Monday, August 21, 2017

Project "The Norse perception of the world: A mapping and analysis of foreign place names in medieval Swedish and Danish texts" (2017-2020)

Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences

East Norse (Old Swedish and Old Danish) literature is a mine of information on how foreign lands were visualised in the Middle Ages: What places were written about and where? Are some places more popular in certain text types or at certain times? How do place names link different texts? Is there a shared concept of spatiality? How is space gendered?

Geohumanities, the spatialisation of literary studies and cognitive mapping are growing fields within digital humanities, but the study of spatial thinking and knowledge in medieval Scandinavia and its development as an area of enquiry are hampered by a dearth of information on place names in literary texts. Any research aiming to uncover what pre-modern Scandinavians understood about places abroad requires as a minimum an index of foreign place names in East Norse literature. Yet to-date no such index exists.

The three-year project will:

1) compile a detailed index of foreign place names in East Norse texts until 1530 by extracting the data from editions and manuscripts through close-reading;

2) publish the index as a searchable online database;

3) create interactive online digital maps that visualise these spatial data using geographic information system technology and allow place names to be sorted by chronology, text, manuscript and genre.

Thus, for the first time, an important infrastructure will be created to enable the investigation of pre-modern Scandinavians' perception of the world.

Project director: Jonathan Adams

Researcher at Department of Scandinavian Languages, Scandinavian Onomastics

jonathan.adams@nordiska.uu.seTelephone:+4618-471 3403 
Uppsala arkivcentrum, von Kraemers allé 19
Postal address:Box 135
751 04 UPPSALA

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