My research interests are primarily in medieval and early modern French literature, particularly the fabliaux, the Roman de Renart, Fouke le Fitz Waryn and the works of Rabelais. I am also interested in how the medical humanities, gender studies and ecocriticism can inform our study of literature, and in the beneficial effects of reading for wellbeing. In addition I am interested in translation, particularly literary translation and technical translation in the fields of medicine and science. I am currently developing expertise in TEFL and pedagogic theory.

Areas of Expertise

  • Medieval literature
  • renaissance literature
  • humour theory
  • Rabelais
  • medical humanities

Publications

  1. Williams, A. Stories within Stories: Writing History in 'Fouke le Fitz Waryn'. Medium Aevum, 81(1), 70-87.
  2. Williams, A. Courtly Lady, Starving Spouse and Partner in Crime: The Shifting Roles of Hermeline in the Roman de Renart. Nottingham French Studies, 46(1), 1-16.
  3. Williams, A. Sick Humour, Healthy Laughter: The Use of Medicine in Rabelais's Jokes. Modern Language Review, 101(3), 671-681.
  4. Williams, A. Manipulating the Past for the Sake of the Future: Optimistic Perspectives in the Outlaw Romance Fouke le Fitz Waryn. New Zealand Journal of French Studies, 28(1), 19-31.
  5. Williams, A. Tricksters and Pranksters: Roguery in French and German Literature of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance Rodopi.

See more...

Teaching

  • EN-113 Literature and Society in Medieval Europe.

    This module provides an introduction to medieval literatures and cultures from 900 to 1500. The module introduces key moments in medieval literary history, together with major cultural and linguistic developments. It provides a basic overview of the Middle Ages which will form the basis for more specialised studies. Topics include significant social and cultural issues of medieval life, such as war and chivalry, gender, courtly love, literature and learning, identity and power. Major texts such as `The General Prologue¿ from Chaucer¿s The Canterbury Tales, will be read in translation alongside extracts from a range of other medieval texts such as Beowulf, The Romance of the Rose and The Book of Margery Kempe. This is a compulsory module for the Honours programme in Medieval Studies, and it is also open to students enrolled in any BA programme.

  • EN-237 Exploring the Bloody Chamber: Medieval to Postmodern

    This module will analyse narratives of female enclosure and gender conflict in a selection of texts from the fourteenth to the twenty-first centuries. Our specific focus is the story of the serial wife-killer Bluebeard: we will begin by examining variants of this fairy-tale narrative before both tracing it back to its mediaeval antecedents and following its continuing presence as an influence on more contemporary texts. In the process, we will discuss theories of gender, race and class in order to account for the persistent presence of this story in Western culture.

  • HIMM01 Introduction to Advanced Medieval Studies 1: Skills and Approaches

    This module introduces students to recent and current trends in medieval studies, to the research skills required for MA-level research, and to the medieval heritage of South Wales and the surrounding region. Seminars will consider the nature of medieval sources and texts, and a selection of themes that have made a significant impact upon medieval studies in recent years.

  • HIMM02 Research Folder

    A course designed to help students to identify their dissertation subject, to prepare for it bibliographically, and to plan its research and writing.

  • MLF160A French Language 1A

    This module is the foundation of advanced level study of French which will equip students with the skills needed to use French in day-to-day life and professional environments. The module aims to consolidate and extend the language skills developed by students at A level (or equivalent) and to facilitate their progress in linguistic competence. It concentrates on further developing fluency and accuracy in written and spoken French, establishing a firm grammatical understanding of the language, and extending students¿ vocabulary to read, write, interpret and speak about issues related to contemporary French society and culture. The module aims to enhance students¿ employability by providing a grounding in the vocabulary and use of French in contexts relating to the world of work. Classes are mainly conducted in French. It is typically taken in conjunction with MLF160B. There is also a Welsh-medium version of this module: MLF160AW.

