By Jenna Mertz
Jenna Mertz served as a peer writing tutor in UW-Madison’s Writing Fellows Program for eight semesters before she, regrettably, had to graduate in May of 2014. She is currently a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Ås, Norway.
The author, blissful and pre-black eye
According to Jack Kerouac and pithy coffee mugs everywhere, writing and traveling are romantic endeavors. “The road is life,” have no regrets, get out of your comfort zone, write till you bleed and then keep going. These trite sayings, meant to move the lethargic and uninspired to cliff dive, pen novels, and finish dissertations, make the process of travel and writing look so productive, so self-contained, and so clean. Even if said cliff diver or dissertator breaks an arm whilst diving or dissertating, coffee mug quotations have a way of smoothing the accident into a coherent experience with a worthwhile outcome.
But what about the process? The unromantic mess of acclimating to a new culture or writing a compare and contrast essay? Sorry, Pinterest pins—you don’t cut it here.
In the author’s estimation, inspirational Post-It notes are on par with inspirational coffee mugs
As a former peer writing tutor who has spent the past eight months teaching writing in Norway, I’ve been thinking a lot about process in regards to both writing and traveling. In my transition from UW-Madison Writing Fellow to Fulbright English Teaching Assistant, I’ve been privy to writers’ struggles in a way that I hadn’t before, and in traveling out of the States for the first time, I’ve made myself vulnerable in ways I hadn’t before. In this blog post, I hope to highlight a few of the activities I’ve been involved with during my Fulbright grant, but I also want to champion the unglamorous and gritty underbellies of drafting and traveling. I want to advocate for showcasing vulnerability, as coffee mugs can hardly be entrusted with the task.
What Do I Do? And How Does it Compare to “Fellowing”?
As a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA), my job is two-fold: I lead writing lessons at the local upper secondary school, Ås Videregående Skole, and I work as a teaching assistant and Writing Advisor with the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU). Because my writing center work is centered at NMBU, I will focus this discussion on my assignment at the university.
A quiet moment at the new Writing Centre
In my work at NMBU, I provide weekly written and audio feedback to Bachelors, Masters, and PhD students enrolled in Professor William Warner’s Academic Writing course. We use Jing, a type of screencasting software that allows teaching assistants to create five-minute videos offering writers suggestions for revision. (For more information, Mike Shapiro provides a concise and helpful introduction to the software, as well as an example, in a previous blog post.)
The course is divided into three main assignments: an expository paper, a compare and contrast paper, and an argumentative essay. As a teaching assistant, I provide the same ten students with feedback each week, and each week I focus my feedback on the principles Professor Warner offers in his lecture du jour (thesis, clarity, nominalization, etc.). Because of this structure, I see the writers’ journey from compare-and-contrast outline to compare-and-contrast final draft and all the steps in between.
In addition to these duties, I serve as a Writing Advisor at the university Writing Centre. While many of the students who make appointments with me are those I am grading in the Academic Writing course, I also work with other Bachelors and Masters students writing their theses or other term papers. For the first time since entering world of tutoring and teaching, I have continuing, weekly appointments with writers where I see their progress or lack thereof.
So, how does this compare with my experience at UW-Madison? As a peer writing tutor with the Writing Fellows program, I responded to one relatively polished first draft—I did not see the revisions, the final draft, or the prewriting process that may have preceded it all. But as a teaching assistant and Writing Advisor at NMBU, I have the opportunity to see and respond to the successes and struggles of my students each week. As a Fellow, I saw a point in time; as an ETA, I see a process.
The Writers and Revealing Vulnerability
Tårnbygningen, the location of the new Writing Centre
NMBU is comprised of 5000 students, all of whom are working within the natural or social sciences. Some of the degree tracks, such as the Bachelors in International Environment and Development Studies and the Masters in International Relations, are taught in English, which attracts many international students to the university.
As a result, many of the writers who see me are multilingual. Many struggle with English. Some have small children. Some work other jobs. This means that writers come to me with a variety of backgrounds, identities and experiences that shape how they write. They trek up three flights of stairs to a lofty attic every Thursday and show me where they struggle and explain their struggle in a language they struggle with. They make me privy to their writing process, their language, and often, the special and quiet stories of their homes and lives.
