President's News

Remembering Professor Chris Williams, Head of UCC College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences

8 Apr 2024

University College Cork is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Professor Chris Williams, a most respected and distinguished Professor of History and Head the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, UCC.

Professor Chris Williams joined UCC as Head of the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences in 2017 where he led the College with exemplary vision across education and research and played an instrumental role in supporting a thriving, diverse and innovative research community.

He was a valuable member of the University’s Leadership Team, a dear friend and trusted colleague to many.

A distinguished alumnus of Oxford University and University College Cardiff, his most recent research focused on the history of political cartoons from the French Revolution to the Second World War.

Born in Newport and raised in Swindon, he joined Cardiff University as Lecturer in History where he specialised in nineteenth-century British History. He moved to University of Glamorgan as Professor of Modern and Contemporary Wales where he was Co-Director of the Centre for Border Studies.

Between 2005 and 2013, he was Professor of Welsh History at Swansea University, before returning to Cardiff University as Professor of History and Head of the School of History, Archaeology and Religion.

A researcher of international standing, his publications included ‘The Shadow in the East: representations of the Russo-Japanese War in newspaper cartoons'; 'Passports to oblivion: J. M. Staniforth's political cartoons for the News of the World, 1893-1921' and ‘The Richard Burton Diaries’, a widely lauded expert account of one of the greatest actors of the twentieth century.

The loss of Professor Chris Williams will be deeply felt amongst colleagues, students and friends of Chris far and wide. He will be fondly remembered for his honesty, transparency, and integrity. Throughout his career, Chris gained the respect of all who met him. All who had the privilege of knowing him are so much the poorer by his passing.

UCC extends its deepest condolences to Chris’s wife Sara, his children, mother, brothers and sister, his extended family and many friends during this difficult time.


A Book of Condolences for Chris has been opened from today, 8 April and is available to sign in Chris’ Office in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, ground floor of the O’Rahilly Building, UCC.

President's Office

Oifig an Uachtaráin

East Wing, Main Quadrangle, Western Road , Cork T12 K8AF