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April 3, 2011

History Division News
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» History in the Media: Coal Dust and Choral Song

There had been singing in Wales for centuries, formally in monasteries and cathedrals, informally in taverns and ale-houses, but it is with the industrial history of Wales that the popular mind associates the Welsh male voice choir and the popular mind is right.

Find out why from Professor Gareth Williams of Glamorgan’s History Division, writing for the Western Mail

Pendyrus Choir c. 1924 (Photograph)

Pendyrus Choir c. 1924

June 23, 2010

History Division News
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» Panzers in Pembrokeshire?

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Cold War Wales and the Labour Party

Why did a Labour government send British soldiers to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan?

According to Glamorgan's Norry LaPorte, the Labour Party's development since the 1980s has brought supporters of 'realpolitik' to the fore. Foreign affairs and military strategy shaped Labour's development in the UK - and in Wales. From the spectre of German tanks in Pembrokeshire, through the founding of the Greenham Common Peace Camp, to Michael Foot's disarmament campaign, Wales and Welsh Labour engaged vigorously with Cold War politics. But the British public's response to unilateralist policies finally convinced the party that a pro-American stance was the route to electoral success.

Experts will gather to discuss Cold War Wales: Peace, Politics and Culture at the University of Glamorgan on June 26th 2010. This is a Centre for Modern and Contemporary Wales event, organised by Dr Norry LaPorte, Dr Fiona Reid, and Professor Gareth Williams of Glamorgan's History Division. Download the programme and registration form here, and read more of Dr LaPorte's analysis at the Western Mail.

March 2, 2010

History Division News
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» Crucifixion in Cilfynydd

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The image of Wales as ‘the land of song’ is based on the renown and immense popularity of its choral singing, particularly among the coalfield communities of the valleys. This period was also a period of great sporting success, for in this economically buoyant Wales its rugby and boxing champions were as internationally known as its widely-travelled choirs. But they seem to represent two quite different kinds of cultural activity.

The disorder, gambling, throwing missiles and spectator violence that were the order of the day on the rugby grounds of Wales seem a world away from the well mannered and restrained behaviour of respectable eisteddfod and chapel choristers. Or was it?

John Stainer’s ‘Crucifixion’ was a popular choral work of this period and there were crucifixions in Cilfynydd and throughout the valleys in this golden age of collective popular culture, as this musically-illustrated lecture will show.

The Glamorgan University History Society presents Professor Gareth Williams as guest lecturer on Tuesday, 2nd March, 5pm, D112. All welcome / Croeso i bawb.

Please contact 03020002@glam.ac.uk for more details.
Image: Kris Carter

June 18, 2009

History Division News
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» Glamorgan Historians work with Welsh Museums

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Two of Glamorgan's historians, Dr Jonathan Durrant and Dr Andy Croll, are working with Welsh museums as part of the Strategic Insight Programme (SIP). The programme enables staff in universities to build relationships with external partners.

Jonathan Durrant has been working with The National Museum of Wales at St Fagan's on the interpretation of space in its early modern buildings, particularly Hendre'r-ywydd Uchaf and the merchants' house from Haverfordwest which is currently being re-erected there. This secondment will lead to a workshop drawing together the expertise of historians, museum professionals, archaeologists, re-enactors and architects.

Andy Croll is working with museum experts who are setting up the 'Cardiff Story', a new museum dedicated to presenting the city's history. The museum is to be based in the Old Library in the Hayes - the former home of Cardiff Municipal Museum which closed its doors in 1922. Since that time, Cardiff has been without a civic museum dealing with the city's own history. The 'Cardiff Story' will fill that gap when it opens in the summer of 2010. Dr Croll has been joined on the museum's Academic Panel by two other Glamorgan historians - Professors Chris Evans and Gareth Williams.

History students will also benefit from the experience gained by Jonathan and Andy. Second-year students already visit St Fagan's while learning about different approaches to history. With these new collaboration, there are opportunities for student placements with the two museums and exciting courses in Public History can be developed that build on the insights gleaned in both Cardiff and St. Fagan's.