  • MLF160B French Language 1B

    This module is the foundation of advanced level study of French which will equip students with the skills needed to use French in day-to-day life and professional environments. The module aims to consolidate and extend the language skills developed by students at A level (or equivalent) and to facilitate their progress in linguistic competence. It concentrates on further developing fluency and accuracy in written and spoken French, establishing a firm grammatical understanding of the language, and extending students¿ vocabulary to read, write, interpret and speak about issues related to contemporary French society and culture. The module aims to enhance students¿ employability by providing a grounding in the vocabulary and use of French in contexts relating to the world of work. Classes are mainly conducted in French. It is typically taken in conjunction with MLF160A. There is a Welsh-medium version of this module: MLF160BW.

  • MLF260A French Language 2A

    This module builds on the skills and knowledge acquired in the first year of study, and will equip students with the skills needed to use French in more complex concrete and abstract social and professional environments. This module aims at building on the skills and knowledge acquired in the first year of study, and will equip students with the skills needed to use French in more complex concrete and abstract social and professional environments appropriate to level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). It concentrates on developing fluency and accuracy in written and spoken French, so that the student can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party. It also aims at establishing a firm grammatical understanding of the language, and extending students¿ vocabulary to read, write, interpret and debate (explaining a viewpoint, giving independent advantages and disadvantages of various options) about topical issues related to contemporary French society and culture. Moreover, the module aims to enhance students¿ employability by systematically developing a personal professional career planning portfolio, providing a sound insight into the world of work. Classes will be conducted mainly in French. There is also a Welsh-medium version of this module.

  • MLF260B French Language 2B

    This module builds on and consolidates the skills and knowledge acquired in MLF260A by concentrating on further developing fluency and accuracy in written and spoken French appropriate to level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). It specifically aims at preparing the students for their Year Abroad and/or extend intercultural awareness, widening students¿ vocabulary to read, write and do presentations about topics related to France. The module also aims to enhance students¿ employability, by training them to do a successful presentation using appropriate IT applications. Classes will be conducted mainly in French. There is also a Welsh-medium version of this module.

  • MLF270A Intermediate French Language 2A

    This module is the foundation of advanced level study of French which will equip students with the skills needed to use French in day-to-day life and professional environments. The module aims to consolidate and extend the language skills developed by students in their beginners' language modules and to facilitate their progress in linguistic competence. It concentrates on further developing fluency and accuracy in written and spoken French, establishing a firm grammatical understanding of the language, and extending students¿ vocabulary to read, write, interpret and speak about issues related to contemporary French society and culture. The module aims to enhance students¿ employability by providing a grounding in the vocabulary and use of French in contexts relating to the world of work. Classes are mainly conducted in French. It is typically taken in conjunction with MLF270B. There is a Welsh-medium version of this module: MLF270AW.

  • MLF270AW Iaith Ffrangeg Canolradd 2A

    Mae'r modiwl hwn yn gosod y sylfaen ar gyfer astudio Ffrangeg ar lefel uwch a fydd yn dysgu'r sgiliau sy'n angenrheidiol i ddefnyddio Ffrangeg mewn amgylchiadau cyffredinol a phroffesiynol i fyfyrwyr sydd wedi cwblhau modiwlau Ffrangeg i ddechreuwyr (neu gwrs cyfwerth). Mae'n canolbwyntio ar ddatblygu rhuglder a chywirdeb wrth ysgrifennu a siarad Ffrangeg, gan sefydlu dealltwriaeth ramadegol gadarn o'r iaith ac ymestyn geirfa'r myfyrwyr i'w galluogi i ddarllen, ysgrifennu, dehongli a siarad am faterion sy'n ymwneud â chymdeithas a diwylliant Ffrengig cyfoes. Bydd y modiwl yn ceisio gwella cyflogadwyedd myfyrwyr drwy gyflwyno Ffrangeg Proffesiynol iddynt, gan ddarparu sylfaen yng ngeirfa a defnydd Ffrangeg ym myd gwaith. Cynhelir y dosbarthiadau yn Ffrangeg yn bennaf. Mae'r modiwl hwn yn cael ei astudio'n aml ar y cyd ag MLF270BW. Mae fersiwn cyfrwng Saesneg o'r modiwl hwn ar gael hefyd, sef MLF270A. This module is the foundation of advanced level study of French which will equip students with the skills needed to use French in day-to-day life and professional environments. The module aims to consolidate and extend the language skills developed by students in their beginners' language modules and to facilitate their progress in linguistic competence. It concentrates on further developing fluency and accuracy in written and spoken French, establishing a firm grammatical understanding of the language, and extending students¿ vocabulary to read, write, interpret and speak about issues related to contemporary French society and culture. The module aims to enhance students¿ employability by providing a grounding in the vocabulary and use of French in contexts relating to the world of work. Classes are mainly conducted in French. It is typically taken in conjunction with MLF270B. There is a Welsh-medium version of this module: MLF270AW.

