Dr Jeni Willliams BA Hons; PhD

Senior Lecturer in Literature & Creative Writing

 

Lampeter

Tel: +44 (0) 1570 424920
E-mail: j.m.williams@uwtsd.ac.uk

Jeni Williams

Teaching across a range of subjects, writing and delivering modules

Contribution to school organisation

Dr Williams  is involved with the BA English and BA Creative writing courses within the School of Cultural Studies. She contributes to the MA Creative Writing Programme and runs a number of MA Literary Studies modules.  As a published poet herself she is keen to promote the reading and interpretation of poetry.

All her work is focused around developing textual discrimination and an awareness of the relation of texts to reader. As part of this concern she has developed modules that focus on the techniques used by conspiracy theorists, in fake news dissemination, and in the grooming activities of a range of extremist groups  

She is particularly interested in developing e-learning.

Dr Williams’s research interests reflect her interdisciplinary approach. Her monograph, Interpreting Nightingales: Gender, Class, Histories (Sheffield Academic Press, 1997), examines cultural change by tracing the shifting roles and significance accorded to the apparently peripheral figure of the poetic nightingale from the Greeks to the Victorians.

This interest in the peripheral and the marginal has drawn her to both postcolonial criticism and gender studies and a braoder engagement with other cultures. She has published widely on Welsh Writing in English, women’s writing, psychoanalytic criticism (including gender studies and the politics of the family).  She has been an external examiner for English literature, and Language at MSA University, Cairo since 2014. Since its inception in 2015, she has been a regular peer reviewer of the African Multidiciplinary Research Journal, published from St Pauls University, Nairobi, Kenya.

JOURNALISM AND REVIEWS: she has reviewed books on Welsh Writing in English and poetry for the Welsh Books Council, Books in Wales, Gothic Literature, The David Jones Journal. She is a reader for the Welsh Books Council. 

She has written widely on literature, theatre and art in Wales for publications including New Welsh Review and Planet, the two leading cultural journals within Wales, and was the theatre reviewer for New Welsh Review from 1997-2001. She was invited to contribute an essay on performance and place-based art - ‘Place, Space and Self: Site-Responsive Art in a Globalised World, to Journal of Writing and Creative Practice special edition: Place-based Arts  January 2016.

POETRY: 

Dr Williams has published poetry in a range of different journals including Agenda, New Welsh Review, New Writing, Orbis, Planet, Poetry Wales, The London Magazine, Wales Arts Review. She published her first collection, Being the Famous Ones, (Parthian) in 2009. Her poem, ‘Histories’, was shortlisted for The Live Canon International Poetry Competition 2016;’The White Room’ was longlisted for the University of Canberra Vice Chancellor's International Poetry Prize 2016;

She has been running occasional writing workshops with Swansea-based Women asylum seekers and refugees since 2006. Many performances and readings have resulted and she has co-edited and written introductions for two volumes of writing: Fragments from the Dark (Hafan, 2006) and My Heart Loves in My Language (Hafan, 2017) 

ART: She provided the catalogue essay/afterword, 'Testifying to “time’s reckless melt”’, for the National Library of Wales touring exhibition of I.C.Rapoport’s photographs of Aberfan, Aberfan: The Days After, (Parthian, 2005). She is the contributing editor of  Sideways Glances: five off-centre artists in Wales (Parthian, 2005) and composed the introduction to Clyde Holmes, Feather Paths (Gwasg Carreg Gwalch, 2004). 


RECENT PAPERS 

2018     (i) ‘Sacrifice, Silence and Voice: Exploring the myth of Philomela in selected Classical texts,’ Classical Association, Lampeter and West Wales Branch, March

(ii) Poetry Reading to celebrate International Women’s Day, Creative Bubble, Swansea, March

2017     (i) ‘‘No empty place is really empty’: Reframing the Medieval in a Globalised World’, Past Peoples, and Present Society, Faculty Research Series, UWTSD, Lampeter, November

(ii) ‘The Art of Revolution: Russian Modernism and the Exploration of Space and Time’, Lenin’s on Sale Again: 100 years of the Russian Revolution, UWTSD, Lampeter, October

(iii) ‘Refugee writing: framing the Global citizen’, Welsh Baccalaureate conference, UWTSD, Lampeter, September

(iv) ‘Translating Personal Words into Public Language: Learning from ‘the heartbeat, memories, images of strangers’,’ Tranås Festival of Literature, Tranås, Sweden, June.

