Event to explore how Welsh identity has been shaped by historical fiction
An event at the University of South Wales will explore how Wales’ national identity has been shaped by historical fiction.
Imagining History: Wales in Fiction and Fact will explore whether fiction, films or TV programmes have shaped opinions on Wales and its communities – despite often being partial, fragmentary or distorted accounts shaped by particular vested interests.
The online event on 12 and 13 November will feature among the speakers Welsh author and prominent language activist, Angharad Tomos, who will discuss her novel Y Castell Siwgr about transatlantic links between Penrhyn castle and the plantations of Jamaica.
Pontypridd-born novelist Catrin Collier, known for her historical works, will explore the story of Merthyr-born John Hughes and the city he founded in Ukraine, which inspired her trilogy, The Tsar’s Dragons as well as the three-part TV series Hughesovka and the New Russia.
Professor Diana Wallace, Professor in English at USW and chair of the conference organising committee, said that historical fiction often shapes how we think about our national history in important ways.
“How we imagine a figure like Owain Glyndŵr, for instance, often depends on fictional versions like Shakespeare’s. Equally important is that historical fiction can help us to fill in the silences in the historical record,” she said.
“It can help us to re-imagine a forgotten past and give a voice to people, such as slaves, women and the working classes, whose histories were not written down.”
The two-day virtual conference will include interactive creative writing sessions as well as film screenings and presentations.
An exhibition at Oriel y Bont, on USW’s Treforest Campus, also forms part of the event and will be available to view from 1 November to 17 December.
Registration for Imagining History: Wales in Fiction and Fact is free and more details can be found on Eventbrite.
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