I’m floored by their courage. I’m floored by how willing these writers are to show me their struggles, to be vulnerable, and to embrace writing as a series of not-so-glamorous and messy steps. Week after week, they are in the trenches treating writing as work rather than writing as the delicate fruit of an artful but fickle imagination. I wish I could say the same for myself.
Struggling with Process, Sporting a Shiner
Unlike those writers I work with, I struggle with embracing writing as a process. My image of writing is, I’ll admit, romantic. I believe in and wait for the muses, obstinately remaining silent as long as they are. I don’t write daily, as I don’t want to reveal the holes to myself or to others. The same holds true for traveling and living abroad. Since living in Norway, I have overly concerned myself with fitting into the culture and “passing” as Norwegian. My inability to master the national pastime, however, showcased my struggles in a manner I couldn’t hide.
Sunrise and snowdrifts in Lillehammer, the location of the author’s fateful fall
During a cross-country ski trip in February, I took a particularly nasty flying slide into hard snow that left me with a puffy shiner and snow burn under my left eye.
For the greater part of two weeks, I looked like I lost a brawl with an angry Viking and an akvavit bottle. While the eye did wonders in building my street cred with the videregående students, I felt self-conscious and exposed simply walking around town. In a country where six-year-olds skate-ski with the grace and strength of Apolo Anton Ohno, my face was evidence of my mistakes, my failures, and my inability to fit in. My vulnerability was on display; my outsider-ness, written in purple under my left eye.
Of course, my black eye was about more than just my inability to stop on skis. It came to represent all the times I struggled with my less-than-romantic travel experiences and how I constantly feared “outing” myself as an American. Revealing myself as an outsider, and worse, as someone who studied but still butchered their language, is an act of vulnerability. It’s an act I struggle with on a daily basis. Some days going to grocery store is a feat, and that’s something a Jack Kerouac quote simply does not speak to.
The Value of Vulnerability
Coffee mug quotes and Pinterest pins sanitize the experiences of traveling and writing. With the smooth stroke of one pithy phrase, they gloss over the experiences when we fell or cried that weren’t romantic or productive, just painful and shameful. Final drafts do this, too. In their black and white Times New Roman font they can seem as snug, well-cut and spiffy as three piece suits with cuff links. They look like they fell out of the sky, perfect.
The students I work with are eroding that illusion. They plug away every day and in that dogged, unselfconscious effort, they force me to reevaluate myself as a writer and tutor and push me to make my process more visible and myself, more vulnerable.
I know mine is not a novel insight, but it is one that serves to remind writing tutors and instructors—those who often seem outside the process— that it’s productive to share theirs. That’s why dissertaton bootcamps and daily writing are so important. With writing retreats, you make your process visible to others; with daily writing, you confront it yourself.
In an age when we can use social media to cultivate the images of ourselves that we want the world to see, it’s radical and subversive to let a little mess show, but that’s just what writing reveals. I say shatter the illusion and the coffee mugs. Show the whole chaotic kit and caboodle, even if at first, it’s just to yourself.
So although I still cannot fully bend my left thumb and the skin under my eye bears a small red scar, I have plans to give skiing another go. Two weekends from now it’ll just be me, the skis, the snow, and those prodigious cruising six-year-olds.
Let them laugh. Let them watch. I say skål to the messy process, to vulnerability, to draft number two and many, many more.
Norwegian Farmland: The Winter Edition
COURSE OUTLINE, History 4550/7550
THE AGE OF THE VIKINGS, C. 800-C.1200
INSTRUCTOR: LOIS L. HUNEYCUTT
LeFevre Hall 112
Instructor’s Office: 114A Read Hall
Office Hours: 2:00-3:00 M,T, W and
OFFICE PHONE: 882-5862
PURPOSE AND CONTENT: The course is designed to provide a relatively intensive look at the Scandinavian peoples of Europe in the central Middle Ages. The Scandinavian countries are regions that we often overlook in the traditional history curriculum. If they are covered at all, it is only as a group who raided and disrupted settled Europe for three hundred years, beginning about AD 750. In this course, we will look at their origins, then their political, religious, and cultural backgrounds. The greatest percentage of readings and lecture will concentrate on the Scandinavian expansion of the eighth century and beyond. Finally, we will look at the process of the Scandinavian conversion to Christianity and the assimilation of these peoples into the political order of Europe the later medieval period. As much as possible, we will rely on primary source documents, combined with insights from archaeology, literary studies, and other fields.
