Recently, I had the privilege and pleasure to record an episode titled ‘Valhalla, eh?’ with Dr Gabriel Cruz for his podcast: ‘Office Hours with Dr. C’.
Dr Cruz is a specialist in critical media and popular culture analysis at UNC Greensboro and, given these expertise, he was particularly interested in the rhetorics of whiteness surrounding the Vikings and the Viking Age, particularly their use to justify acts of violence and terrorism.
Check out our chat:
Having been addressing a series of misconceptions regarding Viking archaeology and history, but also commenting on the Vikings in popular culture via my TikToks, Dr Cruz and I addressed the complexity and enmeshed fantasies surrounding the Vikings and how we can constructively tackle these as academics.
Also, check out my 2019 blog-post ‘V for Viking’ and my recent Department of History & Archaeology research seminar of the same title and related content:
For context, I have 3 forthcoming book chapters, plus one ‘comment’ in an article, on further aspects of ‘public Viking research’ and our role as academics in researching and critiquing the Vikings in popular culture (more on these later).
For those interested in finding out more about what I’ve already published on this topic, these are my publications to date (in addition to my many Archaeodeath blog-posts). You can download most of them from my Academia.edu and/or Humanities Commons sites:
Williams, H. 2019. Death’s drama: mortuary practice in Vikings Season 1–4, in H. Williams, B. Wills-Eve and J. Osborne (eds) The Public Archaeology of Death, Sheffield: Equinox, pp. 155–182.
Williams, H. and Klevnäs, A. 2019. Dialogues with the dead in Vikings, in P. Hardwick and K. Lister (eds) Vikings and the Vikings: The Norse World(s) of the History Channel Series, Jefferson, NC: McFarland Press. 128−152.
Sanmark, A. and Williams, H. 2019. Things in Vikings, in P. Hardwick and K. Lister (eds) Vikings and the Vikings: The Norse World(s) of the History Channel Series, Jefferson, NC: McFarland Press, 173−200.
Williams, H., Clarke, P. and Bratton, S. 2020. Displaying the Dark Ages in museums, in H. Williams and P. Clarke (eds) Digging into the Dark Ages: Early Medieval Public Archaeologies, Oxford: Archaeopress, pp. 101–113.
Nicholls, V. and Williams, H. 2020. Archaeology in Alfred the Great (1969) and The Last Kingdom (2015–), in H. Williams and P. Clarke (eds) Digging into the Dark Ages: Early Medieval Public Archaeologies, Oxford: Archaeopress, pp. 246–251.