 

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Fellow of the Academi
  • Founder member of Wales PEN Cymru
  • AHRC Expert Reviewer: Creative Writing, Wales 
  • Independent Member, Mid and West Wales Regional Committee, Arts Council Wales (2005-2011)
  • Member of Association of Welsh Writing in English (AWWE)
  • AWWE Representative on Editorial Board of New Welsh Review  (2003-08)
  • Member of Society of Authors
  • Member of the National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE)
  • Member of Parthian Collective.

Jeni Williams is involved with the BA English and BA Creative Writing Courses within the Faculty of Humanities and Performing Arts. She teaches on both the MA Literature and the MA Creative Writing programmes.

Drawing on both her interest in theatre and her doctoral research into literary history, centrally interested in issues of marginality, Dr Williams has focused on issues of gender and culture within modules devoted to subjects as various as Enlightenment Writing, Victorian Writing, Modernism – She is deeply interested in the identity politics of  marginalised nationalities (Welsh Writing Wales; past modules in Reading Identities and Postcolonial Revisions). 

As a published poet herself she is keen to promote the reading and interpretation of poetry. She has translated individual poems from Arabic and Chinese and a collection from Swedish.

Modules: Sole Delivery

BA programmes

  • Debating Medieval Identity: The Thrown Voices of The Canterbury Tales (CSEN6025) 
  • Modernism and Modernisms (CSEN6020)
  • The Rational World: Enlightenment and The Novel (CSEN5021)
  • The Welsh Writing Wales: Narratives and Nation States (CSEN5022)
  • Persuasive Writing (CSPB4001)

MA (Literature)

  • The Shock of the New: From Modernism to Post-Modernism (CSEN7021)
  • Utopias, Dystopias, and The Functions of Fictions (CSEN7029)
  • The Child in Time: the Representation of the Child in Modern Literature (CSEN7030)

Dissertation Supervision:

  • MA English Literature
  • MA Creative Writing
  • MA Applied Philosophy

Contributes To

  • Approaches To Creative Writing: From Theory And Practice (CSCW7009)
  • Creative Writing Project (CSCW 7014)
  • The Writer's World (CSCW 7011)
  • Writing Workshop: Research and Writing (CSCW 7010)
  • Writing Workshop: Writing and Context (CSCW 7012)

My doctoral research explored the historically shifting significance of the figure of poetry, the nightingale, in Europe, seeing it as an index of broader cultural changes. I examined the way the myth of Philomela informed literary texts from classical Greece, Christian Latin verse and a range of canonical and non-canonical poems from the early medieval period to the nineteenth century.

For the monograph I reduced the historical range in order to focus on a more overtly theoretical reading of the material, drawing in particular on feminist and cultural materialist approaches. Interpreting Nightingales has been widely reviewed, including pieces by Jennifer Wagnor Lawlor in Victorian Studies, (41:4 (Summer, 1998), 648-650), Norma Clarke in Gender & History (11:2 (July 1999), 285-288), and Corinne Saunders in Medium Aevum, (LXVII (1999):169). It has been widely referenced.

This double focus - historical breadth on the one hand and the theorisation of gender and culture on the other - has proved invaluable throughout my career, enabling me to teach a wide range of literary periods and underpinning the gender and culture focus of most of my other teaching. Although my recent publications have focused on Wales, my earlier research, together with my current teaching experience, demonstrate that I am well versed in more canonical literature.

