Forthcoming Events

All events held at the National Assembly for Wales, Ty Hywel, Cardiff Bay – Formal invitations will be circulated nearer the time

Gorwel 2017 Talks – advanced notice

The Autumn/Winter programme – advance notice

All events are held at the National Assembly for Wales – Ty Hywel Building, Tuesday evenings between 18.30-20.00 hours, unless otherwise stated


7th November 2017Dr Norman La Porte (USW) The October Russian Revolution – A reflection one hundred years on – Sponsored by the University of South Wales Humanities Research Institute

21st November 2017Dr Natasha Alden (Aberystwyth University) with Stonewall Cymru, Lisa Power and Andrew White – 1967 Sexual Offences Act – 50 years on. Commemorating LGBT life since the Act and Celebrating British LGBT Writing, 1967-2017


Spring talks

9th January 2018 – Kevin Edge – Pets at Home, Fiscal Federalism

16th January 2018 –  Martin Burgess (Aberystwyth Uni) Can Wales shape world climate policy? Trialling Personal Carbon Accounts – guiding social change to combat global warming. Cardiff Bay, Committee Room 21, 6.30 pm, 16th January 2018

30th January 2018 –  Dr Ian Stanford (Cardiff University) – Donald Trump’s First Year

15th February 2018 – Professor Thomas Otte (UEA)– The life of Sir Edwards Grey and the First World War

20th March 2018 –  Professor Nigel Biggar (Oxford University) – Morality in the UK

Advance booking can be made by emailing

If you wish to support or sponsor these or other talks please email

Photograph ©Copyright Fred Dawson LRPS | ®Flickr


The October Russian Revolution – A reflection one hundred years on
Sponsored by the University of South Wales Humanities Research Institute

at the National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff Bay, Old Debating Chamber, 6.30pm,
Tuesday 7th November 2017

The speakers will address: ‘The Global Impact of the October Revolution of 1917’

Gleb J Albert (Zurich), ‘The Impact of the October Revolution’s Internationalism in Russia’

Ralf Hoffrogge (Berlin/Bochum), ‘The Impact of the October Revolution in Germany’

Rapporteur – Dr Norry LaPorte,
Reader in History, University of South Wales

The centenary of the Russian Revolution marks a major opportunity for reflection across the world as the global influence of 1917 is undisputed, not least as the origins of world’s first communist state. In Russia itself, however, there is uncertainty over how 1917 will be commemorated. Putin has agreed that it was too important to ignore, but it is clear that 1917 does not fit into the ‘useable’ past forged in Russia since 2000. The February Revolution is unpalatable as it championed western democratic values, whilst the October Revolution remains contentious as the source of the Soviet Union, whose legacy continues to divide Russians. In addition, the whole concept of revolution is feared after the ‘colour’ revolutions on Russia’s periphery across the last decade and the global impact of the Arab Spring.

In these talks, Dr Gleb J Albert will address the impact of the October Revolution and internationalism in Russia and Dr Ralf Hoffrogge will address the revolutions impact on Germany, where communism became a mass movement.

The talk will cover:

  • The October Revolution of 1917 as global revolution
  • The seminal impact of 1917 on global politics
  • Internationalism in Soviet Russia surrounding the October Revolution
  • The impact of the October Revolution on Germany
  • The legacy of 1917 in Russia’s relations with the wider world


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Image: Detail from The Bolshevik by Boris Kustodiev



1967 Sexual Offences Act – 50 years on
Commemorating LGBT life since the Act and Celebrating British LGBT Writing, 1967-2017

at the National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff Bay, The Old Debating Chamber, 6.30 pm – 8 pm, 21 November 2017

Introduction by Andrew White – Stonewall Cymru’s Director

Main speaker – Dr Natasha Alden, Aberystwyth University

Lisa Power MBE Rapporteur

In 1967 the Sexual Offences Act was introduced by the reforming Welsh Labour MP Leo Abse. The Act was a milestone measure on the road to giving LGBT citizens in the UK similar rights in their private activities to the rest of the UK citizens. As part of the reflection of the importance of this Act, Gorwel in conjunction with Stonewall Cymru are holding an event to reflect on change in literary and general life since 1967.

