Research Articles

Constructions of Cosmopolitanism in the Making of Welsh Writing in English



This paper argues that the politics of Brexit has created a particular challenge for intellectuals in Wales because although for the most part they have been interested in forging cultural connections with Europe and the rest of the world, they were forced to accept in June 2016 that not only a majority of British voters decided to leave the European Union, but also that a majority of Welsh voters had done so, so that there was a disconnect between Wales's intellectuals and its population as a whole. Going on from here the paper argues that establishing diversity, cosmopolitanism and interculturalism as typical aspects of Welsh culture, which has long been practised by Welsh intellectuals and writers, has more recently been taken up as part of the process by which Brexit was symbolically challenged within Wales. A key component of this commitment to a form of cultural politics that is both nationalist and also politically progressive in Wales has been its literature, which through various material means has been constructed and framed along these lines. Focusing first on specialist book series, then on  literary festivals, thirdly on sites of literary tourism in Wales and finally on literary prizes the paper explores ways in which qualities of cosmopolitanism and interculturalism have been embedded in that literature and hence in the wider culture. In turn, it suggests that establishing these characteristics as intrinsic features of the national culture has provided Welsh intellectuals with some means of overcoming the gap between the intelligentsia and the wider population created by Brexit and so enabling a reconnection between them.

Keywords: book series, literary festivals, literary tourism, literary prizes, Welsh writing in English, cosmopolitanism, interculturalism, Brexit

How to Cite: Dix, H. R. (2023) “Constructions of Cosmopolitanism in the Making of Welsh Writing in English”, International Journal of Welsh Writing in English. 10(1). doi: