What does the CSVA research?
The Viking Age (ca. 750-1100 CE) and the resulting Viking diaspora (up until ca. 1500 CE) are transformational periods in the history of northern Europe and its interactions with the wider world.
Vikings were groups of Scandinavians and others of northern European origin who had a major impact on the then-known world. They explored, traded, raided and settled in regions from the Black Sea in the east to Greenland and North America in the west.
The Viking impact was especially felt in large parts of England and Scotland, with parts of the latter remaining within the Scandinavian political and cultural orbit until the middle of the fifteenth century. We can trace this impact through the evidence of language, place-names, inscriptions and literary texts as well as history and archaeology.
This evidence highlights the importance of gender, language and culture in understanding the period. The extensive body of literature from medieval Iceland is both a product of this diaspora and a key to understanding it.
Why is this research important?
The last few decades have seen a growing interest in Vikings and the Viking Age, both in the historically-curious general public and in various branches of popular culture (especially games, music and films).
Ultimately, the foundation of all such interest is scholarly research in Viking Studies, and we see it as our responsibility to make this both accessible and understandable to all. We also see it as our responsibility to counter the misappropriation of some aspects of the Viking Age by extreme nationalists, white or male supremacists and far-right groups. Only education can counter these misuses of what is a fascinating area of study.
Our research and impact strategy
The CSVA conducts outstanding and scholarly research that has a positive and transformational impact on people and culture.
We aim to do this through these core strategies:
- fostering dialogue and collaboration among the international community working on any aspect of the Viking Age or Viking diaspora
- collaborating with key researchers to explore fresh approaches in a variety of disciplines
- hosting research visits from leading academics, early-career researchers and postgraduates from universities and institutions in the United Kingdom and abroad
- encouraging and providing facilities for postgraduate and postdoctoral study in all aspects of interdisciplinary Viking studies
- co-operating with heritage organisations and providing consultation on issues of cultural heritage and preservation at local, regional, national and international levels
- engaging wider audiences with transformational research on Vikings and the Viking Age, and challenging political misappropriations of the period and the evidence for it
- promoting the history and cultural heritage of the Viking Age in the East Midlands and elsewhere in Britain and Ireland