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Gendering the Nordic Past

This collaborative project aims at evaluating and revitalising the field of gender studies of the Nordic past, from the Stone Age to the Middle Age.

Red rock art on grey stone.
Photo: Ingrid Fuglestvedt, UiO


Allowing for deeper insights and broader recognition, the project seeks to explore how various accounts of gender interact with interpretations of ethnic or cultural diversity and difference in the past, and how this potentially affects identity formations in the present.

By examining how this has changed over time, and where we currently stand, the project will present a twofold outcome by:

  • Mapping how gender and diversity has been represented in scientific and popular dissemination focused on prehistory and early history.
  • Increasing the awareness of how we represent gender and diversity today, and through this contribute to more balanced – and also alternative – representations founded in the empirical material from different periods of the Nordic past.

About the project

The project is anchored in archaeology, but works across disciplines with collaborative partners in museology, theology, history, critical heritage studies, art history and gender studies.

Drawing on critical heritage perspectives and recent developments in gender and queer theory, we will explore and scrutinise how notions of gender and diversity are incorporated into perceptions, representations and, thus, common memories of the Nordic past. We will also examine how these understandings of the past may in turn nurture present national and pan-Nordic identities.

In line with intersectional perspectives, and in response to current challenges and debates of demographic changes and multiculturalism, gender structures and discourses are seen as interacting with other models and categories of identification.

Project duration 

1. January 2021 – 30. November 2023 



The research project is financed by UiO:Nordic, The University of Oslo.

Published Mar. 26, 2021 11:32 AM - Last modified Sep. 14, 2022 1:37 PM