Staff Directory

Gareth williams

Contact Details


BA, MA (Balliol College, Oxford University)
MScEcon (LSE, University of London)
MA (University of Chicago)
DLitt (University of South Wales)


I joined the University of Glamorgan in July 2001 from the Department of History and Welsh History at the University of Wales Aberystwyth where I held a Personal Chair and taught early modern European history through the medium of English and Welsh. At Glamorgan I was Director of the Centre for Modern and Contemporary Wales 2004-9 and am now Emeritus Professor in the Division of History in the Faculty of Business and Society, formerly the School of Humanities and Social Science


Lecturer (1970-85), Senior Lecturer (1985-1995), Reader (1995-1999), Professor(1999-2001), Department of History, Aberystwyth University.
Professor of History, Centre for Modern and Contemporary Wales(2001-11) University of Glamorgan, now the University of South Wales.
Emeritus Professor 2011-
Wide experience across many UK-wide universities as assessor and external examiner at undergraduate and postgraduate level, director of studies at masters and doctoral level.
I have presented papers at several universities in Europe and USA inc. European University Florence, University of Antwerp, and Harvard University
For public engagement and media activities see below.




A. Books:

Fields of Praise: the official history of the Welsh Rugby Union 1881-1981 (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1980).Co-authored with Dai Smith. Welsh Arts Council Literature Prize 1981

George Ewart Evans (Writers of Wales series, Cardiff : UWP,1991)

Yr Ymgiprys am y Gogledd (Caerdydd: GPC,1985)

1905 And All That: Essays on Sport and Welsh Society (Llandysul: Gomer, 1991)

Valleys of Song: Music and Welsh Society 1840-1914 (Cardiff: UWP,1998, rev.ed. 2003)

Co-edited with Huw Richards and Peter Stead, and contributor, Heart and Soul – the character of Welsh Rugby (Cardiff: UWP,1998);

Co-edited as above and contributor, More Heart and Soul (Cardiff: UWP, 1999)

Sport: an anthology (Parthian/Library of Wales, 2007)

Co- edited with Peter Stead, and contributor, Wales and its Boxers – the Fighting Tradition (Cardiff: UWP, 2008)

The First XV: a selection of the best rugby writing (Parthian, 2011, rev.ed. 2015)

The Great Crowd Roars: a sele/ction of the best Welsh football writing (Parthian, 2012)

Do You Hear the People Sing? The Male Voice Choirs of Wales (Gomer, 2015)

Ask the Fellows who Cut the Coal: George Ewart Evans of Abercynon1909-1988 (Keelin, 2017)

B. Articles and chapters (since 2004):

˜Popular Culture and the Historians’ in (eds.) P. Lambert and P. Schofield, Making History (London: Routledge, 2004) 257-68

“’How’s the tenors in Dowlais?” The Choral Culture of the South Wales coalfield c.1880-1930’, Transactions of the Hon. Society of Cymmrodorion, vol.11, 2005, 170-188

˜ “Pob Nodyn fel Perlyn Pur”: agweddau ar ddiwylliant corawl cymoedd y De, gyda golwg ar ardaloedd diwydiannol Gwent 1850-1914’ (with English synopsis, ’How’s the tenors in Tredegar? Aspects of the choral culture of industrial Monmouthshire 1850-1914’, Welsh History Review, vol. 22 no. 4, Dec. 2005, 705-29

‘Citadel of Song: Merthyr’s choral culture 1870-1970’, Merthyr Historian, vol 20, 2009, 61-76

˜Samson in Senghennydd; rough music and rough play in Wales 1880-1914’, International Journal of Regional and Local Studies, vol.5, no. 2, 2009, 83-99

‘Popular Culture, Leisure and Recreation’ in (eds.) Chris Williams and Sian Rhiannon Willams, Gwent County History, Vol. IV: Industrial Monmouthshire 1780-1914 ( UWP, 2011), 226-251

co-editor, Llafur, special issue ‘Cold War Wales’, vol.10, no.4, 2011

’ “Then came we singing”: Gwyn Thomas’s World of Music’, Llafur, vol.11, no.3, 2014, 90-97

‘Cythraul y Canu yn oes aur y corau mawr,’ Y Traethodydd, Ebrill 2015, 97-110

‘Fighting Choirs: Choral singing and the emergence of a Welsh national tradition 1860-1914’ in Krisztina Lajosi and Andreas Stynen (eds.), Choral Societies and Nationalism in Europe (Leiden: Brill, 2015) 83-98

Entries in:
Y Bywgraffiadur Cymreig 1950-1970 [Dictionary of Welsh Biography] (London, 1997)
The Encyclopaedia of British Sport (ABC-Clio, 2000)
Entries in Dictionary of Welsh Biography 1950-1970 (London, 2001)
Encyclopaedia of Wales/Gwyddionadur Cymru (UWP, 2008)
Encyclopaedia of Celtic Literature and History (ABC-CLIO 2005).
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (OUP, 2004 – )
Cydymaith i Gerddoriaath Cymru (Y Lolfa, 2018)


Royal Historical Society
Welsh Music Guild
Glamorgan County History Trust


Keynote lectures since 2004:
’ “How’s the tenors in Dowlais?” ’, Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, British Academy, London, Oct. 2004.

˜Aspects of the Welsh choral tradition’, Inaugural Lecture of Welsh Music Guild, Cardiff University, May 2005.

Rugby, Empire and Commonwealth conference , Museum of Rugby, Twickenham, Sept 2005.

Historians on Sport conference, De Montfort University, Oct. 2005

Wales and the Empire 1700-1950 symposium, Aberystwyth University, Sept 2007

‘Les territoires du rugby: une histoire mondiale’ Centre d’histoire de Sciences Po, Paris, October 2007

Welsh Festival of North America, Orlando, Florida , Sept. 2005; Chicago, Sept. 2008.

˜Last Judgment in Treherbert: revisiting the land of song c.1870-1930’, Centre for Advanced Welsh Music Studies in conjunction with the National History Museum, November 2009

‘Fighting Choirs – choral singing in Wales and the emergence of a tradition c.1860-1920’, Choral Societies and Nationalist Mobilisation in 19th century Europe, NISE/SPIN Workshop, Koninklijk Conservatorium, Antwerp, February 2011

‘Cythraul y Canu yn Oes Aur y Corau Mawr’ Darlith Goffa Hywel Teifi Edwards, Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Bro Morgannwg, Awst 2012


Editorial Board, The Sports Historian 1994-2013
Associate Academic Editor, International Journal of the History of Sport 1996-2004
Executive Committee, Welsh Music Guild 2002-14
General Editor Tempus History of Wales (Stroud:Tempus) 2002-8
Trustee, Glamorgan County History Trust 2003-14
Editorial Board, Welsh History Review 2010-


Research Interests:
I have a wide-ranging interest in the social creativity of the inarticulate, especially in collective cultural practices in Wales post-1850, and the impact of industrialisation. My specific research has focused on the social history of sport and music, especially rugby, boxing, and the Welsh choral tradition, on which I have written, lectured and broadcast extensively in both languages.

Areas of Expertise

see Research Interests above

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