Guest speaker for the 2023 Sir Thomas Parry-Williams Memorial Lecture is Mererid Puw Davies


The University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtis Studies will host the Sir Thomas Parry-Williams Memorial Lecture on 27 April 2023.

guest speaker for the 2023 Sir Thomas Parry-Williams Memorial Lecture is Mererid Puw Davies

Mererid Puw Davies is Professor of German at University College London (UCL). She has publications on many aspects of German literature, culture and film, and is she has a growing interest in comparative literature and culture, including works about the drowning of communities. Mererid is a contributing editor to the Welsh literary magazine O’r Pedwar Gwynt, where she publishes articles and poems. She was BBC Radio Cymru's Poet of the Month in November 2022.

The lecture will be entitled ‘Y Dilyw: Cymru W.G. Sebald’.  This lecture is a journey beneath the surface of dark waters, to the village of Llanwddyn which was drowned in 1888 to create Lake Vyrnwy - as it appears in the great novel of the German writer W.G. Sebald (1944-2001), Austerlitz (2001).

This is the story of a refugee Jewish child from Prague, who comes to Britain on Kindertransport in 1939, and is homed with a married couple in Bala. An important part of the novel, therefore, presents Wales and its landscapes, and it also has an unexpected fascination with Welsh - and Welsh literature. The image of Llanwddyn lost underwater and full of apparitions is very striking. Remarkable also is the way it connects Llanwddyn to continental Europe and its horrors. The novel therefore offers a look at literature's peculiar ability to convey tragedy, and not depict it directly, and across frontiers.

This year the event is held in collaboration with O’r Pedwar Gwynt literary magazine. Professor Elin Haf Gruffydd Jones, Director of the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies, said, ‘We very much look forward to Prof. Mererid Puw Davies’s lecture which will explore such important themes in European history and literature, placing a particular focus on Wales. We’re pleased to be able to host this year’s lecture at the National Library of Wales and online and are grateful once again to literary magazine O’r Pedwar Gwynt for their cooperation.’

This is a Welsh language lecture.

The lecture will be held live in the Council Chamber, National Library of Wales, and online via Zoom, at 5.30pm on 27 April.

This is a free event. Guests are requested to book in advance if they wish to attend the lecture in the Library. Tea will be served at 5.00pm. Email

To join online, please register here for the Zoom link:  

A warm welcome to all!

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, which is celebrated its centenary in 2021: 

Further Information

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