Postgraduate research students


Iwan Bala
Director of Studies: Dr Russell Roberts, Reader in Photography
First Supervisor: Professor Lisa Lewis

Gareth Bonello – Title: Hanes y Cymry a’r Casi mewn Alawon – Ymchwiliad Creadigol a Rhyngddiwylliannol.
Director of Studies: Professor Lisa Lewis
Supervisors: Professor Paul Carr, Dr Rhiannon Williams

I’m studying for a PhD in the music of the Khasi Hills, a region of North East India in the State of Meghalaya. The PhD is part of a larger research project examining the connection between the Calvinistic Methodist Community in Wales and the Khasi people. In 1841 the Welsh missionary society sent its first missionary, Thomas Jones to evangelise in the Khasi hills. So began a relationship between the two communities that continued unbroken until 1969, when the mission was belatedly abandoned following Indian independence. Adopting a methodology based on ‘practice as research’ I will be studying the traditional music of the region and examining the relationship between Welsh and Khasi culture both past and present. As a practicing songwriter and musician I will be collaborate with artists from within the Khasi community to produce new material in response to my research.

Rydw i’n astudio ar gyfer PhD ar gerddoriaeth bryniau Khasia, ardal o Ogledd Ddwyrain India yn nhalaith Meghalaya. Mae’r PhD y rhan o brosiect ymchwil fwy sydd yn edrych ar y cysylltiad rhwng Methodistiaid Calfinaidd Cymru a’r bobol Khasi. Ym 1841 anfonwyd Thomas Jones, cenhadwr cyntaf Cymdeithas Genhadol Gymreig i efengylu ym mryniau Khasia. Dechreuodd perthynas rhwng a ddwy gymuned wnaeth para hyd at 1969, pan adawodd y cenhadon olaf o ganlyniad i annibyniaeth India o’r ymerodraeth Brydeinig. Trwy addasu arddull ‘ymarfer trwy ymchwil’ mi fyddai’n astudio cerddoriaeth draddodiadol yr ardal ac yn archwilio’r perthynas rhwng diwylliant Cymraeg a Khasi, o’r gorffennol hyd heddiw. Fel cerddor ac yn ysgrifennydd gydag ymarfer broffesiynol fyddaf yn cyd-weithio gydag artistiaid o’r gymuned Khasi i gynhyrchu deunydd newydd sydd yn ymateb i fy ymchwil.

Alex Brady – Title: Celebrity in Small Nations.
Director of Studies: Dr Rebecca Williams
Supervisors: Dr Lesley Harbidge, Professor Ruth McElroy

Though the term ‘cultural intermediary’ has been used for over 30 years, to describe professions responsible for the presentation and representation of goods and services, the diversity of professions this term covers and the range of contexts within which they work means much remains unknown about their actual professional practices. This includes what role cultural intermediaries play in selecting and creating national representatives, like celebrities, and how they contribute to debates on national identity and culture. Through examinations of promotional biographies, as produced by celebrity agents and managers, and newspaper articles about Welsh celebrities, produced by journalists, this research will uncover what characteristics of Welsh celebrity national identities intermediaries include in public Welsh celebrity images, what practices intermediaries use to form these images and how the Welshness of celebrities contributes to them. In answering these questions, this research will contribute to the studies of cultural intermediary practices, how intermediaries contribute to debates on national culture and identity, the study of Wales as a small nation, the formation of public celebrity images, the position of celebrities as national representatives and the visibility and representation of Wales within the media.

Faye Hannah
Director of Studies: Professor Ruth McElroy
Supervisors: Dr Rebecca Williams, Michael Carklin

Luke Thomas – Title: The ‘New Music Industry’ in Smaller-Language Cultures: An Investigation into Media and Broadcasting Policies in Wales and Beyond.
Director of Studies: Professor Paul Carr
Supervisors: Dr Rob Smith, Professor Ruth McElroy

This research will compare current circumstances in the Welsh popular music industry with those in other small nations, focusing largely on the tension between commercial success and the compromise of perceived cultural identity. In their 1984 study, Wallis and Malm looked at the changing music industry in twelve small nations, Wales among them, and investigated the balance between a ‘universal westernised pop’ and the ‘common soul’ of a country. This seminal study will be revisited in the context of a changed music industry, changed official protections of the various languages at issue, and a wider-reaching, mainstream, worldwide popular music culture, within which this is all happening. The research will offer an opportunity to look at ways of improving the economic stability of the Welsh popular music industry, while exploring the underlying threat to Welsh national identity, which for many, currently hinges on the language.


Recently completed PhDs:

Nina Jones – Title: Beyond the M25: BBC Television Drama in Wales and Scotland 2003-2013 (University-funded Studentship associated with the Centre for the Study of Media and Culture in Small Nations) .
Director of Studies: Dr Ruth McElroy
Supervisors: Emeritus Prof. Steve Blandford, Dr Rebecca Williams

Sian Powell – Title: Sylw’r cyfryngau o etholiadau yng Nghymru wedi datganoli: cymhariaeth o sylw’r cyfryngau yn ystod Etholiad Cyffredinol 2010 ac Etholiad Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru yn 2011 [Trans. Coverage of election in Wales post-devolution: a comparison of media coverage of the 2010 General Election and the National Assembly for Wales Election 2011]
Supervisors: Dr Lisa Lewis, Dr Ruth McElroy

Rhiannon Williams – Title: The Welsh Chapel and Performance