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Professor Daniel Williams lecturing in Kolkata, India

Professor Daniel Williams lecturing in Kolkata, India

A digital discussion session on the imperial links between South Asia and Wales brought together more than 150 delegates from all over the globe, attending via Zoom.

It was chaired by Professor Daniel G. Williams of Swansea University’s Department of English and Director of the Richard Burton Centre for the Study of Wales.

The event is part of a seminar series entitled ‘Imperial Subjects: (Post)colonial conversations between South Asia and Wales’ which has been organised by Dr Zehra Jumabhoy of London’s Courtauld Institute of Art, Charlotte Thomas and Katy Fear of the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, and Professor Williams.

It is funded by the British Art Network which is led and supported by Tate and the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, with additional public funding provided by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Following the Coronavirus outbreak the events could not take part in Swansea’s Glynn Vivian gallery as planned and an abridged version of the programme was held online via a series of seminars.

Many of the ‘tickets’ for the series of four seminar sessions sold out - to academics, curators, artists and historians from the nations of the UK, the US, and Asia.

Professor Williams chaired a panel discussion on 21 May entitled “Cultural interactions” which considered the long relationship between South Asia and Wales, featuring Zehra Jumabhoy, the esteemed academic Gauri Viswanathan of Columbia University, New York, and the leading Welsh cultural historian Gwyneth Tyson Roberts.

Professor Daniel G. Williams said:

“While Wales remains sensibly in lockdown, this series of four zoom seminars, expertly organised by the team at the Glynn Vivian Gallery, is bringing the world to Swansea.

The ‘Imperial Subjects’ series has focused primarily on art, but we also turned our attention to broader cultural interactions in this final session, exploring questions of colonialism and nationalism, Empire and the resistance to it, empathy and cultural appropriation.’

This Imperial Subjects seminar series marks the beginning of the build-up to a major exhibition, featuring contemporary Welsh and South Asian artists, curated by the Glynn Vivian's Katy Freer and Zehra Jumabhoy, and an international conference to feature Professors Mike Franklin, M. Wynn Thomas and Kirsti Bohata of Swansea University as speakers.

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