We are delighted to invite you to our seminar series for semester one.
The talk will take place on Wednesday at 4pm (UK Time) online via Teams (registration links via Eventbrite below):
French Celtomaniacs in Wales in the long nineteenth century
Professor Heather Williams
20th October 2021 16-17.30pm (online).
This paper will trace the growing awareness of ‘Celticity’ in French-language travelogues about Wales through the nineteenth century. It begins in France in the pre-Revolutionary period when Wales was little known and still less liked, considered at best remote and exotic, at worst backwords and wild, and it ends at the dawn of the twentieth century, by which time Welsh industry led the world. One thing that changes over the course of the nineteenth century, and shapes the kinds of travelogues and numbers of texts is industrial anxiety, from France’s wish to keep an eye on a key competitor on the world stage. Another is the coming of the railway network. But our concern will be Celticity. The meaning of Celticity for the French changes, and the type of Celticity the French discover in Wales changes in fascinating and sometimes very telling ways. Extracts from travelogues will be selected (and translated) to illustrate this.
This seminar will take place via Microsoft Teams. Please ensure you book a place to receive the meeting link. The deadline for bookings is 3pm on the day of the seminar (20/10/21).
Professor Heather Williams, University of Wales Trinity Saint Davids. Heather Williams is a Professor at the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies, University of Wales Trinity Saint Davids. With backgrounds in French and also Celtic Studies, she has published widely on Brittany’s literature and culture, notably Postcolonial Brittany: Literature Between Languages (Peter Lang, 2007). Her research focuses on cultural interfaces, and she has worked on cultural exchange between French, Breton and Welsh, addressing issues in translation studies, travel writing, transnational studies, postcolonialism and ecocriticism. She recently published, with Kathryn Jones and Carol Tully, Hidden Texts, Hidden Nation: (Re)Discoveries of Wales in Travel Writing in French and German (1780–2018) (Liverpool University Press, 2020), the fruit of the AHRC-funded project ‘European Travellers to Wales: 1750-2010’.