Congratulations to Emeritus Professor Dafydd Johnston on being elected a Fellow of the British Academy


Emeritus Professor Dafydd Johnston from the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies has been elected as a Fellow of the British Academy in recognition of his leading contributions to the history of Welsh literature and medieval Welsh poetry.

Llun o Dafydd Johnston ar gyfer erthygl y British Academy

The British Academy welcomed a new group of leading international humanities and social sciences researchers to its Fellowship for 2023. Joining a community of over 1,600 distinguished intellectuals, the newly elected Fellows of the British Academy become part of the UK’s national academy for the humanities and social sciences.

Professor Dafydd Johnston was Director of CAWCS for twelve years from October 2008 until his retirement at the end of 2020. He has published extensively on Welsh literature of all periods, including some of the English-language writers of Wales.

His main research interest is medieval Welsh poetry, and he has specialized in textual editing, including three major editions, Gwaith Iolo Goch (1988), Gwaith Lewys Glyn Cothi (1995) and Gwaith Llywelyn Goch ap Meurig Hen (1998), as well as two groundbreaking thematic collections, Medieval Welsh Erotic Poetry (1991) and Poets’ Grief (1993). In 2005 he published a comprehensive study of late-medieval Welsh literature, Llên yr Uchelwyr: Hanes Beirniadol Llenyddiaeth Gymraeg 1300–1525, a volume which was short-listed for the Welsh Book of the Year Prize. His most recent publication is ‘Iaith Oleulawn’: Geirfa Dafydd ap Gwilym (2020).

Professor Johnston was director of an interdepartmental research project funded by the AHRC (2001–6) which produced a new edition of the poetry of Dafydd ap Gwilym in electronic format,

He was co-investigator on the Guto’r Glyn Project (2008–12) at the Centre, and joint-editor with Mary-Ann Constantine of the ‘Wales and the French Revolution’ series. 

He was one of the editors of the journal Studia Celtica from 2002 to 2020, and since 2014 he has been editor of The Dictionary of Welsh Biography.

The Vice-chancellor, Professor Elwen Evans, KC, said ‘I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to Professor Johnston on being elected a Fellow of the British Academy, and would want to take this opportunity to thank him for his excellent stewardship and inspirational dedication while Director of the University’s Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies.’

Professor Elin Haf Gruffydd Jones, Director of CAWCS, said ‘This is indeed a highly esteemed acknowledgement of Professor Johnston’s remarkable contribution to scholarship. As we congratulate Dafydd on this honour, we thank him again for his leadership of CAWCS for twelve years and are very pleased that his connection with the Centre continues, as Emeritus Professor and as Editor of the Dictionary of Welsh Biography.’

Note to Editor

Contact: Dr Angharad Elias (Admin Officer)

1. The Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies (CAWCS) was established by the University of Wales in 1985 as a dedicated research centre conducting team-based projects on the languages, literatures, culture and history of Wales and the other Celtic countries. It is located in Aberystwyth, adjacent to the National Library of Wales, which is an internationally-renowned copyright library with excellent research facilities.

2. CAWCS offers unique opportunities for postgraduate students to work alongside specialists in a dynamic and supportive environment. We welcome enquiries about MPhil/PhD topics in any of our research areas. For more information about research opportunities, or for an informal chat about possible topics, contact our Head of Graduate Studies, Dr Elizabeth Edwards:

3. CAWCS is the home of the Dictionary of the Welsh Language: 

Further Information

For more information please contact Arwel Lloyd, Principal PR and Communications Officer, on 07384 467076 /