Learning Welsh at Nant Gwrtheyrn

Last month, just before the start of term, one of our Celtic Studies lecturers, Peadar Ó Muircheartaigh, took off to the beautiful Llŷn Peninsula for a week-long Welsh language course.
After attending Abersytwyth University’s month-long intensive Welsh course in August, Peadar headed north to Pen Llŷn, and to the unique village of Nant Gwrtheyrn, where an abandoned former quarrying village has become a National Welsh Language and Heritage Centre drawing people from all over the world to study Welsh short courses. Once an active quarry, Nant, perched between the rock face and the Irish Sea has been beautifully restored, as some of Peadar’s pictures attest:
‘It was a great to be able to visit Nant, and most especially to meet some of the local people who have made Nant Gwrtheyrn such a success story, dw i’n edrych ymalen at fynd yn ôl’, said Peadar.

Nant 1 (3) (480x640)Nant 2 (3) (640x480)Nant 3 (3) (640x480)Nant 4 (3) (640x480)

Irish Government Grant

Caerwyn Williams - The Irish Literary Tradition 1

The Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies has recently received an award from the Irish Government to support the teaching of Irish Language and Literature at Aberystwyth. An award of 93,000EUR will been made to Aberystwyth University over the next three years though an Irish government program which supports the teaching of Modern Irish. The award will also be used to create a number of language scholarships allowing Aberystwyth students to attend summer courses in an Irish-speaking area in Ireland.

Irish language and literature is a key focus in the work of the Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies. Uniquely in Britain, Aberystwyth offers a joint honours degree scheme in Irish. The language also forms a core element in the Celtic Studies degree scheme and a popular option for those pursuing a degree in Welsh also. Irish at Aberystwyth is not a recent phenomenon, more than any other British university it has a strong tradition of Irish language studies. Staff of the Department have produced much important research over the years, but the most popular work is probably J. E. Caerwyn Williams’s The Irish Literary Tradition which has been published in Irish, Welsh and English, and is still used as the main textbook for Irish literature students in Irish universities. Williams was Chair of Irish at Aberystwyth between 1965 and 1979. More recently, the Department has forged links with Irish learners across Wales and England, providing regular teaching and support to groups based in Manchester, the West Midlands and London.

On the announcement of the award, Peadar Ó Muircheartaigh, Lecturer in Celtic Studies, said: ‘The award is a recognition of the high profile and hard work of Aberystwyth colleagues over the years in the study and teaching of Irish language and literature. This and our location in a strongly Welsh-speaking area make it an excellent choice for Celtic Studies students’.

Cathryn Charnell-White, Head of Welsh and Celtic Studies said ‘We are particularly pleased that the award will allow us to set us a named scholarship scheme allowing students to experience the Irish language in its heartland, and to bring that experience back to Aberystwyth with them’.

Further details on the student scholarships will be made available in due course.


National Student Survey 2016

Aberystwyth Top in UK for Teaching Welsh & Celtic Studies
The quality of teaching at Aberystwyth University’s Welsh & Celtic Studies Department is the best in the UK, according to a poll of UK students.

In the 2016 National Student Survey (NSS), overall satisfaction with the teaching of Welsh (Celtic Studies) was 100%, while assessment and feedback, and academic support were also given the highest mark.

The Department also received a top score of 100% for overall satisfaction, compared to a UK score of 86%.

Dr Cathryn Charnell-White, Head of the Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies at Aberystwyth University, said:
“As a Department we are delighted with the affirmation that our students have given us in the most recent NSS survey. The 100% rating for teaching reflects my colleagues’ commitment to engaging our students as well as sharing their passion for their particular areas of expertise in Welsh and Celtic Studies. The 100% rating for overall satisfaction speaks for itself.”

The NSS figures follow closely on the heels of the latest employability figures for UK universities which showed that 100% of graduates from the Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies were in work or further study six months after leaving Aberystwyth University. Employability figures at Aberystwyth University.

