The Viking Society for Northern Research's 2016 Student Conference

The first page of the first issue of VSNR's Saga-Book, 1896. VSNR was originally known as "Orkney, Shetland and Northern Society, or Viking Club".

The Viking Society for Northern Research (VSNR) is hosting its annual student conference on February 27 at the University of Birmingham (United Kingdom). The conference lasts for a single day and, as the title of the conference implies ("The Vikings, Old Norse, and Popular Culture"), looks to be heavy on analysis of Germanic studies in modern popular culture, with an agenda items such as a lecture on the influence of Norse mythology in the Game of Thrones universe by Carolyne Larrington and a presentation on the role of Old Norse literature in the works of Vladimir Nabokov by Haki Antonsson.

Founded in 1892, the Viking Society for Northern Research is an iconic organization in the field of ancient Germanic studies, particularly medieval Scandinavian studies. The organization publishes a highly regarded journal, Saga-Book, as well as other items, such as translations. In addition to its annual student conference, the Viking Society for Northern Research meets three times a year.

Leprosy May Have Spread from Scandinavia to Britain

A team of researchers from several universities in Britain  have proposed that leprosy may have spread to Britain by way of Scandinavian migration during the Migration Period:

"An international team, including archaeologists from the University of Southampton, has found evidence suggesting leprosy may have spread to Britain from Scandinavia.

The team, led by the University of Leiden, and including researchers from Historic England and the universities of Southampton, Birmingham, Surrey, and Swansea, examined a 1500 year old male skeleton, excavated at Great Chesterford in Essex, England during the 1950s.
The bones of the man, probably in his 20s, show changes consistent with leprosy, such as narrowing of the toe bones and damage to the joints, suggesting a very early British case.

Modern scientific techniques applied by the researchers have now confirmed the man did suffer from the disease and that he may have come from southern Scandinavia."

Read more: "Ancient skeleton shows leprosy may have spread to Britain from Scandinavia" at