My ongoing work on the unstable boundaries of gender and culture, and on the uncertain relations between the two, has  continued to complement my interest in the Anglophone writings and wider culture(s) of Wales and fed into my deep interest in other cultures, 

Apart from the skills of writing and assessment associated with my profession as a lecturer I have additional expertise: 

  1. Welsh Writing in English ; creative writing; community organisation; 
  2. As an AHRB Expert Reviewer I conducted an indepth review and assessment of a major project in 2007. The fact that I was approached to do a second the following year testifies to my skill in this area.
  3. Editorial skills: I have edited critical and creative work as well as a series of varied case studies for the 100,000 word Productive Relations HEA ADM report
  4. I am an experienced theatre critic and reviewer
  5. I feel that my experience of organisations outside of college  - as a Board member of New Welsh Review, as a conference organiser, as a co-organiser of two successful art auctions and, most of all, as an independent regional representative on the Arts Council of Wales - has familiarised me with the culture of funding and its scrutiny. 
  • 2008   AHRB Expert Reviewer: major project assessment: (2) Sept.
  • 2007   AHRB Expert Reviewer: major project assessment: (1) Sept.
  • 2006   Consultant, Sgript Cymru, Happiness Symposium, Millennium Centre, Cardiff: 28-29 March

BOOKS

2017  Contributing ed., with introduction, My Heart Loves in My Language, Swansea: Hafan Books,

2009 Being the Famous Ones, Cardigan: Parthian, pp.90. (POETRY COLLECTION)

2008 Contributing ed., with introduction, Fragments from the Dark: Women Writing Home and Self in Wales, Swansea: Hafan Books, pp.160.

2005 Contributing ed., with introduction, Sideways Glances: Five Off-Centre Artists in Wales, Cardigan: Parthian, pp. viii + 126.

1997 Interpreting Nightingales: Gender, Class, Histories, Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press

ESSAYS IN BOOKS AND PEER-REVIEWED JOURNALS

2016     ‘Place, Space and Self: Site-Responsive Art in a Globalised World, invited contribution to Journal of Writing and Creative Practice special edition: Place-based Arts

2011 ‘Welcoming the Stranger’, Planet, 201: 74-88 

2009 ‘Adventures in Language: Contemporary Welsh Poetry in English,’ in Jim Persoon and Rob Watson, eds., The Facts on file Companion to Twentieth Century British Poetry: 1900 to the present. (New York: Facts on File).

2005
(i) ‘“The Modern Eye Needs a Resting Place”: Making a Space for Art Outside the Metropolis,’ in Wales issue of Journal for the Study of British Cultures, 12:1; 67-78.

(ii) 'Intertexts in the European Text of the Nation: the Case of Welsh Women Writing in English', in P.Stoneman et al. eds. European Intertexts: Women's Writing in English in a European Context, Peter Lang (European Connections Series: vol.13), pp.148-176.

(iii) ‘The wandering eye and its resting place: the work of Pete Bodenham,’ Sideways Glances: exploring the art of five off-centre artists in Wales, Parthian, pp.51-76

(iv) ‘Testifying to “time’s reckless melt”’, catalogue essay/ afterword for National Library touring exhibition of I.C.Rapoport’s photographs of Aberfan, Aberfan: The Days After, Parthian, pp.117-120.

PUBLISHED POETRY

2017    ‘No Place to Sit’, Jönköping-Posten, July

2016   

  • ’The White Room’, longlisted for the University of Canberra Vice Chancellors International Poetry Prize 2016; published in the prize anthology, Tremble.
  • ‘Histories’, shortlisted for The Live Canon International Poetry Competition 2016, published in the 2016 prize anthology, and performed by the Live Canon Ensemble at Greenwich Theatre on Sunday 20th November.

2014     ‘The Little Cakes and the Rose in Winter’, Wales Arts Review, http://www.walesartsreview.org/poem-the-little-cakes-and-the-rose-in-winter/

2010 'Because the Earth Opened’, in ed Maggie Harris, 60 Poems for Haiti, Cane Arrow Press, June

2009 ‘Earning their Keep’, The London Magazine: March/April

2008 ‘On Travelling and Maps’; ‘Welsh Towns beginning with F.’ Agenda: Winter

2006

(i) ‘Making a Life’, ‘Puzzles’, New Writing: The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing

(ii) ‘Being the Famous Ones’, Orbis: 136

(iii) ‘Underground’, ‘Being God,’ nth position June www.nthposition.com/undergroundampbeing.php

2005

(i) ‘Crocodile Songs’, Poetry Wales (series of 5 linked poems)

(ii) ‘In memoriam Kalan Kawa Karim,’ Soft Touch, Hafan

(iii) ‘Interpreting the ore book,’ NWR 68.

2004

(i) Four poems displayed in Pembrokeshire public poems series; published in Sonya Douglas (ed.), Poster Poems, Accent.

