Studying Welsh Communities

Posted on 12 November 2015
Trefor M Owen

On the 21st of November, the Ethnology and Folk Studies Section of the University of Wales Alumni Association will hold a one-day conference in memory of Professor Trefor M. Owen, the Section’s honorary President and one of its main founders.

A recognized authority on Welsh folk traditions, the death of Professor Owen in February was a great loss to ethnological studies, both in Wales and internationally. In 1954 he was appointed to the staff of the Welsh Folk Museum (now the National History Museum) at St Fagans. He was appointed Curator of the Museum in 1971, serving in that position until his retirement in 1987. The author of numerous scholarly works about Welsh folk life and its study, he is perhaps best known for his volumes, Welsh Folk Customs (first published in 1959) and The Customs and Traditions of Wales (first published 1991).

Entitled Studying Welsh Communities: Aspects of the life and work of Iorwerth C. Peate, Alwyn D. Rees and Trefor M. Owen, the one day conference will be held in the Oakdale Workmen’s Institute at the St Fagans National History Museum.

During the day, Tecwyn Vaughan Jones and Dr Eurwyn Wiliam will speak on aspects of Professor Owen’s life and contribution, and Professor Rhys Jones will talk about the influential ‘school’ of geographers and anthropologists at Aberystwyth to which Professor Owen belonged.

The full agenda for the day is as follows:

10:00 - 10:30      Registration and coffee

10:30 - 11:30      Professor Rhys Jones
                              Studying Welsh Communities in a Post-Territorial Age

11:30 - 12:30      Professor M. Wynn Thomas
                              Remembering Alwyn D. Rees

12.30 - 13.45      Lunch (own arrangements)

13:45 - 14:15      Annual Meeting

14:15 - 15:00      Tecwyn Vaughan Jones
                              Remembering Trefor M. Owen

15:15 - 16:15      Dr Eurwyn Wiliam
                              Trefor M. Owen: Curator and Scholar

All papers will be delivered in Welsh with simultaneous translation. Admission is free but advance registration is required.

To register or for more information, please contact Dr Emma Lile, Section Secretary, via email -


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