Welsh and Celtic Studies English - NSS Graphic

The Department’s achievements have contributed to a wider success story at Aberystwyth University which is rated one of the top ten higher education institutions in the UK for overall student satisfaction and the best in Wales, according to the annual survey.

The results show that overall satisfaction amongst students at Aberystwyth University stands at 92% – that’s six percentage points higher than the UK figure of 86%.

The NSS collects data from 158 of the UK’s Higher Education Institutions and is recognised as an influential source of information for prospective students when considering their options.

If you’re interested in studying at Aberystwyth University’s Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies and want to find out why our students are so satisfied with their courses, it’s not too late. We still have some clearing places left for the 2016-17 academic year or come along and visit us during one of our Open Days.

The National Student Survey is carried out annually by IPSOS Mori on behalf of the UK’s higher education funding councils and interviewing around 300,000 final year students in Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. It asks students to score their university across a wide range of measures including quality of teaching, assessment and feedback, academic support, organisation and management, learning resources and personal development.

A warm welcome in Edinburgh

This week saw the final annual meeting in Edinburgh of the Leverhulme-funded project ‘Women’s Poetry in Ireland, Scotland and Wales 1400–1800’. Previous meetings have been held at other participating institutions, namely Aberystwyth University and National University of Ireland, Galway.

The team spent the morning finalizing the structure of the anthology of original texts in Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Scots, Anglo-Scots, Ulster Scots and English. The final edit will include new poems discovered during the course of the project! With the content of the anthology firmly in place, we turned our attention to the jointly-authored critical study that will elaborate the fascinating comparative threads highlighted by the poems and poets that we have selected. We were all struck by the specific generic and national differences in the material: from the politicized elegy of Irish and Scottish Gaelic women poets to the Crown Loyalism of Welsh women balladeers!

It was a pleasure to be in such a vibrant city as Edinburgh and to be welcomed by colleagues at the University of Edinburgh’s School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures on George’s Square. It is always a pleasure to work with Dr Sarah Dunnigan of the Department of English Literature, and it was great to meet colleagues in the Department of Celtic and Scottish Studies. We look forward to returning next year to deliver papers on the project’s findings.

Follow us on Twitter @WomensPoetryISW

Gaeil i gCéin ~ Irish in Manchester

As the only university in England, Scotland and Wales offering a degree in Irish Language and Literature we are always eager to hear from and help groups teaching and learning Irish in the UK.

Last week Peadar visited Manchester Irish Language Group to help out with a day of language workshops.

MILG is a local community group of Irish speakers and learners based around Manchester. Over thirty people turned out for a fun day of classes and chat, hosted by the Irish World Heritage Centre just north of Manchester City Centre. Run by volunteers who teach classes and organise conversation circles and other events throughout the year, the group does amazing work in promoting Irish language and literature, as well as reaching out to the Irish diaspora, in Manchester and the region. The day of workshops provided a great opportunity for learners to come together and practice using their Irish in an informal and friendly atmosphere. People came from far and wide for a day of Irish with individuals and groups coming from Newcastle, Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Buxon as well as lots from closer to home.

We were especially thrilled to bump into Seán, originaly from Corr na Móna on the Galway/Mayo border but living in London and Surrey for decades. Seán was randomly in the building for an entirely different event but happened to pop his head around the door on hearing a familiar accent. He was eventually coaxed to come in to the class for a chat and shared memories of school telling us about how he came to live in the UK.

Among the people who came impressive lengths was Terri from Birmingham who had been teaching GCSE Irish to adults and students in Birmingham and Manchester! Hopefully some of her students will want to carry on to do a degree in Irish – beidh míle fáilte rompu in Aberystwyth na nGael!

M I L G La Gaeilge OCT 2015 MAI S 70th 374 (4) (640x480)

Croeso! Fáilte! Degemer mad!