Dr Natasha Aiden will examine the evolution of  British LGBT writing in this commemorative event. In 1971, E.M. Forster’s novel Maurice was finally published. In 1914, when it was written, only private circulation was possible; a love story between two men would have incriminated its author. By the 1970s, homosexual acts between men had been decriminalised in England and Wales, beginning a journey towards public understanding and acceptance of gay men, lesbian and bisexual people, trans people, and those who identify as genderfluid, nonbinary or queer. Where previously writers and readers had looked for coded signs in the canonical literary tradition, from Plato to Shakespeare, Sappho to Woolf, now the possibility of an alternative or anti-tradition began to emerge, one which might be capacious enough to include a whole range of non-heteronormative and non-cisnormative narratives. From today’s vantage, Forster’s novel seems truly anachronistic, a vision of an altogether different time and different values.

This talk looks back over the last fifty years of British LGBTQ+ writing, and considers what kind of ‘tradition’ of writing has been established since the 1967 Sexual Offences Act, as well as thinking about whether such ideas of tradition are helpful or constructive in charting the myriad experiences of LGBTQ+ people in the UK today. It considers key genres of writing – memoir, fiction, poetry, drama – and evaluates their role in representing, documenting and facilitating the multiplicity of non-hetero and non-cisnormative lives lived through the last half century. A complicated and fascinating picture emerges of a literature continually evolving in an effort to understand and track social and cultural change.

At the conclusion of Natasha’s  talk, Lisa Power, will offer some reflections and add her own observations.

Speakers biographies

Andrew White

Stonewall Cymru’s Director, Andrew, has a background in the private and public sectors having developed the business of global advertising and communications company TMP Worldwide in Wales, before moving to head up the Health and Voluntary Sector Team at the Welsh Language Board. Here he conducted three major investigations and produced statutory Recruitment Guidance, he also held the equality and human rights brief.

He joined Stonewall Cymru in November 2010 and was immediately involved in successful lobbying the Welsh Government to amend the Wales Public Sector Equality Duties to be more inclusive of sexual orientation. He leads a team working across Wales in areas including workplace, public affairs, education and the Information Service. 

Dr Natasha Alden
Natasha Alden is Senior Lecturer in Contemporary British Fiction at Aberystwyth University. Her monograph, Reading Behind the Lines: Postmemory, History, Story(MUP, 2014) explored the uses of the past in a selection of recent historical novels , focussing on postmemory as a lens through which to understand innovation in historical fiction representing the World Wars. She is currently working on a monograph on the uses of the past in contemporary queer fiction. Her publications include articles and book chapters on Sarah Waters, Pat Barker, David Jones, Adam Thorpe, Ian McEwan and Emma Donoghue, and her research interests include memory, the historical novel and queer writing.


Lisa Power MBE

Lisa has been a gay (now LGBT+) activist, writer and historian since the mid-1970s. She helped set up Stonewall, was the first openly lesbian/gay person to speak at the UN in 1991, spent 14 years with Gay Switchboard and 18 with Terrence Higgins Trust, latterly as Policy Director. She currently consults for Pride Cymru on LGBT History Month and states that she is rapidly becoming a ‘historical artifact herself’

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“Can Wales shape world climate policy? Trialling Personal Carbon Accounts – guiding social change to combat global warming”

By Martin Burgess of Aberystwyth University at the National Assembly for Wales,

Cardiff Bay, Committee Room 21, 6.30 pm, 16th January 2018

Global warming, a so-called ‘wicked problem’ because of its remoteness from everyday lives and multidimensional complexity, continues unabated. Causes of individual’s carbon dioxide pollution range more widely than simply housing choice or commuting length but depend more on how the home is used and heated or how the commute is undertaken. Many of these lifestyle attributes are largely based on modern cultural expectations, or more specifically on the individual’s perceptions of those cultural expectations (for example the need, or not, to take a shower every day).

It is widely recognised that cultural change is necessary for successful energy transitions. Personal Carbon Accounts, a scheme which allocates the carbon content of fuel purchases to individuals by use of a plastic swipe card, is a behaviour change policy working via social and cultural modification to generate short and long term savings triggered through mental budgeting with minimal financial incentives. This uses the same principles as the highly successful single-use bag levy, demonstrating that policies based on behaviour change principles can both work (usage down 71% in Wales) and be popular.

The Welsh Government was requested by a cross-party motion to evaluate a Personal Carbon Account pilot scheme on 4th October 2017.

The talk explains the concept, its issues, why and how it is likely to work if piloted, and the issues with the devolved competences of the Welsh Government.

Speaker Biography

Martin Burgess is a qualified Chartered Accountant who holds a first degree in Engineering from Cambridge University and an MSc in Food & Water Security from Aberystwyth University. For the last two years he has been working full-time on Personal Carbon Accounts.

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