Colonial Entanglements and the Medieval Nordic World: Tensions, Nordic Colonialism and Indigeneity

Chair of Nordic History, University of Greifswald, 2-3 February 2023

Location: Konferenzraum, Domstraße 11 (Main University building), 17489 Greifswald

Registration and link for streaming: Zoom-Link 

Programme (pdf)

Thursday, 02 February

09:00-09:30    Introduction and Welcome
Welcome by Prof. Cordelia Heß


09:30-10:30    Indigenous methods (chair: Solveig Marie Wang)

Dr Timothy Bourns (he/them) (Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, Department of Scandinavian Studies, University College London): “Can we access a counter-narrative to the Vínland sagas through Kaladlit okalluktualliait?”

Dr Keith Ruiter (he/them) (Zoom) (Senior Lecturer, Department of History, Language & Global Culture, University of Suffolk): “What do Windigos Have to Do with Vikings?: Seeing Early Scandinavian Legalism with Two Eyes”

10:30-11:00    Coffee break

11:00-12:00    Colonial medievalisms I (Chair: Erik Wolf)

Hannah Armstrong (she/her) (PhD Candidate, English and Related Literatures, University of York): “Beyond ‘Lost’ White Communities: Kalaallit Nunaat, Norse medievalisms, and the Indigenous Turn”

Jay Lalonde (they/them) (PhD Candidate, Department of History, University of New Brunswick):         “‘... there is a strong leaven of the old Norse blood in nearly all of us’; Settler Colonialism and the Vínland Mythology”

12:00-13:00    Colonial medievalisms II (Chair: Marierose von Ledebur)

Dr Gwendolyne Knight (she/her) (Ahlström and Terserus Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of History and Centre for Medieval Studies, Stockholm University): “Magical Stereotypes and Lived Realities in Medieval Sápmi”

Dr Christina Lentz (she/her) (Lecturer, AHR and ISK, Arctic University of Norway): “Colonialism 2.0? Perspectives on medieval history in Norwegian textbooks”

13:00-14:30    Lunch break

14:30-15:30    Crusades (Chair: Clemens Räthel)

Dr Thomas Morcom (he/him) (Zoom) (Postdoctoral Fellow, IFIKK, University of Oslo): “Raider, Crusader, Far-Traveller? The Complexity of Old Norse Depictions of the Expedition of Sigurðr jórsalafari”

Dr Sabine Walther (she/her) (Adjunct Lecturer, Institut für Germanistik, Universität Bonn): “The Baltic crusades in an Icelandic mirror? The case of Yngvar the Far-Travelled”

16:00-17:30    Keynote (Chair: Cordelia Heß)

Dr Laura Gazzoli (she/her) (Postdoctoral researcher, Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften): “From the beginning? Colonial entanglements in the far north and the Baltic and the formation of Scandinavian identities, c. 800–c. 1100”


Friday, 03 February

10:00-11:00    Spatial dimensions of colonialism (Chair: Paul Kirschstein)

Basil Arnould Price (he/him) (PhD Candidate, Wolfson Scholar, University of York): “The King and His Skattland: A Postcolonial Approach to Post-Commonwealth Iceland”

Prof. Thomas Wallerström (he/him) (Professor emeritus, Department of History and Classical Studies, Norwegian University of Science and Technology): “The Gulf of Bothnia, 1300–1621, as a ‘third space’”

11:00-12:00    Colonial semantics (Chair: Henriette Hellinger)

Carina Damm (she/her) (PhD Candidate, Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe, Universität Leipzig): “Sámi and Bjarmar as Brokers in the Medieval Fur Trade”

Dr Alexandra Petrulevich (she/her) (Assistant Professor, Department of Scandinavian Languages, University of Uppsala): “The East Norse Echo: Swedish Medieval and Post-medieval Discourse on finnar, kareler and lappar

12:00-14:00    Lunch break

14:00-15:00    Religion (Chair: Erik Wolf)

Dr Christian Koch Madsen (he/him) (Deputy director, Nunatta Katersugaasivia Allagaateqarfialu): “Far from Rome – Religious Beliefs and Otherness of the Medieval Greenland Norse”

Dr Solveig Marie Wang (she/her) (Postdoctoral researcher, Nordische Geschichte, Universität Greifswald): “Christianity, Conversion and the Saami in the Medieval Period”

15:00-16:00    Panel discussion and conclusion (Moderator: Cordelia Heß)


Organisers: Prof. Dr Cordelia Heß, Prof. Dr Clemens Räthel, Dr Solveig Marie Wang, Erik Wolf.

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The conference is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).