ASSIGNMENTS AND GRADING: I will assign grades on the basis of one examination, several written assignments, a series of quizzes given over the course of the semester, and a major project that you will complete, either individually or in collaboration with your peers over the course of the semester.
Examination: There will be one examination, the final exam. It will be a combination of essay and short answer format. Unless we hear otherwise, the final exam will be held in the regular classroom on Thursday, December 16th from 1:00-3:00 pm. It will count for 20% in determining your final grade.
Written assignments: The written assignments will consist of three short essays (about 1000-1250 words, usually four to five typewritten pages) that will be assigned during the semester. For the first and third papers, I will hand out several questions asking you to respond to issues raised in the reading and/or lecture. You will receive more information about the writing assignments soon. The third writing assignment will be a prospectus and tentative bibliography for your major project.
I will expect that your work will be original and that you will conform to all academic conventions concerning proper grammar, syntax, and careful citation of your sources. In fact, properly crediting your sources is so important that I will not grade any paper that is turned in without proper citations, either internal citation, footnotes, or endnotes. It is also necessary to provide complete bibliographical information on all sources except the readings assigned for the class.
Each written assignment will be worth 15% of your final grade; in total the writing assignments account for 45% of your grade.
Quizzes: Five times during the semester, I will give pop quizzes covering reading assignments and important points from recent lectures. These quizzes will each consist of twenty (20) questions in an objective format (a mixture of fill-in-the-blank, multiple choice, and true/false questions). Some quizzes may include or focus on map identifications. The first fifty points will count for ten percent (10%) of your course grade. If you accumulate more points, they will count as "extra credit" points that will be added to your point total as extra credit at the end of the semester. Taking all the quizzes and scoring all the points available could add a 10% bonus to your semester grade! In addition, I will re-use some of the quiz questions on the final examination at the end of the semester. Thus, your graded quizzes can serve as study-sheets for the final examination. NO MAKE-UP IS POSSIBLE FOR MISSED QUIZZES.
Class Project: You will design and execute a major project on some aspect of Scandinavian/Viking history and/or culture that interests you. The focus could be historical, archaeological, cultural, or just about anything that you propose, as long as the project can reasonably be carried out over the course of the semester. You will discuss your work-in-progress with members of a research team to which I will assign you. Assignments to teams will be based, as much as possible, on shared interests. You may choose to turn in a team project, an individual project, or you may choose to work with one other person in a partnership. No matter which option you choose, you will receive an INDIVIDUAL grade for the project.
In addition to the choice of working individually or with others, you will also have a choice of format for your presentation. Some of you will choose to write a traditional research paper (which should be about 10 pp. long). Others might prefer other media -- for instance, an interest in Viking metalwork might lead you to put together a power-point presentation. If technology is your forte, you might even make a model of a Viking longboat (either in wood or on a computer) and give an oral presentation on the design, function, advantages and problems inherent in this kind of ship. I encourage you to evaluate your own strengths and weaknesses and I especially encourage you to get involved with others who might complement your skills. We’ll talk more about these projects over the course of the semester. Projects will be due sometime about the fourteenth week of classes. The schedule will vary depending on how many of you wish to use formats other than traditional papers.
The class project will account for 25% of your total course grade.
The graded assignments are designed to encourage you think more deeply and critically about issues covered in lecture and in the reading. I encourage you to bring up any problems or questions that you might have and welcome your participation in all class sessions. Please feel free to ask questions or offer insights at any time.
READING ASSIGNMENTS: The reading and the lectures will complement but not duplicate each other. I will assume that you have done the relevant reading before coming to lecture. If you check the assignments carefully, you will note that some weeks have relatively light reading while others have more onerous assignments. Feel free to read ahead on the lighter weeks! Above all, you need to be aware that the reading is as important as the lecture and that I will expect you to display familiarity with the themes in the reading in your papers and examinations.
