Geography lecturer wins British Academy grant for research

Angharad Saunders

A University of South Wales lecturer has been awarded a grant from the British Academy of research into what inspires people to write. 

Dr Angharad Saunders, Senior Lecturer in Human Geography, has been awarded a grant from the British Academy to carry out a research project on travel and writing.

The project, entitled 'En-route wrtiting: travel and the craft of fiction', will explore the relationship between travel and creative writing. Angharad will look at how being in motion, or travelling, helps to shape, inspire and motivate writing.

She said: 'The idea is to move beyond the romantic vision of the writer secluded away in their 'ivory tower' to examine how, really, it is their worldly experience that drives forward the creative process."

Angharad's work will focus around the victorian writer Anthony Trollope, who was a prolific traveller for the time, partly due to his employment at the Post Office. So prolific was he that he designed his own travelling desk to enable him to write on the move, mainly while he travelled on trains.

"It was this inventiveness, in part, that inspired the project", continues Angharad.

"Lots of work has been done in the history of science around how 'fieldwork' or being 'en-route' was central to the writing of scientific prose, and I am interested in how far similar ideas apply within the field of creative – mainly fiction – writing.”

The grant will also fund research trips to Princeton University Special Collections archive in New Jersey; the University of Illinois Rare Books and Manuscript archive; and the Postal Museum and Archive in London.

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