Body-Politics Team

Principal Investigator:
Dr Marianne Hem Eriksen

Marianne is Principal Investigator and team leader for Body-Politics. She is Associate Professor of Archaeology at the School of Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Leicester, a member of the Young Academy of Europe, and a Life Member of Clare Hall, Cambridge.

Marianne’s research ranges topics from infancy, power (and the powerless), to movement, dreams and complex concepts the self in the past. Her research has centred three main axes of late prehistoric and early medieval Scandinavia: the entwinement between architecture and inhabitants; the complex relationships between the living and the dead; and the social dynamics and politics of everyday life. Often, she has worked with the links between architectural spaces and human bodies, by considering how prehistoric houses are built by bodies, produce certain bodily experiences, can be conceptualised as bodies themselves – and how dead bodies, parts and whole, are linked to domestic space. Marianne has a strong interest in the lived experiences of inequality and gender.

Marianne leads the project overall and is principally responsible for the work package Sexual objects, sexual bodies.


PhD Researcher in Body-Imagery:
Elisabeth Aslesen

Elisabeth is a recent MPhil graduate and Research Coordinator at the Department of Archaeology, Conservation and History at the University of Oslo. In line with her research interest in archaeological knowledge production and identity construction, her MPhil thesis, “The Root of All: Gender, identity and difference in 4th-6th century Voss and Hardanger”, is a re-theoretisation of archaeological gender categorisation in mortuary material. The thesis was nominated for the Centre for Gender Research (STK) award 2020 at the University of Oslo.

Elisabeth will be heading WP5 of the Body-Politics project, investigating how anthropomorphic imagery relates to concepts of personhood and the body in the Iron Age. Elisabeth’s PhD project is preliminarily titled Bodied Objects: Personhood and imagery on clothed objects from Norway in the first millennium CE.

Elisabeth starts 1 June, 2022.

Postdoctoral Researcher in Osteoarchaeology

This post relates to the work package ‘Body-Objects’, recording, documenting and investigating human remains deposited in settlements and wetlands from 1st millennium CE Scandinavia.

This 2-year postdoc position will be advertised in April, 2022.

PhD Researcher in Human-Animal Relations

This PhD student will be researching the relationship between animals and humans in the early medieval period.

This PhD post is funded by the University of Leicester’s Future 100 scheme.

The applications for this studentship are closed and the selection process underway.

Postdoctoral Researcher in Old Norse language and literature

This post relates to the work package ‘Body-language’, tracing concepts and narratives on bodies, personhood, sexuality and death across Old Norse literature, poetry and legal texts.

This 2-year postdoc position will be advertised in the summer of 2022.

PhD Researcher in childhood and the life-course

This post relates to a work package on childhood and the life course. This fully funded studentship will be advertised in the summer of 2022.

International advisory board
Professor Neil Price, Uppsala University
Professor Lotte Hedeager, University of Oslo
Professor Marie Louise Stig Sørensen, University of Cambridge
Dr Stefka G Eriksen,
The Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research
Dr Ben Raffield, Uppsala University
Dr Elise Naumann, The Norwegian Ministry for Research and Higher Edication
Dr Oliver Harris, University of Leicester
Dr Sarah Inskip, University of Leicester
Dr Jo Appleby, University of Leicester