Mae hi wastad yn braf croesawu myfyrwyr newydd a chyfredol i’n plith ar ddechrau tymor. Eleni rydym hefyd yn croesawu staff newydd i’r Adran, felly, dyma nhw yn eu geiriau eu hunain…

It is always a pleasure to welcome new and returning students at the beginning of term. This year we are also pleased to welcome new members of staff to the Department. Here they are in their own words…

Peadar Ó Muircheartaigh
I’m from Mayo in the west of Ireland and lecture in Celtic Studies at Aberystwyth. My main research interest is the dialectology and historical linguistics of Irish, Scottish Gaelic and Manx languages. I also work on the literature, literary history and print/manuscript culture of the Gaelic languages in the eighteenth century. I studied Modern Irish (BA) and Old and Middle Irish (MA) at the National University of Ireland, Galway, before going to the University of Notre Dame and the University of Edinburgh for further postgraduate study. Before coming to Aberystwyth, I taught at Edinburgh, Glasgow and Maynooth. I’m currently working on an annotated edition of the earliest (1782) printed anthology of Irish poetry.

Is as Maigh Eo agus tá mé i mo léachtóir leis an Léann Ceilteach anseo in Aberystwyth. Baineann mo chuid taighde, go príomha, le canúineolaíocht agus le teangeolaíocht stairiúil na dteangacha Gaelacha ach ta spéis ar leith agam in oidhreacht liteartha na nGael san ochtú haois déag. Cuireadh oiliúnt sa Nua-Ghaeilge (BA) agus sa tSean- agus Mhéan-Ghaeilge (MA) orm in Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh, sular thug mé aghaidh ar an University of Notre Dame agus an University of Edinburgh. Chaith mé tréimhsí éagsúla i mbun teagaisc i nDún Éideann, i Maigh Nuadh agus i nGlaschú, sular tháinig mé go dtí Aberystwyth. Tá an chéad díolaim filíochta a foilsíodh sa Ghaeilge (1782) á cur in eagar agam faoi láthair.

James McCann
Tógadh i bPortsmouth Shasana mé agus tháinig mé go hAberystwyth le BA a dhéanamh sa Léann Ceilteach de bhrí gur í seo an t-aon Roinn amháin ina bhféidir na teangacha Ceilteacha beo uilig a fhoghlaim, gan trácht ar na foirmeacha stairiúla ar nós na Sean-Bhreatnaise agus na Sean-Ghaeilge.
Tá mé ar tí dochtúireacht a chríochnú atá bunaithe ar cheann de théacsanna Robert Gwyn, an t-údar Caitliceach Breatnaise ón séú haois déag. I measc na n-ábhar taighde ar spéis liom iad tá litríocht Chaitliceach na Breatnaise, filíocht Ghaeilge na hochtú haoise déag, agus litríocht na hAthbheochana. Beidh mé ag múineadh Breatnaise do thosnaitheoirí agus chúrsaí atá ag baint le teanga agus litríocht na Nua-Ghaeilge.

Rwy’n dod yn wreiddiol o ddinas Portsmouth a deuthum i Aberystwyth i wneud BA mewn Astudiaethau Celtaidd oherwydd mai hon yw’r unig Adran lle gallwch ddysgu’r holl ieithoedd Celtaidd byw, heb sôn am ffurfiau hanesyddol fel Hen Gymraeg a Hen Wyddeleg? Hefyd, a yw’n gywir ychwangeu ‘yn yr ugeinfed ganrif’ ar ôl ‘yr Adfywiad’?
Yr wyf ar fin gorffen doethuriaeth yn seiliedig ar un o weithiau Robert Gwyn yr awdur Catholig o’r unfed ganrif ar bymtheg. Mae fy niddordebau ymchwil yn cynnwys llenyddiaeth Gatholig Gymraeg, barddoniaeth Wyddeleg y ddeunawfed ganrif a llenyddiaeth yr Adfywiad Wyddeleg yn yr ugeinfed ganrif. Byddaf yn dysgu Cymraeg i Ddechreuwyr a chyrsiau yn ymwneud ag iaith a llenyddiaeth yr Wyddeleg.

