#USWthanksU: Original world-leading research into Welsh-Khasi cultural history

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Following being awarded a research grant of over £286,000 from The Leverhulme Trust, USW academic Dr Lisa Lewis has embarked on a study that compares Welsh and Indian cultures.

Dr Lewis, Reader in Theatre and Performance, will lead the project entitled ‘Welsh and Khasi Cultural Dialogues: An Interdisciplinary Arts and Performance Project’, which will investigate the shared cultural history of the people of Wales and the Khasi people of Northeast India.

Lisa will be collaborating with Dr Aparna Sharma of UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) on the four-year project which started in October 2015. The interdisciplinary project will use film and performance to investigate a period of 180 years, from the arrival of Welsh missionaries in the Khasi Hills in the 1840s, to the removal of all foreign missionaries from India in 1967, and beyond, and the legacy of this interaction.

It is hoped that the creative work and scholarly articles that will come from the project will present a significant and original interdisciplinary interpretation of the Welsh-Khasi relationship, allowing for further research engagement. This funding award recognises Lisa’s world-leading research in the field.

The Leverhulme Trust, established in 1925, is one of the largest all-subject providers of research funding in the UK, supporting talented individuals in the arts, humanities, sciences and social sciences to realise their personal vision in research and professional training.

Dr Lewis said: “I am delighted to have been awarded this Leverhulme grant on behalf of the University of South Wales. This is a tremendous opportunity and will allow us to explore and document the often surprising cultural crossovers between Wales and the Khasi Hills.

“Through the use of film and performance we hope to forge new connections and to make this legacy accessible to a wide audience in both countries.”