In this IWA blog post Jasmine Donahaye argues that we in Wales urgently have to work on our sense of self-confidence in the nation and its culture. The question of why Wales should be studied at Welsh institutions should simply not come up – it should be self-evident. Ask the same question in other nations and the result would be puzzled head-scratching: ‘Who else is supposed to work on Lithuania/Poland/Scotland/Germany/etc., except institutions in those nations? Aren’t they best placed to do so?’ Welsh universities should be proud to pursue studies in Welsh literature, culture, history, science etc. but in the race to position themselves near the top of whatever ranking is seen as most influential today, they often perceive this activity as small-scale, unimportant and, most damning of all, only of ‘local’ significance and therefore not worth the pretty trifling amount of money it would cost to support this work. If those of use who are interested in the study of Wales simply give up on holding Welsh universities and other institutions to account, we’ll acquiesce in that view and thus may end up help to consign Welsh studies to the academic cabinet of curiosities that Matthew Arnold once wanted it to belong to.
Ok, so this wasn’t a summary, more of an outburst. Find the full, much better argued article here: http://www.clickonwales.org/2015/04/taking-ourselves-seriously/