Women and men of the Viking Age is the subject of Professor Alexandra Sanmark’s inaugural professorial lecture next month.
The Viking Age is often connected to violent raiding and pillaging, with much emphasises on the activities of men. Viking women have been paid some attention, especially in recent years, with the roles of some highlighted. These, however, tend to be the “strong women” of the Icelandic sagas, highlighted as exceptional, while the lives of other women remain underexplored.
Prof Sanmark’s lecture will discuss gender roles in the Viking Age, with particular attention to how women and men have been perceived in previous research.
This is examined to highlight preconceptions that have influenced the research results. The main focus of the analysis is placed on “housewives” and their assigned roles at the farms, as well women with other roles – in modern research often labelled “norm breakers” – such as ritual specialists, warriors, travellers and settlers.
The presentation will end by proposing new approaches to the study of the roles of women and men, stressing that all lives are worthy of examination, regardless of their roles and status, and ability to influence society.
The seminar, which is free, takes place on Thursday, September 16, from 4-5pm (BST).
Click here to book a place.