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Professor Damian Walford Davies


Professor Damian Walford Davies Position: Head of School Email:
Telephone: +44(0)29 208 76049
Extension: 76049
Location: Room 2.72, John Percival Building, Colum Drive, Cathays, Cardiff

Research Group

English Literature

Postgraduate Students

I welcome PhD and postdoctoral applications in Romantic literature and culture; Romantic historicist theory; Welsh Writing in English; Creative Writing (in particular poetry); literature and geography.

Research Interests

See Research tab.

Selected Publications

See Publications tab.



(a) Literary Studies

Cartographies of Culture: New Geographies of Welsh Writing in English (University of Wales Press, 2012)

Presences that Disturb: Modalities of Romantic Influence in Twentieth-Century Literature (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2002)

Scholarly Editions
Thomas Love Peacock, The Misfortunes of Elphin – volume 5 of the 7-volume Cambridge Edition of the Novels of Thomas Love Peacock (forthcoming, 2015)

Brenda Chamberlain, The Protagonists (Parthian, 2013)

Waldo Williams: Rhyddiaith (Waldo Williams: Prose Works; Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2001), Awarded the 2002/2003 Sir Ellis Griffith Prize and the L. W. Davies Award.

William Wordsworth: Selected Poems (London: Dent, 1994), pp. xlix, 506 (reprinted 1995, 1999, 2000)

Edited Collections

Counterfactual Romanticism (forthcoming, Manchester University Press, 2016)

Roald Dahl, Writing Wales (forthcoming, University of Wales Press, 2016)

Romanticism, History, Historicism: Essays on an Orthodoxy (New York: Routledge, 2009)

Wales and the Romantic Imagination, co-edited with Lynda Pratt (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2007), pp. xii, 285

The Monstrous Debt: Modalities of Romantic Influence in Twentieth-Century Literature, co-edited with Richard Marggraf Turley (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2006)

Cof ac Arwydd: Ysgrifau Newydd ar Waldo Williams (Memory and Sign: New Essays on Waldo Williams), co-edited with Jason Walford Davies (Barddas, 2006)

Echoes to the Amen: Essays After R. S. Thomas (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2003)

Recent Contributions to Edited Collections

‘Counterfactual Obstetrics: Mary Wollstonecraft’s Frankenstein’, in Counterfactual Romanticism (forthcoming, 2016).

‘Dahl and Dylan: Matilda, “In Country Sleep” and Twentieth-century Topographies of Fear’, in Roald Dahl, Writing, Wales (forthcoming, 2016).

‘Ronald Lockley’s Archipelagraphy’, in Coastal Works: Cultures of the Atlantic Edge, ed. Nicholas Allen, Nick Groom and Jos Smith (forthcoming, Oxford University Press, 2016).

‘“Furious Embrace”: Clive Hicks-Jenkins Among the Poets’, in Clive Hicks-Jenkins, ed. Peter Wakelin (London: Lund Humphries, 2011), 170–85

‘“This Alabaster Spell”: Poetry as Historicist Method’, in The Artist in the Academy: Creative Interfrictions, ed. Richard Marggraf Turley (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2011), 27–48

‘Romantic Hydrography: Tide and Transit in “Tintern Abbey”’, in English Romantic Writers and the West Country, ed. Nicholas Roe (Palgrave, 2010), 218–36

‘Byron’s Cain and the “History” of Cradle Songs’, in Romanticism, History, Historicism: Essays on an Orthodoxy, ed. Damian Walford Davies (Routledge, 2009), 126–42

Published Lectures
‘Knowledge, Necromancy and The Engraving: A Case Study’, The Sir T. H. Parry-Williams Memorial Lecture 2014 (2015)

Recent and Forthcoming Articles in journals

‘Diagnosing “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”: Shipwreck, Historicism, Traumatology’, Studies in Romanticism, forthcoming 2016.

‘Romanticism’s Wye’ (with Tim Fulford), Romanticism 19,2 (Wye Valley Special Issue. 2013), 15–25

‘Capital Crimes: John Thelwall, “Gallucide” and Psychobiography’,  Romanticism, 18.1 (2012), 55–69

‘“Yeats Said That”: R. S. Thomas and W. B. Yeats’, Almanac: A Yearbook of Welsh Writing in English 13 (2009), 1–26

(b) Creative Writing

Judas (Seren, 2015)

Alabaster Girls (Rack Press, 2015)

Witch (Seren, 2012)

Suit of Lights (Seren, 2009)

Whiteout (with Richard Marggraf Turley; Parthian, 2006).

Poet’s Graves/Beddau’r Beirdd (with Mererid Hopwood; photographs by Paul White; Gomer, 2014)

Ancestral Houses: The Lost Mansions of Wales/ Tai Mawr a Mieri: Plastai Coll Cymru (with Siân Melangell Dafydd; photographs by Paul White; Gomer, 2012)


Research Fields

The main fields of my research are Romanticism, in particular the relation between literature and politics in the age of revolution; Romantic historicism and the methodologies of Romantic Studies; Romanticism and geography/cartography; Romantic pathologies; Welsh Writing in English; twentieth-century poetry; and Creative Writing (in particular poetry and ekphrasis/word-and-image dialogues) – together, of course, with the interfaces between these periods/disciplines.

I am currently completing the co-authored final volume of the Oxford Literary History of Wales, of which I am General Editor.

I am interested in theorising the methods we deploy as literary critics and editors to seek to know the Romantic period. One of my current projects is an edited collection entitled Counterfactual Romanticism, which explores the what ifs of literary history in order get a fresh purchase on the material contexts of Romantic literary production. Other projects include the Cambridge edition of Thomas Love Peacock’s novel, The Misfortunes of Elphin (1829); an edited collection exploring Roald Dahl’s complex relation to Wales; and a book-length ghost story in verse, set in late-Victorian Cardiff, entitled Docklands. I am also developing a project that explores the ways in which birds figure as both natural phenomena and symbols in the literature and culture of the Romantic period.


I have co-organised three major international conferences: Romanticism, History, Historicism (2004); Romanticism, Environment, Crisis (2006); and The Wye Valley: Romantic Representations, 1640–1830 (2012). I welcome the opportunity to co-organise Romantic Studies conferences – at Cardiff and elsewhere – in the areas noted above.

Wider Cultural Affiliations

I am Chair of Literature Wales, the national company for the promotion of literature, and a Fellow of the Welsh Academy. I am a member of the Editorial Panel of University of Wales Press and serve on the committee of Wales’s premier poetry magazine, Poetry Wales.


Damian joined the School of English, Communication & Philosophy at Cardiff in 2013 from Aberystwyth University, where he was Head of the Department of English & Creative Writing and Rendel Chair of English.