Williams V for Vikings 27-01-23 ...
AffiliationUniversity of Chester
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AbstractWhat is the most famous ‘Viking funeral’ in modern popular culture? I present a case for the funeral of V in the dystopian fiction of the 1980s graphic novel V for Vendetta and its 2005 film adaptation. Building on earlier roots, the nineteenth-century creation of the Vikings and the Viking Age (c.750–1050) took place through fiction, literary and historical scholarship but also through prominent and influential archaeological investigations of artefacts, sites and monuments in which funerary practices were central and captured the popular imagination. Tied to concepts of feud, fate and faith, this fascination with Old Norse deathways and concepts of the afterlife focused on the conception that the Vikings burned their dead in boats or ships set adrift on open water. By tackling one manifestation of this modern engagement with this imagined Viking past, this epilogue serves as a case study for rethinking the complexity and entanglement of Viking themes in contemporary arts and media, but also to rethink academic public engagements, teaching and research in both Viking and Vikingist studies, and thus medieval/medievalist scholarship more broadly, to counter extremist appropriations.
CitationWilliams, H. (2023 - forthcoming). V for Viking. In E. J. Wells and C. Kennan (Eds.), What is Medieval? Decoding Approaches to the Medieval and Medievalism in the 21st century (pages). Brepols. https://doi.org/10.1484/M.NEO-EB.5.133383
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