13 Mar 2009 - 15 Mar 2009 All day Faculty of English


On-line conference registration has now closed; if you wish to check whether any places have become available, please contact Dr Máire Ní Mhaonaigh.


Máire Ní Mhaonaigh
Fiona Edmonds


Bearnán Conaill, the bell of St Conall of Inishkeel
© Trustees of the British Museum

‘Between the Islands’ seeks to illuminate the nature of interaction between Vikings and the peoples of Ireland and Britain in the early medieval period. The title alludes to the underlying significance of sea currents for these relations, as well as signalling a focus on what has come to be known as the Insular Viking zone. Our primary concern is what Vikings did when they went abroad; how their activities shaped the insular cultures of which they became an integral part and to what extent they were transformed themselves in the process. Our starting point is the ninth century when Vikings began to settle in what were to become their adopted homelands; we follow the progress of their integration down to the twelfth century by which time a considerable blurring of boundaries had occurred. Our focus will be precisely on those boundaries, upon the fertile interstices in which cultural transference most easily occurs. Our canvas is a broad insular landscape at a period during which it was truly transformed.

To enable us to view that transformation in the brightest possible light we aim to provide a wide arc, by bringing scholars of various disciplines together who are engaged in specialised research. We shall concentrate on specific areas of that canvas, rather than surveying it in its entirety. To this end, 45-minute sessions (10–15-minute presentation of a pre-circulated paper, followed by c.30 minutes of discussion) will provide detailed investigations of specific aspects of cultural interaction based on up-to-date, cutting edge research. Our succession of well-chosen topics drawn from different disciplines, and from various regions and time periods, will when taken together form a series of overlapping vignettes which will put our understanding of relations between these peoples on a more solid footing.

The conference will be hosted by the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic.


For administrative enquiries please contact mm405@cam.ac.uk.


Tel: +44 1223 766886
Email enquiries@crassh.cam.ac.uk