  • MLF270B Intermediate French Language 2B

    This module is the foundation of advanced level study of French which will equip students with the skills needed to use French in day-to-day life and professional environments. The module aims to consolidate and extend the language skills developed by students in their beginners' language modules and to facilitate their progress in linguistic competence. It concentrates on further developing fluency and accuracy in written and spoken French, establishing a firm grammatical understanding of the language, and extending students¿ vocabulary to read, write, interpret and speak about issues related to contemporary French society and culture. The module aims to enhance students¿ employability by providing a grounding in the vocabulary and use of French in contexts relating to sustainability. Classes are mainly conducted in French. It is typically taken in conjunction with MLF270A. There is a Welsh-medium version of this module: MLF270BW.

  • MLFM01 Advanced Translation (French - English)

    In 17 weekly two hour small-group seminars running through Semester 1 and into Semester 2, students will translate, discuss and annotate both non-technical and technical texts. Practice assignments will grow progressively longer to reflect real-world conditions and students will on occasion be expected to work together, critiquing and editing each other's work to produce a collaborative finished version. Techniques for discovering domain-specific knowledge and translating technical terminology will be explored and developed. Assessment will be by three test translations in different domains done through the year under exam conditions (2 hours with dictionaries and/or electronic resources), each counting for 25% of the marks of the module, plus one Terminology Project or Wikipedia Project counting for the final 25%.

  • MLFM07 Intermediate French for Postgraduate Students

    Professional translators typically need to be able to offer 2 languages pairs. Translation MA students who may have given up another language on leaving school can take this opportunity to pick it up again at Intermediate level and develop more advanced translation skills. This module combines the post A-Level first year General Language programme with, in the second semester, the corresponding Level 2 Translation Workshop (working into English). MA students join first and second year groups as appropriate, attending all classes and taking all assessments for the relevant modules. The final mark for the MA module is composed of the overall averages for the L1 General Language and L2 Translation Workshop modules, weighted 2:1. NB: this module involves 3 hours/week of classes in semester 1 and 4.5 hours/week in semester 2, and is only offered subject to satisfactory timetabling arrangements being available.

Supervision

  • In what ways, and to what extent, is linguistic semantic transparency in current systems of pharmaceutical nomenclature- in the UK, Italy, Russia and internationally- implicated in risks to patient safety in the form of look-alike, sound-alike medication name confusion errors? (current)

    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Sue Jordan
  • The Synthesis of Duality and the Transformation of the Hero in Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival. (current)

    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Julian Preece
  • Middle English Romance: A re-evaluation of the literary and historical values of the genre (current)

    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Simon John
  • 'Redefining Testimonio: The enduring significance of testimonial production in contemporary Argentina.' (awarded 2018)

    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Lloyd Davies

Research Groups

  • MEMO

    Research Group for Health, History and Culture Twitter: @MEMOSwansea https://www.swansea.ac.uk/arts-and-humanities/research/research-groups/memo/

Administrative Responsibilities

  • Programme Director: MA Medieval Studies

    2012 - Present

  • Dean of Recruitment and Admissions

    2016 - Present

  • Head of Department: Languages, Translation and Communication

    2015 - 2016

External Responsibilities