Dr Cathryn Charnell-White

BA (Cymru) PhD (Cymru)

Dr Cathryn Charnell-White

Senior Lecturer

Head of Department (Welsh)

Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies

Contact Details

Please note: The Welsh version of this profile contains additional or more detailed information.


I graduated in Welsh from the Department of Welsh, Aberystwyth University & remained in the Department to gain a PhD ('Y Pedwar Peth Diwethaf - Marwolaeth, Nefoedd, Uffern a'r Farn - yn llenyddiaeth Gymraeg y Ddeunawfed Ganrif' [The Four Last Things - Death, Heaven, Hell & Judgement - in Welsh literature of the Eighteenth Century]).

I lectured on eighteenth-century literature, women's writing, & contemporary literature in the Welsh departments at Aberystwyth University (1998-99; the External Degree 2003-2013) & Lampeter (2000-02). At the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh & Celtic Studies, I worked as a Research Fellow on two AHRC-funded projects: 'Iolo Morganwg & the Romantic tradition in Wales' (2002-2008) & 'Wales & the French Revolution' (2009-13).

Bardic Circles (2007), a monograph on the self-, regional&national identity of Edward Williams (1747-1826) was published as part of the Iolo Morganwg project. For the project on Wales&the French Revolution, I completed a critical study of the Welsh-language poetic responses to the French Revolution, with special attention to the complex dynamic between Welshness&Britishness during the Revolutionary Wars: Welsh Poetry of the French Revolution 1789-1805 (2012).

I am currently working on a Leverhulme project, ‘Women’s Poetry in Ireland, Scotland and Wales 1400–1800’, whose outputs will include an anthology of verse from the three nations as well as a critical companion volume discussing the generic, thematic, linguistic and cultural aspects of the verse.


Module Coordinator

I will be developing Part II modules which reflect my various interests in Welsh literature of the Early Modern Period (1500-1800) for our BA schemes in Welsh and Celtic Studies: * Wales's women poets 1400-1800; * Literature of the landscape and the environment 1500-1800; * Bardic and correspondence communities in eighteenth-century Wales; * Imagined Wales: Welshness and Britishness in the early modern period.

I teach practice-based modules on the Welsh-medium taught MA in Creative Writing: 'Gweithdai Creadigol' (Creative Workshops) and 'Y Diwydiant Cyhoeddi Creadigol yng Nghymru' (The Creative Publishing Industry in Wales).


I am currently engaged on a collaborative, comparative project 'Women's poetry in Ireland, Scotland and Wales 1400-1800'. The project is funded by The Leverhulme Trust and will run until July 2016.

My contribution to this project builds on my anthology of women's poetry, Beirdd Ceridwen: Blodeugerdd Barddas o Ganu Menywod hyd tua 1800 (2005). The volume contains both strict- and free-metre poetry which voice the experiences of the mother, the daughter, the mistress, and the friend.

My research focuses on four broad themes - eschatology, ecocriticism, feminism and regional/national identity - which often dovetail in unexpected ways:

  • the elegy as a genre;
  • mothers' elegiac verse for their children;
  • the elegies of William Williams of Pantycelyn;
  • infernal satire (the letters of the dead to the living);
  • Iolo Morganwg and Bardism;
  • the responses of Wales's poets to the French Revolution; self-,
  • regional, national and state image and identity in Early Modern Wales;
  • the dynamics between Welshness and Britishness in Welsh-language literary works of the Early Modern Period;
  • bardic nationalism in eighteenth-century Wales;
  • poetic and correspondence networks in Wales and London throughout the eighteenth century, particularly in the 1790s;
  • Wales's women poets 1400-1800
  • women's writing in Wales past and present;
  • extreme weather in Wales 1500-1800; historical attitudes towards the natural world, historical climatology and regional studies.

I welcome applications from graduates to undertake research in these, or related, areas under my supervision. If you would like to work towards an MA, MPhil or PhD, I would be happy to discuss research questions and funding possibilities with you.