After Castilian became the language of the ruling classes of Spain in the fifteenth century, Galician survived only as a spoken language of farming and fishing communities. Some of its prestige has been regained over the past 130 years through the language revival and accompanying nationalist movement which led to the eventual development of the Galician autonomous government (the Xunta).
Today there is much contemporary writing in Galician. In 1991, the Xunta de Galicia generously agreed to fund a lectorship and a Centre for Galician Studies in Oxford, one of only two UK universities where the subject is studied.
Named for its first director, the John Rutherford Centre for Galician Studies at Oxford has organised two major conferences, and co-organises the annual Forum for Iberian Studies which brings together the different languages and cultures of the Iberian peninsula on an equal footing. In 1997 the universities of Oxford and Birmingham co-founded the annual Galician Review, the only English-language academic journal of Galician Studies. The Centre also organises a number of cultural events and social gatherings each year, including concerts, talks, readings, and a celebration of the Autumn festival of Magosto.
Supported by the Modern Languages faculty and situated at Queen’s College, the Centre has a well-stocked library and offers undergraduate teaching in the language, literature and sociolinguistics of Galicia, predominantly to students of Spanish.
Links to Galician resources on the Web: