writing about this project and it relationship to memorialisation and slavery in articles which have appeared in various collections and Current Writing and will appear in Atlantic Studies and Patterns of Prejudice in 2007. Some aspects of the work on Scotland and the Black Atlantic which he will present at Swansea has been published in the collection Blackening Europe (Routledge, 2004). His current teaching and research project is Commemorating Abolition which includes a website accessible at: http://www.uclan.ac.uk/facs/class/cfe/ceth/abolition/

Alyce von Rothkirch (Swansea University)
Dr Alyce von Rothkirch works as Lecturer in Lifelong Learning at the Swansea University. She is currently engaged in research on Access to Higher Education students and their progress in the Welsh higher education system. Another research area is Welsh university adult education. She completed a PhD about contemporary Welsh drama in English at CREW, Swansea University and continues to do research in Welsh writing in English whenever she has the chance. Recent publications include Beyond the Difference: Welsh Literature in Comparative Contexts (ed. With Daniel Williams), Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2004. In 2007 her PhD thesis will appear as The Place of Wales: Staging Place in Contemporary Welsh Drama in English. Trier: WVT

Kevin Smith (Miami University, Ohio)
Kevin smith is a graduate student at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, USA.  He is currently pursuing a PhD in the Department of Educational Leadership with an emphasis on Cultural Studies. His work involves a comparative approach to Welsh and African American experiences in the Nineteenth Century.

Jen Wilson (Women in Jazz, Swansea)
Jen Wilson is the director of Women in Jazz, Swansea. An accomplished jazz pianist Jen was commissioned by The Dylan Thomas Centre and the City & County of Swansea to write jazz settings of Dylan Thomas's poems, premiered during the Dylan Thomas Festival 2003.

David Wyatt (Cardiff University)
David Wyatt is Co-ordinating Lecturer for History and Local History in Cardiff University. His fields of expertise are Slavery in the societies of medieval Britain c. 800-1200 a.d. ,Wales and the Irish Sea region c. 800-1200 a.d, ,The beginnings of English imperialism: political and cultural interaction between the societies of Britain in the 11th and 12th centuries, Viking settlement and society in the Irish Sea region,  and Gender and power in early-medieval Britain.  He is a  forthcoming monagraph on ‘Slavery, Patriarchy & Social Power in Medieval Britain and Ireland’