Personal profile

Research overview

Gwen Morgan is originally from outside Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr (Bridgend) in South Wales and is a PhD candidate in Mediaeval History at the University of St Andrews. She completed an MPhil in Mediaeval History at Jesus College Oxford in 2023, and a MA (hons) in Mediaeval History at St Andrews in 2021. Their principal interest is in understanding how medieval people perceived their environments. Whilst her work to date has mostly focused on the cultural and social histories of pre-conquest Wales, they are keen to work transnationally and collaboratively. Whilst an undergraduate at St Andrews, they completed a Laidlaw Research project focusing on the role of women in High Medieval Welsh society.

Gwen’s PhD project focuses on how the pasts of landscapes and environments in ‘Western Britain’ (the lands South – West of the Clyde) were conceptualised in the Central Middle Ages. She draws her sources from the diverse and broad corpus of ‘Historiography’ – writings about the past: Histories, Chronicles, Hagiographies, … –  and analyses how the authors of these texts thought about the environment in the pasts that they wrote about. Additionally, using a variety of methods, Gwen is hoping to consider how these depictions of the past from the long-twelfth-century matched or didn’t ‘actual’ (both in the authors  present and past) conditions so far as they can be reconstructed from other sources. Using historiography to access environmental thought is a novel approach, that will reveal a richly entangled high medieval historical culture in its natural context.

Methodologicaly, Gwen is interested in developing 'Gaian' and 'Terrestrial' means of writting medieval histories, and would be interested in collaborating on this.

Gwen's PhD is funded generously by the SGSAH. The James Pantyfedwen foundation provided a grant towards their MPhil fees in 2022/3.

Education/Academic qualification

Master of Philosophy, MPhil - History - Medieval History Strand - Hagiographers and the Hills: Enviro-cultural History in South-West Britain, University of Oxford

Oct 2021Jun 2023

Award Date: 1 Sept 2023

Master of Arts, Master of Arts (Hons) - Medieval History, University of St Andrews

Sept 2017Jun 2021

Award Date: 1 Jul 2021

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