Modern Viking Event of the Week
Dundalk, Ireland October 21, 2011
"Raiders, Traders and Innovators: The Vikings and County Louth" Exhibition and Viking Conference
These folks are taking their roots seriously. To kick off the museum exhibition, the city is hosting a landmark Viking Conference. Unlike the annual Annagassan Viking Festival, which I'm taking to be similar to the Rennaissance festivals I've been to, this was an academic affair coinciding with the confirmation of the "Vikingness" of their discovered settlement. They are focusing on what this discovery means in a global context; how Ireland fit into the westward expansion/exploration of the Scandinavians. "Amongst those scheduled to contribute include Dr. Donnchadh Ó Corráin (UCC); Dr. Eamonn Kelly; Dr. Howard Clark, Dr. Cathy Swift (University of Limerick), Dr. John Sheehan (UCC), Dr. Mark Clinton, Dr. Gareth Williams (British Museum) and Linzi Simpson."
The Viking exhibition runs until mid-February 2012. If I were in Ireland, I'd make a point to see this.
The significance of this conference is obvious. These locals have pride in their past. Pride in being a part of Viking history. Not too long ago, the word Viking brought to mind ruthless invaders. However, all we've learned about them in the last few years have brought them into a different light. Despite the violence they brought with them, they brought other important things with them too.
We'll take a look at some of these things in coming posts.