April 5, 2009

History Division News
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» Schools Event - AS-Level History Conference

Succeeding at History AS-Level, 2nd April 2009

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Over forty students and teachers from schools in South Wales attended Glamorgan's AS-Level History Conference on 2nd April. The conference was designed to support school pupils in their exam preparation while offering them a taste of university life.

The event opened with a presentation on the AS History exam from Caryl James, WJEC Principal Examiner in History. Glamorgan historians then delivered lectures on popular elements of the AS-Level curriculum. Norry Laporte discussed with pupils how they might construct an argument to explain the Nazi party's rise to power. Gareth Williams spoke about the development of liberalism and its place in Welsh culture in the early twentieth century, challenging students to consider why certain attributes came to be considered particularly Welsh.

Moving beyond the AS-Level curriculum, Brian Ireland explained to pupils and teachers how he has used film in teaching and studying history. Chris Evans spoke about the breadth of university history, and the opportunities for students taking a history degree to choose and investigate subjects for themselves.

Teachers and pupils reported that the day had been extremely enjoyable and had helped significantly with their exam work. We wish all of our visitors the best of luck in the exams.

Glamorgan's History Division organises a number of free schools events yearly. We expect to hold our next schools conference in summer 2009. To sign up for regular updates on our school events and resources, please e-mail Jane Finucane (jfinucan@glam.ac.uk)

March 18, 2009

History Division News
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» Schools Conference: AS History

AS History Conference, 2nd April 2009

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The History Division is offering teachers and students working on AS-Level History the opportunity to spend a day at our Trefforest campus on Thursday 2nd April.

Our AS History Conference will feature seminars from Glamorgan's historians on popular aspects of the curriculum, including twentieth-century Wales (Professor Gareth Williams), the rise of the Nazis (Dr Norry Laporte) and the Great Rebellion (Dr Jonathan Durrant). Dr Brian Ireland will discuss how historians can use film, and students will be introduced to historical research methods and options for studying history at university.

Attendance is free but places are limited and must be booked by schools in advance through our Schools and Colleges Liaison Department. For more information about the Conference and to request a copy of the timetable for the event please contact Sarah Watkins on 01443 483375 , e-mail Sarah Watkins.

February 9, 2009

History Division News
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» Seminar Invitation: Welsh Popular Music

Rebecca Edwards: ‘ “Escape from our history“: finding Welsh History in Welsh Popular Music’ - Wednesday 11th February 2009

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Rebecca Edwards will speak at the next seminar in the Centre for Modern and Contemporary Wales series.

Dr Edwards recently completed her PhD, entitled ‘To show from where we came; Cool Cymru, pop and identity in Wales in the 1990s’.

She has published in Contemporary Wales and is currently working for Cardiff University. She will be talking about looking for history in pop music from Wales, and why it matters.

The Seminar will take place in D31 at 2pm. All welcome. Croeso i bawb.

October 21, 2008

History Division News
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» Forthcoming paper: Alun Withey on early modern medicine

‘The ‘Dyn Hysbys’ and the Doctor: reassessing the medical history of early modern Wales’

Wednesday 29 October 2008

2.30pm, D121b, University of Glamorgan (Treforest Campus)

Alun Withey graduated with first class honours in History from Glamorgan in 2005 and his undergraduate dissertation was immediately seized for publication by Welsh History Review. He took an M Res at Cardiff and is currently studying for an AHRB-funded PhD at Swansea. His article ‘Unhealthy Neglect? The Medicine and Medical Historiography of Early Modern Wales’ appeared in the Social History of Medicine, vol. 21 no.i, April 2008.

The ‘Dyn Hysbys’ referred to in the title is a cunning man or local wizard.

The paper is hosted by the Centre for Modern and Contemporary Wales. For further details contact Prof Gareth Williams. For directions, click here.