Exciting new one-day courses at UWIC: Folklore, Literature and Tradition Through the Seasons

I am thrilled to announce an exciting new series of four thematically linked Day Schools at UWIC, which will explore Folklore, Literature and Tradition Through the Seasons.

The Day Schools will focus on some of the most influential festivals, customs and traditions that have been important for centuries and are very much part of our year cycle today: Halloween, the Twelve Days of Christmas, and Spring and Summer Festivals.

I will be teaching these courses alongside internationally-acclaimed folklorist Dr Juliette Wood.

Here are the titles and dates for all four Day Schools:

  • Things that go Bump in the Night: Halloween in Literature and Folklore, Saturday, 15th October 2011, 10am-3pm
  • The Twelve Days of Christmas: Customs, Traditions and Literature from Christmas to Epiphany, Saturday, 10th December 2011, 10am-3pm
  • Valentine Hearts, Easter Eggs and Beltane Fires: Spring Festivals in Folklore and Literature, Saturday, 25th February 2012, 10am-3pm
  • Midsummer Nights: Summer Traditions and Literature, Saturday, 12th May 2012, 10am-3pm

You can book now for our first Day School on Halloween! Each Day School costs £70 which includes:

  • 4 hours of taught sessions
  • handouts and suggested further material
  • refreshments
  • lunch
  • a certificate for attendance
To book, please contact the Enterprise Team at Cardiff School of Education on 029 2041 7078/6577 or cseenterprise@uwic.ac.uk.

This is a great opportunity for teachers looking for staff development and inspiration, as well as people who work in cultural or creative industries. And, of course, just the perfect educational environment for people interested in folklore, tradition, literature and popular culture!

Special offer!!! Book onto all Day Schools before 15th October at the discounted price of £240! Speciall offer!!!


Online Tolkien course running again in October

I am very pleased to announce that the Tolkien online course (Masters Level) I have been teaching at UWIC will run again in October 2011! The course is entitled J.R.R. Tolkien: Myth and Middle-earth in Context, it is taught entirely online in 10 weekly Units, and explores Tolkien’s medieval sources and cultural context. For a detailed outline of the course contents, please see the video presentation below. Enrolment is now open!

  • For more information on UWIC’s online Tolkien and Fantasy courses, including how to enrol, see here
  • For Frequently Asked Questions see this link


Tolkien’s Wales in the Black Mountains

Yesterday, 30th June 2011, I led a “literary walk” on “Tokien’s Wales in the Black Mountains”, organised by Literature Wales in partnership with Brecon Beacons National Park Authority. This walk was part of the Literary Tourism Programme run by Literature Wales (see here for a brochure with all the tours and walks for 2011). The meeting point was the beautiful Buckland Hall, from where we set up for a 2-hour walk ascending Buckland Hill and following the ridge overlooking the Caerfanell Valley and mountains to the west. The views were just stunning and we were lucky to enjoy lovely sunshine! My talk begun with Tolkien’s visits to Wales and his love and use of the Welsh language in the invention of Sindarin. I also talked about the Welsh ‘fringes’ of the Shire and Bree (reflected in place- and family-names), resonances from the ‘Mabonogion’ in Tolkien’s legendarium, Welsh dragons in Tolkien’s non-Middle-earth works, and his 1955 lecture ‘English and Welsh’. This is the first time I have ever given an outdoors talk, and I thoroughly enjoyed it! This was a brilliant idea for an event, linking literature, biography and place, and offering me an opportunity to share my research with a wider public in an ideal location! I am grateful to Literature Wales and the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority for this great opportunity and many thanks to Buckland Hall for warm hospitality!