Ic ane geseah idese sittan: The Woman and Women Apart in Old English Poetry
Abstract: Old English poetry does not particularly lack for women, but it does lack for relationships between women. The present article builds upon previous observations of this absence as it elaborates on the ways in which the depiction of such relationships is forestalled in the corpus: it establishes in detail how rarely women speak to each other, are named in each other's company, and indeed are shown to interact in Old English verse. The isolated woman tends to feature instead. This gendered asymmetry of social interaction is then, finally, considered in a literary-historical longue durée.
"Her temper was still the same": Women Resisting Colonialism in Modern Viking Narratives
Abstract: Most twenty-first century audiences know about Norse sagas or "Viking culture" through Hollywood films and video games such as The Vikings (1958), Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice (2018), and God of War (2018). As scholarship has demonstrated, Viking films and games are a hybrid of old customs and modern principles and are often not concerned with historical accuracy but rather with current issues. Like the Norse sagas that inspired them, the women presented in modern Viking narratives, specifically those I identify as colonized women, can still be understood as advocates of agency through their use of language. My use of the term colonized women refers to the ideology of the colonizer: men, who are not a part of the woman's original culture, forcing those women to submit to their ideology—a concept often referred to as internal colonization. Colonized women in modern Viking narratives often use language, a representation of the self, as a means of recovery in their foreign new world (i.e. a new physical place or even a new mental state). These women are shown as fighting against a "foreign" enemy, displacement, and general patriarchy. I argue that modern Viking films and games are concerned with how women can demonstrate agency through language. Such an analysis is important in consideration of modern society's continuous struggle with gender equality as seen through the #MeToo movement, where women's testimonies are giving rise to a greater movement of resistance and change against unbalanced gender power dynamics.