Richard Glyn Roberts
Un o Abererch ydw i, ar y ffin rhwng Llŷn ac Eifionydd. Astudiais y Gymraeg ym Mangor ac aros yno wedyn i gwblhau doethuriaeth ar gasgliadau diarhebion yr Oesau Canol. Bu^m yn ennill fy mara drwy gyfieithu ar y pryd a bu^m am gyfnod yn darlithio yn Ngholeg y Brifysgol, Dulyn. Yn fwy diweddar bu^m yn Gymrawd Ymchwil yn Aberystwyth lle bu^m, fel rhan o brosiect dan nawdd yr Academi Brydeinig a’r MLRA, yn paratoi adysgrifiadau o lawysgrifau rhyddiaith y bymthegfed ganrif.

Cyhoeddwyd fy astudiaeth baremiolegol, Diarhebion Llyfr Coch Hergest yn 2013 a dyfarnwyd imi Wobr Goffa Vernam Hull amdani. Yr un flwyddyn golygais, gyda Dr Simon Brooks, y gyfrol Pa beth yr aethoch allan i’w achub? Ysgrifau i gynorthwyo’r gwrthsafiad yn erbyn dadfeiliad y Gymru Gymraeg, yr unig ymateb academaidd difrif i ffigurau iaith Cyfrifiad 2011. Yn fy nghyfraniadau i’r gyfrol honno gwelir dylanwad Bourdieu a Foucault arnaf.

Rwy’n dal i ymddiddori mewn paremioleg ac, ar hyn o bryd, rwy’n paratoi golygiad o gasgliad diarhebion William Salesbury a Gruffydd Hiraethog, Oll Synnwyr pen Kembero ygyd (1547), yr ail lyfr printiedig Cymraeg. At hynny rwy’n gweithio ar amryw agweddau ar hanes diweddar efrydiau Cymraeg ac yn neilltuol y berthynas drefedigaethol rhwng y ddisgyblaeth academaidd a’r diwylliant ysgrifenedig subaltern brodorol.

Eurig Salisbury

Rwyf i wedi fy mhenodi’n Ddarlithydd mewn Ysgrifennu Creadigol. Fel mae teitl y swydd yn ei awgrymu, fy ngwaith i yw ysbrydoli myfyrwyr yr Adran i greu gyda geiriau, a thrwy hynny i fwynhau cyfoeth llenyddiaeth Cymru o’r newydd. Dros ddeng mlynedd yn ôl ro’n i’n fardd ar ei brifiant ac yn fyfyriwr yn yr Adran hon! Rwy’n edrych ymlaen at gael rhannu â’r myfyrwyr yr holl bethau rwyf i wedi eu dysgu ers hynny fel bardd ac awdur cyhoeddedig. At hynny, rwy’n edrych ymlaen hefyd at gael cyflwyno myfyrwyr i gyfoeth fy maes ymchwil arbenigol, sef barddoniaeth yr Oesoedd Canol. Mae’n siŵr y bydd y myfyrwyr, yn eu tro, yn rhoi digonedd o ysbrydoliaeth i mi.

Ymweliad â Llysgenhadaeth Iwerddon

Aeth Dr Ian Hughes, Dr William Mahon a Dr Simon Rodway o Adran y Gymraeg i Lundain Ddydd Llun 2 Mawrth i fynychu digwyddiad yn Llysgenhadaeth Iwerddon ar gyfer y sawl sy’n dysgu Gwyddeleg ym Mhrydain. Dyma oedd y digwyddiad cyntaf o’i bath yn y Llysgenhadaeth. Bob blwyddyn yn Iwerddon, ceir Seachtain na Gaeilge (‘Wythnos yr Wyddeleg’) yr wythnos cyn Gŵyl Padrig Sant (17 Mawrth), a’r bwriad oedd cynnal rhywbeth tebyg ym Mhrydain. Roedd yna ddarlleniadau a chanu yn yr Wyddeleg, a’r Llysgennad Daniel Mulhall yn llywio’r noson yn ddigon anffurfiol a chynnes.

