Research

A pile of books, a writing book and a pen

Our research

All the work of the Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies is guided by research and our staff specialise in the language and literature of Wales and the other Celtic countries. We hold open research seminars every term which is an opportunity to listen to specialists in the field and to have discussions with people who are equally fascinated by the subject.

In the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF2014) the Department maintained its reputation for research publications of world-leading and internationally excellent standard. 25% of the department’s publications were deemed world-leading (4*) and a further 30% was judged ‘internationally excellent (3*).

Take a look at our Staff Profiles to find out more about the research work of our people.

Looking for research students

If you're interested in our areas of research, please get in touch. We're looking for research students! See our Staff Profiles for more information.

Useful links:
Centre for Cultures of Place
Porth Ymchwil Aberystwyth
‘Barddoniaeth Menywod yn Iwerddon, yr Alban a Chymru 1400–1800’
Prosiect Achyddol Bartrum

 

Areas of expertise of our staff

Our research spans the centuries, and encompasses the following specialist fields. Here are some examples of our research topics, in alphabetical order:

Literature and Literary Criticism

  • comparative Irish and Welsh literature
  • critical theory, notably feminism and gender studies, eco-criticism, reader response theory
  • disease and old age in the Late Middle Ages
  • ‘four nations’ and ‘archipelagic’ literature
  • literary history and criticism
  • literature of the landscape and the environment
  • regional and national identity in early modern and contemporary Welsh literature and culture
  • religious prose in the Gaelic languages
  • rural writers and poets in Snowdonia
  • women’s writing and literary culture.

Practice (editing, translation, creative writing etc)

  • biography and life writing
  • creative writing
  • cynghanedd
  • manuscript and literary culture
  • simultaneous translation and language rights
  • textual scholarship and editorial skills
  • translation and literary adaptation (theory and practice, including medieval)
  • Welsh in the workplace.

Language Studies

  • Irish and Scottish Gaelic diaspora
  • language of the Picts
  • linguistics and philology: Welsh, Irish, Scottish Gaelic and Manx.

Journals

Our staff are editors of four prominent journals:

Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies is published twice a year. It is a highly respected journal which provides an excellent resource for Celtic Studies students and anyone who is interested in the subject. It is edited by Emeritus Professor Patrick Sims-Williams.

Comhar Taighde is an important journal in the field of modern Irish Language and Literature. This digital, open access journal was launched in 2015. It is now edited by Dr Peadar Ó Muircheartaigh and colleagues from Dublin University College.

Dwned includes articles and reviews on the history and literature of Medieval Wales. Dr Bleddyn Owen Huws, who is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies, is one of the editors. This is the only periodical in the world that focuses on the publication of Welsh language medieval materials and literature.

The Journal of Celtic Linguistics includes articles and reviews on all aspects of the Celtic languages - modern, medieval and ancient - with particular emphasis on synchronic studies, while not exluding diachronic and comparative-historical work. Dr Simon Rodway, who is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies at Aberystwyth University, is the editor. The journal is useful to students who are studying the Celtic languages, as well as to readers in the general publish interested in the linguistic progress of the Celtic languages.

Research projects

Over the years the Department has received external grants and worked on collaborative projects. These include:

  • ‘An Icelander among the Gaels: A Study of Grímur Thorkelin (1752-1829) and his Gaelic Manuscripts 2021–22’
  • ‘Barddoniaeth Menywod yn Iwerddon, yr Alban a Chymru 1400–1800’ (Ymddiriedolaeth Leverhulme)
  • ‘Gaulish Morphology with Particular Reference to Areas South and East of the Danube’.
  • ‘Gohebiaeth Carneddog a Rhai o’i Gyfoedion’
  • ‘MS Q: A transcript of the Welsh Law manuscript that escaped the 1858 Wynnstay fire’ (BA/Leverhulme grantiau bychain)
  • ‘Ptolemy: Towards a Linguistic Atlas of the Earliest Celtic Place-Names of Europe’
  • ‘Variation and Change in the Language of Manx Sermons 2020–21’
  • ‘Welsh Genealogies’ P. C. Batrum, 300-1500 https://doi.org/10.20391/40837b6f-1887-4afd-9c6e-9b7e3a122693
  • Llenyddiaeth Cymru ac Ewrop

We also have another great advantage in that Aberystwyth is home to a several key institutes, including the National Library of Wales - one of five copyright libraries in the UK.