Aberystwyth academics head to Hay

Hay Festival 2022. Credit: Adam Tatton-Reid

Hay Festival 2022. Credit: Adam Tatton-Reid

13 April 2023

Talks on how we imagine the darkness, lessons from refugee and migrant history, the post-Ukraine war world, and the rhythm of language will be led by Aberystwyth University academics at this year’s Hay Festival.

Taking place from 25 May to 4 June, Hay Festival 2023 features contributions from four Aberystwyth University academics, as part of the University’s ongoing partnership with the prestigious cultural and literary event.

Dr Andrea Hammel will deliver a lecture entitled ‘Refugees and Migrants – Can history give us hope?’ and creative writing lecturer Dr Jacqueline Yallop will speak about how our imaginations are inspired by the darkness.  Dr Jan Ruzicka’s lecture will invite people to consider what the world will look like after the war in Ukraine, and Professor Mererid Hopwood will run a workshop about the rhythm of language.

Dr Rhodri Llwyd Morgan, Director of Welsh Language, Culture and External Engagement at Aberystwyth University said: “As a University we are celebrating our 150th anniversary this year, and have been holding events to celebrate the institution’s unique contribution and academic heritage since 1872.  Over the decades our academics have conducted pioneering and innovative research, and I am delighted that Aberystwyth researchers will be engaging Hay audiences with thought-provoking contributions on some of the wide-ranging work that is being carried out at the University.”

Full Details of the Events

Dr Andrea Hammel will deliver a lecture, ‘Refugees and Migrants – Can history give us hope?’, on Tuesday 30 May at 1pm at The Hive.  A Reader in the Department of Modern Languages and Director of the Centre for the Movement of People at Aberystwyth University, Dr Hammel is leading a project ‘Refugees from National Socialism in Wales: Learning from the Past for the Future’ and is the author of Finding Refuge: Stories of the men, women and children who fled to Wales to escape the Nazis (Honno, 2022).

Her talk will explore comparisons between historic refugees, such as those who fled Nazi Europe, and contemporary refugees and migrants.  She will discuss the lessons we can learn from history and consider whether examining historical narratives can give us hope and enable us to overcome the challenges our society and the migrants and refugees face.
After the event: See Dr Andrea Hammel's talk on YouTube.

Dr Jacqueline Yallop will deliver a lecture, ‘Into the Dark: How we imagine and understand the dark around us’, on Thursday 1 June at 7pm at The Hive. Dr Yallop teaches prose and creative writing in the Department of English and Creative Writing, and is the author of two novels and three works of non-fiction.

In her lecture, she will question what absolute darkness feels like, delving into the enigma of darkness and looking at how science, art, literature and psychology have shaped our understanding of darkness.  She will consider how our imaginations continue to be inspired by the darkness, and what it means to us, as individuals and societies, now and in the past.
After the event: Listen to Dr Jacqueline Yallop's talk.

On Sunday 4 June at 1pm at The Hive, Dr Jan Ruzicka, a Lecturer in Security Studies in the Department of International Politics, will deliver a lecture, ‘What will the world look like after the war in Ukraine?’

The lecture will draw upon the contrast between planning for the post-World War II world and the lack of such planning at the end of the Cold War, discuss what the world will look like once the war in Ukraine has ended, and ask the audience to imagine a more secure and safer world.
After the event: Listen to Dr Jan Ruzicka's talk.

In addition to the three lectures, Professor of Welsh and Celtic Studies, Mererid Hopwood - the winner of this year’s Hay Festival Medal for Poetry - is contributing to the Programme for Schools.

She will be leading a multilingual workshop for Key Stage 2 pupils, Cerdd Iaith – Listening to Language.  This playful workshop will focus on the rhythm of words and sentences introducing three or four languages all at once, allowing pupils to spending some time learning new languages and how to listen carefully to rhythm and rhyme.

The full Hay Festival 2023 programme is available online.