Tuesday, July 7, 2015

CFP: Æthelred II and Cnut the Great: Millennial Conference to Commemorate the Siege of London in 1016

London a thousand years ago: a lively port, the centre of trade, cross-roadsfor armies going north and south, seat of political government and dispute, all against the backdrop of a war between Æthelred II and Cnut with its culmination in the Siege of 1016. In exactly one year the academics (inassociation with the UCL Centre for Medieval and Renaissance StudiesCentreand Birkbeck College) and interested public of London will commemorate
this siege and its times with a three-day international conference. Please come and join us! Taking London as the hub, and looking outwards, we seek to redefine the history, literature and archaeology of England
during this period of major transition. How well served, how poorly judged was King Æthelred II up to this time? What it did mean to be ‘English’ or ‘Danish’ in London in 1016? And what new relation thereafter to Europe did Cnut Sveinsson bring? Through literature, history, and archaeology, we aim to study the civilizing and modernizing effects of Scandinavian warfare, trade and settlement on England; the influence which Anglo-Saxon culture andsystems of government had on Scandinavia, and the early Norman presence which led to England’s orientation towards France.
Our plenary lectures are by:
1.    Prof Simon Keynes of the University of Cambridge on Ealdorman Eadric Streona in the reigns of Æthelred and Cnut. 
2.    Prof Roberta Frank of Yale University on Skaldic poetry in the reigns of Æthelred and Cnut
3.    Prof Andrew Reynolds of the Institute of Archaeology, UCL, on the archaeology of London relating to the Vikings and the siege of 1016. 
4.    Prof Andy Orchard of the University of Oxford, on the contemporary Beowulf manuscript, BL MS Cotton Vitellius A.XV and Old English literature.
The conference will begin with a welcome and the first plenary lecture on the afternoon of Wednesday 6 July 2016. We will proceed in archaeological, historical, and Anglo-Saxon and Old Norse literary divisions in single session from then until the end of Friday. The conference will conclude with a day excursion to Winchester on the Saturday, in which specialists from the University of Winchester will present papers and lead a tour of the town and Old Minster.
Papers are invited in the fields of Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian history, literature, and archaeology in and around the Siege of London in 1016. Possible subjects might include, but are not limited to:
Old English literature of the Benedictine Reform
Old English poetry (including Beowulf)
Anglo-Saxon palaeography of the tenth and eleventh centuries
Æthelred II and the Danish Wars
Cnut and early medieval historiography
Skaldic poetry at the court of Cnut
Material culture in the later Viking Age
Cnut and coinage of the British Isles
The archaeology of London
Anglo-Scandinavian cultural exchange
Knýtlinga saga and Icelandic and Norwegian sagas
The Danish empire
Cnut and the Baltic
Cnut and Rome
Queens Emma and Ælfgifu
Cnut’s Laws
The Beowulf manuscript in the context of Cnut’s reign
Please send abstracts (say of 100-300 words) to Richard North (richard.north@ucl.ac.uk <mailto:richard.north@ucl.ac.uk> ) by 1 January, 2016. 
All papers will be considered on the understanding that speakers have a maximum of half an hour. We plan to arrange a manuscript exhibition, to be able to reserve student accommodation for attendees, and to invite speakers and other contributors to submit papers for a volume of Conference Proceedings for publication in the following year.

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