Dr Simon Brooks
Telephone: +44(0)29 208 75304
Location: John Percival Building
My work explores tensions between conservatism and liberalism, as they affect literature, politics and the history of ideas in minority language communities.
In 2004, I used this perspective in my volume, O Dan Lygaid y Gestapo, to discuss the inheritance of Enlightenment thought in late 19th and 20th century Wales, and its impact on Welsh literary theory and criticism.
A few years earlier I had been prominent in public policy debate about the future of Welsh-speaking communities. The debate raised the difficulty that attempts by minority communities to resist majority assimilation with communitarian counter-measures can undermine liberal concepts of openness.
In response to this problem, much of my current work explores multiculturalism and ethnic difference in the context of a minority language community. Welsh-language literature provides the discursive evidence. I hope to draw some theoretical conclusions on how ‘conservative’ survival strategies for a minority language community might be reconciled with a ‘liberal’ desire to respect others.
I am currently working on a book-length study of the portrayal of ethnic minorities in 20th century Welsh-language literature. It will explore the extent to which the interaction between ethnic minorities and ‘indigenous’ minority language cultures differs to that between ethnic minorities and majority language cultures. My other interest is the history of ideas in Wales. A current research project, funded in part by the Saunders Lewis Trust, will use German-language material for a comparative study of the history of ideas in the Welsh national movement in the late 19th century.
In 2011, I was Chair of the Welsh-language Judging Panel for the Wales Book of the Year Competition.
Llŷr Gwyn Lewis: ''What can I but ennumerate old themes?’ yr Adfywiad Celtaidd yng Nghymru ac Iwerddon'
(joint supervisor with Dr Katie Gramich, School of English, Communication and Philosophy)
Antia Pereira: Visual Culture in Galicia and Wales: the Construction of National Cinema in Minority Language Communities (with Dr Craig Patterson, School of European Studies)
Mair Rees: Images of Pregnancy, Childbirth, Motherhood and Fertility in 20th century Welsh language novels – (joint supervisor with Professor Sioned Davies)
Lisa Sheppard:'"They were like aliens': Multiculturalism, bilingualism and the Welsh 'Other' in south Wales fiction, 1990-2010.' (with Dr Katie Gramich, School of English, Communication and Philosophy)