Lecture: Women and Children of the Viking Age 

Sep. 24, 2021
Office of Communications
AIA Viking lecture
Erin Halstead McGuire, Ph.D., will present the lecture, “Whim Rules the Child: The Archaeology of Childhood in Scandinavian Scotland,” on Monday, September 27, at 7 p.m. via Zoom.

In popular culture, the Viking Age is portrayed as a violent adult world with women and children existing on the periphery. But were they?

Erin Halstead McGuire, Ph.D., associate teaching professor of anthropology at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada, will present a lecture in which she will discuss the Viking world one in which women and children were prominent. The lecture, “Whim Rules the Child: The Archaeology of Childhood in Scandinavian Scotland,” will take place on Monday, September 27, at 7 p.m. via Zoom.

According to archaeological research, Viking women were among the first to enter feminist discourse, through the work of Liv Helga Dommasnes, Ph.D., in 1976, and have been a significant subject for discussion ever since. Though the study of Viking Age childhood has gained momentum in recent years. This lecture seeks to add to the discourse by examining the evidence for both the presence of children and the agency of children in Scandinavian Scotland. Dr. McGuire will cover funerary practices and material culture, including toys and games from Viking contexts.

Dr. McGuire received her Ph.D. from the University of Glasgow and has published numerous articles on Viking material culture, and women and children, in Europe and Iceland. She has taught at the University of Victoria since 2010. 

The lecture is co-sponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) and is part of Assumption’s Human Arts Series. The lecture is free and open to the public. For Zoom invite, please contact pclement@assumption.edu. The lecture will be followed by a question-and-answer session, as well as a virtual wine and cheese.