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IMC 2023: Sessions

Session 1699: Keynote Lecture 2023: The Making of Ship-Centred Communities in the Viking Age - Social Units, Maritime Networks, and the Global Entanglements of Historiography (Language: English)

Thursday 6 July 2023, 13.15-14.00

Speaker:Minoru Ozawa, College of Arts, Rikkyo University, Tokyo

Recently, Viking Age studies have been changing rapidly because of new archaeological discoveries, new scientific approaches to materials, the re-examination of historical texts, and application of social science theory etc. Recent research reveals that Scandinavian entanglements with various ethnic groups and polities and their networking with different regions created new communities, new societies, and new orders from the North Atlantic to western Eurasia from the 8th to the 11th centuries. Thus, the Scandinavians could be recognised as agents of change. However, while recent scholarship has shed light on some aspects of the Vikings, there has been little discussion of the social units of their homeland which must be the driving force for their expansion on maritime routes to the outer world. What were the Scandinavian-style social units in the early Middle Ages?
In this lecture, I will discuss how the Scandinavians created social units inside their homeland and exported them to the wider world, from the viewpoint of the Global Middle Ages. My talk will be divided into three parts. First, I will focus on the creation of ship-centred communities: while we can understand that ships were indispensable for the Scandinavians in the early Middle Ages, there has been little discussion of their role in forming social units. Second, I will discuss the making of a new order through Scandinavian maritime networks in western Eurasia. When ships connected their own farms not only with other parts of Scandinavia but also with the North Atlantic, the British Isles, the Continent, and the East, how did they function in the process of creating networks of focal points? Lastly, I will turn my attention to the background of my research based on the global entanglements of historiography. The study of the Vikings needs interdisciplinary approaches and, as a result, can merge different historiographies from different backgrounds such as Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Icelandic, British, French, German, Polish, Ukrainian, Russian, and East Asian (including Japanese). The entanglements of such diverse historiographies will open new points of view, new approaches, and new methodologies.

Please note that admission to this event will be on a first-come, first-served basis as there will be no tickets. Please ensure that you arrive as early as possible to avoid disappointment.