(ii) ‘So a poem is about you and not about me,’ ‘That story of who wants what and more,’ Planet, 159.

SELECTED REVIEW ARTICLES (1,500-4,000 WORDS)

2005

(i) ‘But is it Theatre? New Circus and the Spectacular NoFit State’, New Welsh Review, 68. Selected by Wales Arts International to promote the arts in Wales.

http://www.wai.org.uk/index.cfm?UUID=B440728B-65BF-7E43-330AC6D3638EFEC9

(ii) “‘The Play’s the Thing:” English-language publishing and the theatre in Wales,’ NWR, 67: 82-90.

2004

(i) ‘Welsh theatre in Edinburgh’, Planet, 167: 120-123.

(ii) ‘Publishing for Children in Wales: Stories of Secrecy and Neglect; But the Occasional Heroine or Hero Wins Against All the Odds,’ NWR, 65: 30-38.

(iii) ‘The Cradle of Flesh: Shani Rhys James’s Black Cot’, Planet, 165: 15-22.

2003

(i) ‘The How and Why of Enchantment: Charles Way's Fairy Tales’, NWR, 61: 95-102

‘The Disappearance of Magic? The Art of Charles Byrd’, Planet, 158: 25-31.

CONFERENCE PAPERS, SYMPOSIA & EVENT ORGANISATION 

2018

(i) ‘Sacrifice, Silence and Voice: Exploring the myth of Philomela in selected Classical texts,’ Classical Association, Lampeter and West Wales Branch, March

(ii) Poetry Reading to celebrate International Women’s Day, Creative Bubble, Swansea, March

2017  

(i) ‘‘No empty place is really empty’: Reframing the Medieval in a Globalised World’, Past Peoples, and Present Society, Faculty Research Series, UWTSD, Lampeter, November

(ii) ‘The Art of Revolution: Russian Modernism and the Exploration of Space and Time’, Lenin’s on Sale Again: 100 years of the Russian Revolution, UWTSD, Lampeter, October

(iii) ‘Refugee writing: framing the Global citizen’, Welsh Baccalaureate conference, UWTSD, Lampeter, September

(iv) ‘Translating Personal Words into Public Language: Learning from ‘the heartbeat, memories, images of strangers’,’ Tranås Festival of Literature, Tranås, Sweden, June.

(v) Reading and discussion of work in My Heart Loves in My Language, Cardiff Book Fair, Angel Hotel, September

(vi) Co organised 3 readings of Asylum and Refugee writing during the ‘Cross-Language Dynamics: Reshaping Community’ AHRC-Funded OWRI Programme, July-September

(vii) organised 10 creative writing workshops with refugee/asylum-seeker women from different language communities to complement the ‘Cross-Language Dynamics: Reshaping Community’ reading programme, July-September

(viii) Various public readings of work and work in progress during Swedish residency, June-July

2015

‘Framing refugees: creative writing choices in a context of disbelief, paranoia and malicious rumour,’ Migration & Marginalities: C21 Routes: University of Brighton, 10 September

2014

(i) Convenor 3 week writing group working with Refugee and Asylum seeking women, Literature Wales in conjunction with Swansea Bay Asylum Seekers Support Group; June;

(ii) Organisation and readings of Literature Wales /SBASSG work  in a session called 'Welsh World Poetry' at Dinefwr Literature festival

(iii) Public readings from Are You Happy With That? (new Hafan anthology), including reading my translations of the Sudanese poet Amnai Bakhiet while she read the Arabic originals (January)

2012

(i) Convenor 3 week writing group working with Refugee and Asylum seeking women, Swansea Museum in conjunction with Swansea City of Sanctuary; July-August

(ii) Organisation and readings of Swansea Museum work, Swansea Museum, August.