INSTRUCTOR'S OFFICE HOURS: I will hold formal office hours in 114A Read Hall. You may also reach me by phone or by e-mail. If you'd like to talk with me for any reason and my office hours aren't convenient, please make an appointment with me to speak at a time convenient to you. If you find you're having trouble in the course for any reason, I urge you to talk to me as soon as you perceive a problem. Most problems are easier to deal with in the earlier stages than in the later!
A NOTE ON COURTESY: I recognize that many of you are more comfortable taking notes on laptops than with pen and paper, and I try to honor that preference. However, many students have complained that other students using their computers throughtlessly can be distracting to others. Please refrain from “multitasking” by such things as surfing the net, watching YouTube videos, updating your facebook status or sports standings during class. If such things become an issue, you will be asked to refrain from using your computer in class at all. Also, please turn off or silence all cell phones and other noisy devices. During the final examination, you will NOT be allowed to use your cell phones to keep time, for obvious reasons. Please bring a watch or rely on posted “time remaining” updates for that purpose.
THE FINE PRINT:
Academic integrity is fundamental to the activities and principles of a university. All members of the academic community must be confident that each person's work has been responsibly and honorably acquired, developed, and presented. Any effort to gain an advantage not given to all students is dishonest whether or not the effort is successful. The academic community regards breaches of the academic integrity rules as extremely serious matters. If I discover that you have plagiarized a paper or cheated in any fashion, I will impose sanctions. Depending on the seriousness of the violation, sanctions could range from a zero on the assignment to a failing grade in the entire course. I will report all cases of suspected academic dishonesty to the University Provost with a recommendation on whether further sanctions should be pursued. When in doubt about plagiarism, paraphrasing, quoting, collaboration, or any other form of cheating, consult with me before submitting the assignment.
If you need accommodations because of a disability, if you have emergency medical information to share with me, or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please inform me immediately. Please see me privately after class, or at my office.
To request academic accommodations (students must also register with the Office of Disability Services, (http://disabilityservices.missouri.edu), S5 Memorial Union, 882-4696. It is the campus office responsible for reviewing documentation provided by students requesting academic accommodations, and for accommodations planning in cooperation with students and instructors, as needed and consistent with course requirements. For other MU resources for students with disabilities, click on "Disability Resources" on the MU homepage.
The University community welcomes intellectual diversity and respects student rights. Students who have questions or concerns regarding the atmosphere in this class (including respect for diverse opinions) may contact the Departmental Chair or Divisional Director; the Director of the Office of Students Rights and Responsibilities (http://osrr.missouri.edu/); or the MU Equity Office (http://equity.missouri.edu/), or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. All students will have the opportunity to submit an anonymous evaluation of the instructor(s) at the end of the course.
REQUIRED BOOKS: There are five texts for the course:
Asser, The Life of King Alfred.
This reading gives an example of the way that other peoples, in this case the Anglo-Saxons and Welsh living in Britain, perceived the Scandinavian expansion
Logan, Donald. The Vikings in History.
This reading mostly covers Scandinavian expansion. It has chapters on France, Ireland, England, Byzantium, the Mediterranean region, the Caspian Sea region, Russia, Iceland, Greenland, and North America.
Rosedahl, Else. The Vikings.
An introductory textbook that does everything an introductory textbook should do except provide maps and visuals.
The Prose Edda.
A translation of a medieval compilation of Scandinavian myth.
The Vikings in Iceland produced a large body of literature written in the vernacular before any other European country. Egil’s Saga is usually considered to be the masterpiece of early Icelandic literature. It has it all: love, murder, Intrigue, murder, scandal, murder.....
GRADUATE STUDENTS: There is a supplemental reading list for graduate students that covers material that will appear on the comprehensive examinations for medieval history students in the next few years. I will be assigning two books to each grad student in the class based on your individual interests as much as possible; you will also read one additional saga. Grad students will meet in extra sessions about once every three weeks over the course of the semester to present and discuss supplemental readings. Interested undergraduates may join the discussions if they contact the instructor in advance.
