Professor Mary-Ann Constantine to deliver 2021 O'Donnell Lecture


This year's O'Donnell Lecture will be delivered by Professor Mary-Ann Constantine of the the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies (CAWCS)

This year the lecture will be given by Professor Mary-Ann Constantine form the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies.

Professor Constantine works on Romantic-era Welsh literature in both Welsh and English. She took her first degree in English Literature at Clare College, Cambridge (1988–91), and stayed on to do a PhD in Breton folklore. She moved to Aberystwyth in 1995 and held a succession of Research Fellowships in the Welsh Department, University of Aberystwyth. During this period she taught various topics in Welsh and Celtic Studies, and continued her work on the ballad tradition in Brittany. She joined the Centre as leader of the Iolo Morganwg project in March 2002.

The O'Donnell Lectures in Celtic Studies was founded in 1954 in honour of Charles James O'Donnell. The first lecture was delivered by J.R.R. Tolkien in 1954 and spoke on the subject of "English and Welsh". The O'Donnell Lectures exist at the Universities of Edinburgh, Oxford and Wales.

Professor Elin Haf Gruffydd Jones, Director of the Centre said, "We very much look forward to hosting the O’Donnell lecture this year, especially as we had to postpone last year. As always, the lecture will present rigorous academic research and this year it will be delivered by Professor Constantine partly in Welsh and partly in English, reflecting the theme and approaches in linguistic terms. It is also Professor Constantine’s inaugural lecture, following her recent promotion to Chair at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David."

Professor Medwin Hughes, DL, Vice-Chancellor, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, said: “In delivering the O’Donnell Lecture, Professor Mary-Ann Constantine joins the ranks of Celtic Studies greats. It is a well-deserved accolade that recognises her expertise and dedication to her academic research. I would also like to congratulate her on being promoted to a chair of the University which recognises her contribution to scholarship in Welsh and English which is an integral part of the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies.”

The lecture will be entitled “Tithau’r teithiwr”: reflections on water in eighteenth-century Wales’. Focusing on descriptions of water – lakes, rivers, waterfalls, the sea – the lecture will examine how eighteenth-century tourists and travellers wrote about Welsh landscapes and communities.  It explores moments of connection and of failure to connect, and asks if travel writing can ever really get under the surface.

The lecture will be held on Thursday, 8 July 2021, at 5.00 pm. Email to receive the Zoom link. Professor Constantine will deliver the lecture using both Welsh and English. Simultaneous translation into English will be provided during the sections delivered in Welsh.

Eleni bydd Darlith O’Donnell yn cael ei thraddodi gan yr Athro Mary-Ann Constantine o Ganolfan Uwchefrydiau Cymreig a Cheltaidd Prifysgol Cymru.

Note to Editor

Contact: Dr Angharad Elias 01970 636543

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: 

CAWCS website:

Further Information

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