- Tony Brown
- Professor of English
- Room 312, New Arts
Modernism in English literature, twentieth-century American fiction and Welsh writing in English. At postgraduate level latterly supervising PhDs and MAs in Hardy’s fiction, the writing of Olive Schreiner, the fiction of E.M. Forster, Graham Greene, British writing in the 1930s, Welsh women poets writing in English, Alun Lewis, Dylan Thomas and R.S. Thomas.
My research has been in two areas.
First, the various aspects of the writing of the writing of E. M. Forster, especially his response to the ideas of the Late-Victorian Socialist and advocate of gay rights, Edward Carpenter (1844-1929). I have argued that Forster’s response to Carpenter’s radicalism long pre-dates Forster’s visit to Carpenter’s rural home at Millthorpe in 1913. Other published work has argued for the (neglected) influence that Carpenter’s writings have had on writing of the Modernist period, including The Waste Land.
Second, the field of Welsh writing in English, particularly the generation which came to literary maturity in the 1930s and 1940s. This writing manifests the interaction between the Welsh and English cultural traditions in the first half of the twentieth century, in postcolonial theory and its application to the Welsh situation. I have edited and published on Glyn Jones, and written extensively on the poetry of R. S. Thomas, including a recent study for the University of Wales Press’s “Writers of Wales” series. The R. S. Thomas Study Centre at Bangor contains an extensive collection of his work, including rare editions, books from Thomas’s personal library, critical writing on his work and the only substantial collection of his manuscripts in the public domain. I am currently co-editing with Dr Jason Walford Davies a volume of the substantial quantity of hitherto uncollected poetry by R. S. Thomas for Bloodaxe. Having worked on the short fiction of Alun Lewis, Dylan Thomas, Glyn Jones, Rhys Davies and Dorothy Edwards, I am currently working on a monograph on the English-language short story in Wales. In his influential study of the genre, The Lonely Voice Frank O’Connor suggested that the short story characteristically expresses the experience of what he sees as marginalized communities, groups with a sense of limited social, political and cultural power, a view which is directly relevant to the experience of the Welsh writer in English; s/he is English-speaking, yet not English, and is also aware of being “unhomed” from this/her native tradition by being unable to speak the language spoken by their ancestors and older members of their families. They write in English, but the Welsh language and culture remains in earshot.
R.S. Thomas (Cardiff: University of Wales Press., 2006).
“‘Stories from foreign countries’: The Short Stories of Kate Roberts and Margiad Evans”, Beyond the Difference: Welsh Literature in Comparative Contexts, ed.
Alyce von Rothkirch and Daniel Williams (Cardiff: University of Wales P., 2004). “‘The Memory of Lost Countries’: Rhys Davies’s Wales”, Rhys Davies: Decoding the Hare, ed. Meic Stephens (Cardiff: U. of Wales Press, 2001).
(ed)., with Introduction and Notes, The Dragon has Two Tongues, by Glyn Jones (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2001).
“‘Eve’s Ruse’: Identity and Gender in the Poetry of R.S. Thomas”, English 49 (Autumn 2000): 229-250.
(ed.), with Introduction and Notes, The Collected Short Stories of Glyn Jones (Cardiff: University of Wales P., 1999).
“E.M. Forster’s Parsifal : A Reading of The Longest Journey", E.M. Forster: Critical Assessments, (ed.) John H. Stape (London: Croom Helm, 1998).
(ed.), with Introduction, Edward Carpenter and Late Victorian Radicalism (London: Cass, 1990).
“Edward Carpenter, Forster and the Evolution of A Room with a View” English Literature in Transition 30 (1987): 279-300.
Current Support for Others' Research
- co-director, R.S. Thomas Centre
- editor, Welsh Writing in English: A Yearbook of Critical Essays (1995-)
- Secretary, Society for Welsh Writing in English
- UK member of Executive of North American Association for the Study of Welsh Culture and History
Peer Recognition 2001-2007
- Fellow of the Welsh Academy (only 30 elected fellows)
- Member of the Grants to Publishers Panel of Welsh Books Council (2003-)
- Delivered the Annual Gwyn Jones Lecture (Arts Council of Wales, 2005)
- Member of Judging Panel of Welsh Academy’s Welsh Book of the Year 2004.
- Invited Lecturer at Institute for Celtic Studies, University of Turin (2002)
- Visiting Professor at University of Tubingen (2001, 2002)