Public invited to learn about boat burials and runic charms at Midlands Viking Symposium 2015

Posted by ap507 at Apr 16, 2015 12:15 PM |
Annual event to take place at University of Leicester on Saturday 25 April

Issued by the University of Leicester Press Office on 16 April 2015

Media opportunities available on Saturday 25 April during talks at: 11am-12.30pm, 2pm-3pm and 3.30pm-4.30pm.

From burials in boats to the perceived magical properties of runic charms, members of the public are invited to come together at the University of Leicester to learn about the latest research developments in the world of Vikings during the annual Midlands Viking Symposium on Saturday 25 April.

The Midlands Viking Symposium is an annual one-day event for members of the public to come and hear the latest research findings in Viking Studies from experts in the field.

Run by the Universities of Leicester, Nottingham and Birmingham and featuring academics from these institutions and beyond, this year’s event will include discussions on a range of topics, including: the life of Cnut the Great, king of Denmark and England; what genetic studies can reveal about Viking migration; the ways in which modern popular culture responds to the Viking past; and more.

Viking mythology has left its mark on both history and the modern world. From modern animated films such as Disney’s Frozen and Dreamworks’s How To Train Your Dragon, ambitious TV programmes and books such as Game of Thrones and Vikings, as well as video games and more, many aspects of Viking culture have remained ingrained in popular culture. 

In addition, a diverse range of modern words can be traced back to the Vikings and Old Norse, ranging from the perhaps unsurprising – ‘anger’, ‘ugly’, ‘weak’ and ‘slaughter’-  to the more homely  ‘cake’, ‘freckles’ and ‘husband’.

Dr Philip Shaw from the University of Leicester’s School of English, who is organising the event, said: “The Vikings remain an enduring source of fascination; their extraordinary achievements as seafarers and explorers continue to fascinate us, and the English language as spoken today has been shaped in part by their settlement in Anglo-Saxon England.

"Our fascination is also reflected in popular culture today, from representations in television drama to the news stories that reflect on recent genetic findings about Viking migration. This year’s Midlands Viking Symposium brings together experts on the Vikings from across the midlands and further afield to share their research on the historical Vikings and their afterlives in the popular imagination.”

The Midlands Viking Symposium 2015 will take place on Saturday 25 April 2015 in the Ogden Lewis Seminar Suite at the University of Leicester between 10:30am and 4:30pm and all are welcome to attend.

The cost for the day, including lunch and refreshments, is £20.

You can register at the symposium website here:   


Notes to editors:

If you have any queries about this year’s symposium, please contact Dr Philip Shaw (

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