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For centuries, the so-called Viking Age (c.750-1050 CE) has been subject to political misappropriation and projected, monochrome stereotype – making it all the more urgent to emphasise that the people of the time were individuals as varied and complicated, in every way, as ourselves. This spotlight on diversity, in all senses of the term, lies at the heart of the WIVA Centre: our objective is to recover a Viking Age that does not care what we think of it, a pluralistic past as it was (hard though that can be to access), not as anyone might wish it to have been. The notion of a Norse diaspora has now become commonplace in studies of the period, but also requires deconstruction. Our focus is the world in the Viking Age, an arena of mutual interactions, contacts and cultural feedback, subtly different from the more familiar ‘Viking world’. Moving past the Eurocentric notions of a ‘western’ and ‘eastern’ Viking Age, it is possible to perceive the finer grain of Scandinavian cultural encounters. We aim to explore the full span of the extended, Afro-Eurasian world of the Norse, looking primarily south and east along the so-called Silk Roads, tracing their activities in networks of early globalisation that connected the Baltic to the Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean, Asia, and the eastern seas – places where the Scandinavians were as often in a minority, but also at a disadvantage. We are now seeking to appoint two postdoctoral Early Career Researchers to full-time position. In parallel with these postdoc positions, we are also seeking a number of International Visiting Researchers (advertised separately), and more posts of both kinds will be added over time.

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