Name: Dr Andrew Webb
Position: Senior Lecturer in Modern English Literature
Phone: 01248 388624
Location: Room 308, New Arts
I am a Senior Lecturer in Modern Literature, specialising in Welsh Writing in English. I am currently Head of the School of English Literature, and Co-Director of Teaching and Learning in the College of Arts and Humanities. I joined Bangor University in January 2012, having previously held teaching fellowships at Swansea and Birmingham Universities. I was an Early Career Research Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Study at Warwick University in 2010, where I finished my PhD in the same year.
I teach a broad range of modern English literature from the nineteenth century to the contemporary period. At undergraduate level, I convene ‘Reading Thinking Writing', an introductory first-year module (taken by all students in the School), as well as a second-year module ‘Literature and Modernity’, which considers British and Irish texts from the first half of the twentieth century. I also teach on ‘Contemporary Literatures’, another second-year module, and offer two third-year options: ‘Going Global’, which looks at world-literature, and ‘Modern Four-Nations Literature’, which takes a comparative approach to texts from the range of nations and regions – northern England, north and south Wales, London, Ireland, Scotland – within these islands. I contribure lectures to a range of other modules, including 'Victorian Literature' and 'Children's Fictions', and I supervise final-year undergraduate dissertations in a range of areas.
At postgraduate level, I lead the MA English Literature pathway in Four-Nations Literature, co-convening ‘Revolution and Modernity’ and ‘Welsh Literature in English’, and contributing to the literary theory module. I also co-convene the MA in Literatures of Wales, a pioneering Master’s programme, co-taught with the School of Welsh, in which Welsh Writing in English is studied alongside Welsh-language literature. I am currently supervising four PhD students working on a modernist and Anglophone Welsh writing. I was awarded New Teacher of the Year at Bangor’s Student-Led Teaching Awards, and have since been nominated for Teacher of the Year.
To date, my research has mainly focused on Welsh Writing in English in various comparative and materialist contexts. My monograph, Edward Thomas and World Literary Studies, adapted a world-literature approach to this Anglophone Welsh poet in an attempt to challenge the unexamined Anglocentrism of the UK literary academy. I made a more abstract case in my Textual Practice article on the same issue. In 2017, I spoke at various events to mark the centenary of Thomas's death: at an exhibition on Edward Thomas and Hedd Wyn at the National Library of Wales; at the Edward Thomas Centenary Conference in Cardiff; at the annual Celtic Colloquium in Harvard; and at an Edward Thomas Study Day at Oxford University. I recently write on the relation between gender, sexuality and nationhood in Robert Frost and Edward Thomas in the edited volume Queer Wales.
More recently, I have written on 'R.S. Thomas, Emyr Humphreys and the Possibility of Bilingual Culture' (forthcoming with Cambridge UP), '"Tawe pressed upon him": Dylan Thomas, Modernity and the Rural-Urban Divide' (forthcoming with UWP), and '"What changes break before us": Semi-Peripheral Modernity in Lynette Roberts's Poetry and Prose' (also forthcoming with UWP).
I have become interested in the way that literature records broad shifts in society’s economic development, and in its exploitation of environmental resources. For example, I have written on the literary registration of the controversial construction of reservoirs built in Wales to supply expanding English cities. I have also written about the way that R.S. Thomas’s poetry reflects the coming of the ‘nuclear age’, and the way that novelists from the south Wales coalfield first wrote about the new society generated by coal extraction on a large scale. In recent years, I have presented my research all over Wales, the UK, and further afield, including an invited lecture for Japan’s Raymond Williams’ Society at Japan Women’s University in Tokyo.
I am Series Co-Editor for the Writers of Wales series, a Patron of the Association for Welsh Writing in English, and was proud, recently, to be one of the judges on the Wales Book of the Year Award (English-language categories).
As Head of the School of English Literature, I support an excellent team of literary scholars and creative writers, co-ordinating a range of teaching, research and cultural activites across the School.
In my role as Co-Director of Teaching and Learning for the College of Arts and Humanities, I work with colleagues and students to deliver the best possible learning experience for our students. The College currently has an outstanding record for delivering student satisfaction, with the average overall student satisfaction according to the National Student Survey consistently well above 90%, and 100% in some Schools. .I have also con-ordinated the introduction of Excellence Scholarships across the College.
From 2013 to 2016, I was a member of the University's Centre for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (CELT), with responsibilty for liasing with Schools across the University to suggest and implement improvements to teaching. At School level, in recent years, I have been Exams Officer, and Student Experience Officer.