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Programme

Draft Programme: themed sessions and field visits

Saturday 23 July 2022 2-4 pm Arrival in Bangor walking tour (optional) at 3pm 4.30 – 6pm Arrival in Bangor 6pm welcome reception; 7pm Public lecture, followed by meal
Sunday 9-11am
papers
11.30am -1pm
papers
2-4pm
papers
4.30-6pm
papers
Conference dinner
Monday 9-11am
papers
11.30am – 1pm
papers
2-4pm
papers
Field trip, Anglesey Optional meal
Tuesday 8.30am Coach transit via north Wales to Chester Wirral: Neston, West Kirby and Meols Arrival in Liverpool 7pm Reception at Liverpool University
Wednesday 9-11am
papers
11.30am-1pm
papers
2-4pm
papers
4.30-6pm
papers
Public lecture and reception at National Museums Liverpool
Thursday 9-11am,
papers
11.30am-1pm
papers
2-4pm
papers
4.30-6pm
papers
Free evening
Friday 9-11am,
papers
11.30am-1pm
papers or concluding debate
Depart for tour/ end of main congress Arrive Lancaster
(see Study Tour)
Reception in Lancaster

Congress themes

Power, Wealth and Resources

Across the Viking World, the power dynamics which underlay expansion, warfare and kingship were driven to a great extent by wealth and the control of sources of wealth. Landscapes and place-names reflect resources and the geography of power. From coinage to inscriptions, from personal ornament to weaponry, and from buildings to burials, material culture was used to support ideologies of power and belonging. This theme brings together the interdisciplinary threads which might help to explain the extraordinary energy of the Viking expansion, and the many ways in which distinctive Viking identities were projected across lands from the North Atlantic to Eastern Europe.

Irish Sea Connections

The dual location of the Viking Congress at Bangor and Liverpool, plus the tour based in Lancaster, follows the historic sea route along the north Welsh coast from Anglesey to the river estuaries of the Dee, Mersey and Morecambe Bay. During the Viking Age the Irish Sea was a routeway rather than a boundary, bringing a flow of people, goods and ideas. These connections had a long-term impact across the Viking World as well as for the peoples of Britain and Ireland. This interdisciplinary theme invites submissions considering literary, political, cultural, economic and linguistic contacts around and across the Irish Sea, including Wales and north-west England.

Making a Living: Trade, Networks and Towns  

Much current research on the Viking World centres on the ways in which ideas, skills, and ways of life and death were replicated and adapted to new circumstances as people moved across land and sea.  Trade, transport and navigation formed backdrops to places hosting fast-changing cultural mixes. Harbours, markets and streets were adapted to individual topographies, but also have much in common across the Viking World. How did raw and refined materials circulate? How did mercantile, crafts and political cultures interact? Urban domestic life can be documented through studying people, their dwellings, discarded possessions, and their living environments. Can we trace the origins of people who lived and died in towns? What do we know of their lives and occupations?  The business of making a living in Viking towns, and connecting between them, has left a rich legacy of research potential.

Art, Writing and Belief

During the Viking Age we see not only the impact of Scandinavian peoples on Christian societies but also signs of syncretism and the continuing expansion of Christianity across northern and eastern Europe and the north Atlantic. This strand will focus on the many ways in which beliefs can be expressed, whether through art, writing or other evidence including place-names, burial and religious sites.

Group and Gender Identities

Debates about historical group and gender identities have generated the most heat in public discussions, with non-specialists expressing strong views. The analysis of identities in the past seems inextricably bound up with perceptions of identity in the present. This theme promotes rigorous evidence based analysis of Viking Age gender and group identities from a variety of different disciplinary and theoretical perspectives.

The Viking Age and Antiquarianism

This theme focuses on antiquarian activity that both preceded, and fed into, modern academic study of the Viking Age. From the seventeenth to the nineteenth century, antiquaries discovered and interpreted aspects of Viking-Age culture such as sculpture, burials, dialect terms and place-names. This thematic strand draws inspiration from W. G. Collingwood’s legacy in the Lake District, which will be explored on the post-congress tour. Antiquarian activity is also highly significant to other regional, national and international historiographies of the Viking Age.

Open Call and impact

This theme offers an opportunity to submit proposals for papers which do not fit any of the six named Congress themes. We ask nevertheless that proposals adhere to valid academic standards and remain focused on current research into the Viking Age. Within this call, special attention will be given to papers which cover ways in which the study of the Viking World can have impact beyond academia: on culture, society or economy in the present day.