What is Wales Studies?
Wales Studies encompasses all fields of enquiry that explore the cultural, social, and physical features of Wales, in the full breadth of Wales’s national and international contexts. It is research about Wales, for Wales.
To have knowledge and awareness of what it means to live in a modern Wales; to have an affinity to Wales; and to be able to participate in Welsh society requires an understanding of Welsh history, sciences, arts, language, and culture. Requires connecting with Wales as a place and as a natural heritage. These are critical parts of developing a sense of identity, confidence and wellbeing.
This integrated concept of landscape and community is uniquely captured by the Welsh word cynefin, that is, the multiplicity of narratives that intersect to create a sense of place, belonging and identity.
The inclusive term “Wales Studies” adopted by the Society embraces a wide range of subjects that capture the knowledge and understanding of Wales. Wales Studies covers traditional areas such as history, politics, the Welsh language, sociology and literature, and also includes relevant areas from the sciences, archaeology, health, education, technology, arts, music and natural environments.
Although many different organisations, individuals and disciplines are currently involved in promoting different aspects of Wales Studies, none have tried to harness the collective power of aggregating the different strands until now. Conscious of the need to cultivate a perception of an outward facing, inclusive, integrative Society that seeks to deliver its objectives where possible by collaboration and partnership with other cognate societies and organisations in the pursuit of better serving Wales, the Society has adopted Wales Studies as a key, high-profile project, and allocated dedicated funding to support an on-going programme of activity.