New Head of Welsh

27 June 2013

Dr Cathryn Charnell-White
Dr Cathryn Charnell-White

Dr Cathryn Charnell-White has been appointed Head of the Welsh Department at Aberystwyth University.

The appointment was confirmed by University Council on Monday 24th of June and is central to the delivery of the University’s ambitious strategic plan.

As Head of the Welsh Department, Dr Charnell-White will play a key role in facilitating collaborative research opportunities in the fields of Welsh and Celtic Studies as well as enhancing the student experience by contributing to the development of challenging new modules and student employability.

Dr Cathryn Charnell-White is currently Research Fellow, at the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies and a graduate and former member of staff of the Welsh Department at Aberystwyth University.

Speaking after the appointment Dr Charnell-White said: “I am pleased to be given this opportunity to lead the Department of Welsh at an exciting and competitive time for the development of Welsh language provision in Higher Education,” she said.

“I am looking forward to enhancing the high rate of student satisfaction that the Department enjoys by contributing to the development of challenging new modules that cut across defined historical periods to focus on themes, genres and key concepts that stem from my own research and that of my colleagues: imagined Wales, Welsh and British identities, the literature of landscape and environment, biography and autobiography, Welsh canon-formation and manuscript culture, literature of war and peace, rewriting Welsh classics.

“I will also seek to facilitate collaborative research opportunities for the Department within, across and beyond the new Institute of Literature, Languages and Creative Arts of which it is a valuable part.

“Most of all, it will be a real privilege to work alongside colleagues whose combined expertise spans the whole chronology of Welsh literature and encompasses all the Celtic languages, and which also includes staff whose inspirational teaching attracted me to the world of research and teaching."

Professor Sarah Prescott, Director of the Institute of Literature, Languages and Creative Arts at the University said: “I am very pleased that Cathryn has accepted the position and welcome her to the new role of Head of the Department of Welsh. Cathryn brings a wealth of skills and expertise that will help further develop the Department's academic and wider cultural vibrancy.”

Dr Charnell-White gained a BA and PhD from the Department of Welsh at Aberystwyth.

Before joining the staff at the Centre, Dr Charnell-White lectured on the eighteenth century, women’s poetry and contemporary literature at the Departments of Welsh at Aberystwyth (1998–2000) and Lampeter (2000–02).

She is also a member of the editorial board of Llên Cymru, and of the committee of ‘Honno Welsh Women’s Press’ where she is also series editor of the Honno Welsh Classics Series (Clasuron Cymraeg Honno). She plays the violin in the local amateur orchestras of Philomusica at Aberystwyth and Lampeter Chamber Orchestra.

The Department of Welsh has played a leading part in Welsh learning and culture, including literature and other media, education, politics and journalism since 1872.

The annual university league tables, based on a number of factors, including employment after graduation and student satisfaction, have for many years put the Department at or near the top of all Celtic departments in the United Kingdom.


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Elinor Howells, Communications and Public Affairs, 01970 628551 / 07974 720 361 /

Arthur Dafis, Communications and Public Affairs, 01970 621763 / 07841 979 452 /