2010

(i) Steering Group, ‘Voices’, Cyfrwng Media Wales annual conference, Trinity University College 13-14 May

(ii) Co-convenor: Canons and Canon-Building: Framing the Literatures of Wales, Association of Welsh Writing in English annual conference at Gregynog, 26-28 March

(iii) ‘Anthologising the Margins: The Hafan Project’, Canons and Canon-Building: Framing the Literatures of Wales

2006

(i) Co-organiser, ‘Building New Lives’, Exhibition of donated artwork by Welsh artists in the Arts Wing, Grand Theatre Swansea: November 14-17; organised fundraising auction of said artwork for registered charity, National Maritime Museum, Swansea: November 25. (Designed and sent out posters, press releases and invitations; designed and printed programmes; received and hung the exhibition)

(ii) Organised ‘Worlding Wales: Celebrating Welsh Writing at Trinity’, Laugharne (literature strand of Gŵyl y Drindod): June.

(iii) Convenor 'Travelling to New Worlds: immigration, emigration and the experience of Wales', Association of Welsh Writing in English annual conference at Gregynog, 7-9 April.

PEER ESTEEM AND RESEARCH CULTURE 

2014

(i) Professional report on the work of video artist  Helena Eflerová:  Arts Council of England

(ii) External Validator (academic): BA Culture and Heritage studies, IT Carlow (Wexford campus)

2013

(i) External Validator (academic): BA (Hons) Culture and Heritage studies, IT Carlow (Wexford campus)

(ii) Interviewed by Neil Bartlett about the symbolism and literary traditions associated with the nightingale, (The Night Singer : BBC Radio 4, Mon 23 Sept)

2009-13

Productive Relationships Project: Editor and Steering Group

(30 detailed case studies identifying existing and potential productive relationships between Higher Education Art, Design and Media departments across Wales, the creative and cultural industries and the wider community. This report is the first major ADM-HEA project in Wales, also supported by HEA Wales; includes information from ADM student focus groups held across Wales. The report seeks to influence policy makers and provide models for future practice.) 

2010-2013

Contributor to University of Wales: Trinity Saint David and Swansea University collaborative project: writer's day for MA and BA Creative Writing students from the two departments with agents/publishers/writers (fully funded by Dragon Innovation Partnership) Dylan Thomas Literature Centre, Swansea.

2011 Panel discussion with Planet Magazine, Glanfa Stage, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

2010

(i) One of 4 invited speakers, ‘Swansea Assembly’, National Theatre of Wales, Swansea: 22 April.

(ii) One of 4 judges of the Wales Women’s National Coalition competition and anthology, The Voice of Women in Wales; contributed English-language preface. Launched County Hall Cardiff: 10 March.

(iii) I was involved in preparing the academic brief for the Creative Oracle (CORACLE) INTERREG project which sought to maximise the economic, social and cultural value of the creative and cultural arts to the regions of South West Wales and South East Ireland.

2009   

(i) External validator: BA in English Studies and BA in Creative and Professional Writing awards, Glamorgan University.

(ii) Readings of my translations from the Arabic of Amani Omer Bakhiet, AWEN International Festival of Poetry and Film, Atrium, Cardiff: 12-13 June.

2008

Catalogue essay, Shani Rhys James: New Paintings, Martin Tinney Gallery, Cardiff, April.

2006   

(i) External Assessor; Glamorgan University, Creative Writing - Quinquennial Review

(ii) Introductory lecture at the opening of the Origins and Belonging exhibition showcasing the work of Helena Eflerová (Czech Republic), Anna Barrett (Wales) and poet Soleïman Adel Guémar (Algeria), Waterstones, Swansea: August. 

2005

(i) Pre-performance interviews with composer John Metcalfe and librettist Larry Tremblay on their opera, A Chair in Love, premiered in Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea: 21-22 October.

(ii) Guest speaker for the Honno ‘Day for Writers’, The Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea: 20 October.

(iii) Interviewed I.C.Rapoport about his images of Aberfan in the Channel 4 Tent at the Hay Literature Festival: May 30.

(iv) Interviewed as poet and editor by Frazer Cains, London Welsh Centre: June 1.

(v) Marked the launch of Sideways Glances by organising 5 successful multidisciplinary arts events across Wales, drawing on local talent- including refugee and disabled artists - to promote a positive sense of a diverse cultural community: Feb.10-March 24.

2004

(i) One of ten ‘experts’ consulted by The Western Mail to contribute written statements for two-page spread discussing the future of the Arts Council of Wales: August 27.

‘Open Letter on the future of the Arts Council of Wales,’ Comment section, www.theatre-wales.co.uk : August 17