Gendered and Hyper-sexualized Presentations of Shield-maidens: Fighting for Authentic Representations




Johnson, Hunter

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This qualitative research study investigated the perceptions, presentations, and interpretations of gender inclusivity in Viking society through critical qualitative analysis of one popular media and two archaeological data sources. Archaeological sources included the Bj 581 Birka site in Sweden and the Oseberg Ship in Norway. The popular media source entailed data selected across six seasons of “Vikings”, from The History Channel. Analyses included primary and secondary sources for each of the three. Preliminary findings articulated into three themes including- (1) gender inclusivity, (2) present-day Western biases, and (3) hegemonic and colonizing interpretive frameworks. The importance of this study for archaeology was it (re)evaluated how the identities of researchers may have influenced interpretations of field sites. Further, this research applied well-established feminist geographic practices of equity to other historically patriarchal fields such as archeology and anthropology.



archaeology, vikings, women, grave goods, shield-maidens, gender, inclusivity, Honors College


Johnson, H. L. (2022). Gendered and hyper-sexualized presentations of shield-maidens: Fighting for authentic representations (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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