Graduate students are free to take quizzes and exams if you believe that taking quizzes is beneficial to keeping you on track with your learning – however, grad student grades are calculated on the basis of:
1) The three written papers (10% each) that the undergraduates do
2) The final project which must be individual, and could be a non-traditional format but which must include a substantial bibliography which must be presented when you present your work (50%)
3) Two additional readings and written reviews (10% each).
TENTATIVE SCHEDULE OF ACTIVITIES:
The following schedule is only a rough estimate of what we will be studying when. I hope that your collective backgrounds and interests will shape the course somewhat as we go along.
UNIT ONE: INTRODUCTORY MATERIAL
WEEK I (ending 8/27/10): BACKGROUND TO STUDY OF THE VIKINGS
We’ll discuss geographical considerations and general European history from the end of the Roman era to the beginning of the Viking age.
MONDAY: Course Introduction, Climate and Geography
WEDNESDAY: Sources for the Study of Viking Age History
FRIDAY: The European Context: Rome to the Carolingians
READING: Roesdahl, 3-39. Begin reading Egil’s Saga. Start looking at maps. There will be a map quiz in the second week of the course.
WEEK II (ending 9/3/10) THE NORTHERN PEOPLES TO AD 800.
We’ll look at what is known and guessed about the Scandinavian peoples in particular from their cultural origins to the age of migration. We’ll pay close attention to methodological problems, including the ambiguity of archaeology, the problem of determining the reliability of texts, and what biases are inherent when outsiders discuss the Scandinavian peoples.
MONDAY: Written Sources from Outside Scandinavia
WEDNESDAY: Written Sources from Scandinavia (including Runes)
FRIDAY: Archaeology/Material Culture
READING: Roesdahl, pp. 3-30. Edda, Intro, Prologue, and Gylfaginning. Continue reading Egil’s Saga.
UNIT TWO: THE VIKINGS AT HOME:
SOCIAL AND CULTURAL ASPECTS OF VIKING SOCIETY
WEEK III (Week ending September 10th): THE STRUCTURE OF SCANDINAVIAN SOCIETY
We’ll begin to look at the Scandinavian peoples in Norway, Sweden and Denmark, concentrating on the early Viking Age (800-950). We will look at various topics including the structure of the family and kinship groups, warfare, economic activities, religion (native and Christian), law, literature, and artistic accomplishments.
MONDAY: No Class, Labor Day
WEDNESDAY: Kings and Jarls
FRIDAY: Marriage and Divorce in the Scandinavian Household
READING: Roesdahl, pp. 31-77. Edda, Intro, Prologue, and Gylfaginning. Continue reading Egil’s Saga.
WEEK IV (Week ending September 17th) : SCANDINAVIAN RELIGIOUS SYSTEMS
This week’s concentration is on the heathen cosmology of the Scandinavian peoples, including their understanding of the origins and fate of the universe.
Wednesday: The Aesir, Vanir and Ragnarok
Friday: The Problem of Christianization
READING: Roesdahl, pp. 147-184. Logan, pp. 15-34. Read as Skaldskaparmal and as much of the rest of Edda as you are interested in. Finish reading Egil’s Saga.
WEEK V (Week ending September 24th): SCANDINAVIAN CULTURE
Monday: Trade Goods, Travel, and Boats
Wednesday: Scandinavian Art and Architecture
Friday: Warfare, Weapons, and Feud
READING: Roesdahl, 78-146.
ASSIGNMENT DUE: The first paper will be due in class on Friday, September 24th, 2010.
WEEK VI (Week Ending October 1st): This week we will begin to work together in class to develop ideas and proposals for your major projects. At the same time, I will give some lectures based on the political history of the three mainland Scandinavian countries in the Second Viking Age.
MONDAY: The Political History of Norway/Expansion into Iceland
WEDNESDAY: The Political History of Denmark
FRIDAY: The Political History of Sweden
UNIT THREE: THE VIKINGS ABROAD
WEEKS VII (Week Ending October 8): THE VIKINGS IN BRITAIN
We will look at the impact of the first Viking raids and settlements, primarily in England and Ireland, but touching also on Scotland and Wales. Our focus will be political, military, and economic, but cultural transmission and other ideas will also be explored.
