Call for Papers: International Conference on Medievalism


27-28 July 2020  Aarhus University

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, translations of Old Norse texts into modern languages ignited a new interest among poets and artists in early-medieval Northern European culture. Today, the early-medieval North once again captures our imagination – for better or for worse. The international success of Michael Hirst’s TV series Vikings (2013-2018), Viking-music groups such as Amon Amath and Wardruna, A.S. Byatt’s Ragnarok. The End of the Gods (2011), or Marvel’s Thor (2011-) suggest that imaginings about Vikings, shield maidens and Norse gods reverberate beyond the borders of Scandinavia. The aim of this interdisciplinary conference is to explore constructions of the medieval North across genres and media from the Nordic renaissance in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to the present. The conference will focus on adaptations of Old Norse and medieval texts; on the refashioning of the medieval North in literature, art, music, film, etc.; and on the uses of the North, for instance in nineteenth-century nation-building or in contemporary political discourse. The conference asks participants to consider the ideological, cultural, aesthetical, generic and other implications of these refashionings of the medieval North; diachronic perspectives in the changing imagery; or the theoretical foundations for such usages.

We invite proposals for 20-minute papers or panels of three papers on topics that can include, but are not limited to:

  • Adaptations of Nordic mythology
  • Eighteenth-century antiquarianism and the medieval
  • The medieval North in European Romanticism
  • The ballad revival in Scandinavia, Britain, and Germany
  • Conceptualizations of the medieval North
  • The North as imaginary geography
  • Nordic medievalism and its relation to specific genres
  • The borders of Nordic medievalism – geographically,
    historically, theoretically
  • Nordic medievalism and politics
  • The sound of the medieval North
  • Nordic medievalism across visual media: Film, TV series, computer games
  • Re-enacting the medieval North
  • Nordic medievalism in the museum

Please send inquiries or proposals of no more than 300 words and a short biography by 1 February 2020 to Lis Møller at

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