CALL FOR PAPERS FOR THE 2ND HWU CONFERENCE ON “WOMEN’S VOICES IN HEATHENRY: PAST AND PRESENT”
A CONFERENCE TO BE HELD ON 6TH – 8TH JULY 2018 AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL LANCASHIRE, PRESTON, LANCASHIRE, UK
‘Heathenry’, in this context, is a term used to describe the religious practices of two main groups of people, one historical and one modern.
The original Heathens were the pre-Christian North European peoples who lived a thousand and more years ago, in the lands around the North Sea. These included the peoples of Anglo-Saxon England, Scandinavia, Germany and Frisia (Friesland).
Modern Heathen groups around the world are reviving these old practices and call their religion by various names including Asatru, The Northern Tradition, Odinism, Forn Sed, Germanic Pagan Reconstructionism or, simply, Heathenry. In Iceland, which did not convert to Christianity until the 11th Century, Heathenry has once again become an official (nationally recognised) religion.
This multi-disciplinary conference aims to bring together scholars and non-scholars, who engage with the juxtaposition of historical and modern approaches to and practices of Heathenry, with an emphasis on Women’s voices past and present. The conference will seek to explore how women were present within Heathenry/Ásatrú in the past, for example in the archaeological record or in the Saga material, and the meaning and practices of Heathenry/neo-Heathenry by women in the present day.
All areas of research are welcome. Historical/literary topics could include:
- Women depicted in the Sagas – eg protaganists, witches, priestesses;
- Laxdaela Saga and its focus on women’s lives;
- Magical and divinatory practices and Seidr;
- Women’s relationship with the land;
- Spirits and ancestors;
- Death and life after death;
- Women as a source of ‘heilraedi’(sound counsel)- Social mediation and community integration.
Contemporary themes could include:
- How are women’s voices heard or obscured in modern day Heathenry
- Creating a Heathenry for women, distinct from the male-oriented ideas of ‘Asatru’.
- Why does the ‘Vala’ in the literature resonate for women today?
- Magical and Shamanic practices in modern day Heathenry;
- Women and ritual;
- Women and community.
- Reenactors and re-enactment.
All themes and topics outside of the above suggestions are also welcomed.
Presentations will be 20 minutes in length. Please submit a 250-300 word abstract and biography to Linda Sever at firstname.lastname@example.org
Closing date for submissions is January 31, 2018.
The abstracts will be circulated to a panel both in the UK and the US for discussion.
There will also be fringe events during the conference. This will include women and crafts – eg spinning and weaving, woodworking, leather crafts, re-enactment displays and musical performances. Submissions for fringe events are welcomed, along with further suggestions and ideas. Please send ideas to Linda at the above email address.