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Research in the School

Researcher in the library

The School was awarded a Grade 5 in the Research Assessment Exercises of 1996 and 2001 and maintained its strong profile in the Research Assessment Excercise of 2008. This means that we are among the best departments in our field.

Welsh in Cardiff has a distinguished history, and many of the country’s most eminent scholars have taught and researched here; among them Professor G.F. Williams, Professor W.J. Gruffydd, Professor G.J. Williams, Professor A.O.H. Jarman and Saunders Lewis. The School continues to contribute to recognised fields of research such as linguistics and literature, and is leading the way in newer areas such as language planning, critical theory, and performance theory.

The research interests and expertise of the staff include (i) literature (medieval and modern) and (ii) sociolinguistics and language policy.

On the literary side, research interests include medieval prose and poetry, the narrative tradition (both medieval and contemporary), Welsh ethnology, children's literature, historicity and literature, the hymn and the ballad, women’s studies, the literature of South East Wales, critical theory, and many aspects of contemporary literature.

On the linguistic side, research interests include the development of the Welsh language, dialectology, second language acquisition in a comparative context, sociolinguistics of Welsh in Wales and beyond (e.g. in Patagonia and the USA), comparative studies on other Celtic languages, especially Irish, and the sociology of language.

The School’s pioneering research in the field of language planning has an impact on the policies of the Wales Assembly Government and the Welsh Language Board. We are currently undertaking commissioned work on the acquisition of Welsh for Adults and on the transition of the Welsh Language Board into an Office of Language Commissioner. Current work with the Governments of Ireland, Canada, Slovenia and the Basque Academy feeds directly into policy implementation at both national and international levels.

Bridging between language and literature are other interests, including the theory and methodology of translation and adaptation, text editing, identity and multiculturalism, Welsh-American studies, performance theory, and aspects of Welsh religion.

Outreach and Impact

Members of the School are very active in the dissemination of scholarship through their regular public engagements, lectures and media involvement. Staff and students participate regularly in the cultural life of Wales through the Eisteddfodic tradition; are showcased in national televised competitions of poetry and choral music and are represented in a variety of cultural and sporting events. For details, please see News and Events.

The School has a strong commitment to developing its impact agenda in relation to the societal, educational, commercial and public policy aspects of their research. This has involved close collaboration with Welsh literary and cultural bodies, the media and government agencies in Wales and internationally as evidenced by our research projects. The School hosts the Cardiff Centre for Welsh American Studies and the Language, Policy and Planning Research Unit. For details, see Research Centres.