“Other People’s Countries: Tales of Literary and Cultural Belonging” – event report
More than a hundred people filled the historic main lecture hall of the Old College in Aberystwyth at 11.30 on Saturday 16 April to hear a public lecture given by Professor Patrick McGuiness FLSW and sponsored by the Learned Society of Wales.
His subject “Other People’s Countries: Tales of Literary and Cultural Belonging” recalled the title of his most recent book and was particularly apt given the mixed nature of the audience. Approximately half came from far afield and were participants in the International Literature Forum on Audience Development organized by the Literature Across Frontiers programme based in the Mercator Institute at Aberystwyth University, the other half being drawn from the local community.
The lecture indeed proved a practical example of what the International Forum was discussing, namely how best to develop an audience for the literature of other cultures, large and small.
The speaker was introduced by Professor M.Wynn Thomas, a Founding Fellow of LSW who also outlined the aims of the Learned Society. Following the lecture LSW hosted a drinks reception which was further enlivened by Sgarmes, a choral group whose voices rang out in the excellent acoustic conditions of the Old Quad.