Graddio 2015 Graduation

[This post celebrates the achievements of final year students who graduated this summer, and includes a list of undergraduates, postgraduates and new graduates who won departmental prizes at the end of the academic session. It also acknowledges the contribution of Dylan Iorwerth (Honorary Doctorate) to the discipline of Creative Writing and Professional Welsh]

Un o dasgau mwyaf pleserus y bwrdd arholi terfynol yw dyfarnu gwobrau i’n myfyrwyr israddedig ac uwchraddedig. Dyma’r rhestr o o fyfyrwyr a gipiodd y gwobrau eleni:

Gwobr Thomas ac Elizabeth Maelgwyn Davies

Carwyn Eckley, Seren Haf MacMillan a Lois Angharad Roberts-Jones

 Gwobr Thomas ac Elisabeth Evans mewn Gwyddeleg

Alice Taylor ac Indeg Williams

 Gwobr yr Athro Thomas Jones

Rhodri Siôn a Gwilym Tudur

 Gwobr T. E. Nicholas

Miriam Glyn a Rhys Hughes

 Gwobr y Gyngres Geltaidd

Siân Mererid Jones a Shannon Parker

 Ysgoloriaeth Gymraeg Cynddelw

Owen Howell, Naomi Seren Nicholas ac Elin Tomos

 Ysgoloriaeth Syr Thomas Parry-Williams

Kirsty Louise Jones ac Alice Taylor

 Gwobr Syr Goronwy Daniel

Endaf Griffiths

Llongyfarchiadau calonnog i bob un a lwyddodd yn yr arholidau eleni ac yn arbennig i raddedigion newydd Adran y Gymraeg a raddiodd 15 Gorffennaf 2015. Gellir gwylio’r seremoni ar-lein.

Roedd un o gyn-fyfyrwyr mwyaf adnabyddus Prifysgol Aberystwyth hefyd yn rhan o’r seremoni honno, sef Dylan Iorwerth a dderbyniodd Ddoethuriaeth er Anrhydedd yn gydnabyddiaeth am ei gyfraniad aruthrol i’r iaith Gymraeg a’i diwylliant. Er ei fod yn newyddiadurwr wrth ei alwedigaeth, mae Dylan Iorwerth hefyd yn adnabyddus fel bardd a llenor, ac fel darlledwr rheolaidd ar y teledu a’r tonfeydd radio. Ymhlith ei gyhoeddiadau ar y Gymru gyfoes mae Gohebydd Tramor (1993), A Week in Europe (1996), Nabod y Teip (2007), Llyfr Mawr Wcw a’i Ffrindiau (2007) Y Gohebydd yng Ngheredigion yn y Flwyddyn Fawr (2007) ac, yn fwyaf diweddar, Golwg ar Gymru (2013). Mae’r ddeinameg rhwng y lleol a’r bydeang yn allweddol i’w weledigaeth broffesiynol. Ar ôl graddio, fe ymunodd â’r Wrexham Leader, a gweithiodd i Adran Newyddion BBC Radio Cymru cyn cael ei benodi yn ohebydd seneddol BBC Cymru yn Llundain. Arloesodd wrth gyd-sefydlu’r papur Dydd Sul Cymraeg ei iaith, Sulyn, ynghyd â’r cylchgrawn wythnosol Golwg a lansiwyd yn 1988. Dylan Iorwerth yw Golygydd Gyfarwyddwr Golwg Cyf. ac roedd hefyd yn allweddol wrth ddatblygu Golwg360, gwasanaeth newyddion a diwylliannol ar-lein. Darllenwch y stori yn llawn… ble arall, ond ar Golwg360! Llongyfarchiadau calonnog i’r Dr Dylan Iorwerth!

Dylan Iorwerth

Dylan Iorwerth