MONDAY: The First Viking Raids in England and the Unification of England under King Alfred
WEDNESDAY: The Vikings in Ireland
FRIDAY: The Vikings on Orkney, Shetland and in Scotland
READING: Roesdahl, 184-261. Logan, 1-42 and 121-153. Asser, all.
WEEK VIII (Week Ending October 15th): THE SCANDINAVIANS IN FRANCE
ASSIGNMENT DUE: Your second paper, which will concentrate on Asser’s Life of Alfred, will be due in class on Monday, October 11th
MONDAY: The Frankish Kingdoms and the Vikings from Charlemagne to Charles the Bald (Assignment due)
WEDNESDAY: The Settlement of Normandy
FRIDAY: The Norman Expansion into England
READING: Logan, 97-120, 153-160.
WEEK IX: THE SETTLEMENT OF ICELAND
(Week ending October 22nd)
This week, we’ll look intensely at what is known of one of the first mass movements of the Scandinavian people, the settlement of Iceland and Greenland and the question of the Vikings in North America.
MONDAY: The Settlement of Iceland
WEDNESDAY: Icelandic Society
FRIDAY OCTOBER 22nd: No Class; use for library research for final project
READING: Roesdahl, pp. 262-276; Logan, 43-64.
WEEK X: (Week Ending October 29th): GREENLAND AND THE AMERICAS
MONDAY: The Settlement of Greenland
WEDNESDAY: The Fate of the Greenland Settlement
FRIDAY: The Scandinavians Discover America
READING: Logan, 65-96
ASSIGNMENT DUE: Your Third Paper, which will be a prospectus and bibliography for your final project, will be due in class on Friday, October 29th
WEEK XI: (Week Ending November 5th) THE SWEDISH EXPANSION EASTWARD
MONDAY: Trade Routes in the Baltic
WEDNESDAY: The Problem of the Rus
FRIDAY: The Rus and Byzantium
We will look at the impact of the Viking raids and settlements in Russia, the Baltic area, Byzantium, and beyond. Our focus will be political and economic, but cultural transmission and other ideas will also be explored.
READ: Rest of Logan; Rest of Roesdahl
WEEK XII: (Week Ending November 12) THE VIKINGS IN THE MEDITERRANEAN
MONDAY: The Vikings in the western Mediterranean
WEDNESDAY: The Normans in Italy
FRIDAY: Consultation/Final project exercises
WEEK XIII (Week ending November 19th): THE VIKINGS AND THE MUSLIMS
MONDAY: The Writings of Ib’n Fadlan
WEDNESDAY: The Vikings and the Muslims
FRIDAY: Consulation/Final project exercises
UNIT FOUR: RESULTS OF STUDENT RESEARCH
WEEK XIV (Week ending December 3rd): RESULTS OF STUDENT RESEARCH
I hope that most of this last full week of class will be devoted to presentation of class projects. You will be tested on the content of these presentations.
ASSIGNMENT DUE: YOUR MAJOR ASSIGNMENT DUE DATE WILL VARY AND YOU WILL BE GIVEN A DUE DATE WHEN YOUR THIRD PAPER IS RETURNED.
STUDENTS WHO ARE DOING A TRADITIONAL RESEARCH PAPER:
Your paper will be due on Friday, December 3rd)
WEEK XV (Week ending December 8th): FINAL BUSINESS
MONDAY: The End of the Viking Age, Reflections on the Viking Era in European History
WEDNESDAY: Final Exam Review/Evaluations
GRADUATE STUDENT SUPPLEMENTAL READING LIST:
All graduate students will read one saga in addition to Egil’s Saga, You should read the additional saga by the time of the first paper assignment.
Graduate students who have NOT read Geoffrey Barraclough’s The Crucible of Europe will be expected to read that book for their first additional reading assignment.
Each grad student will read and review one of the following works in addition to Barraclough. If you have already read Barraclough, read and review two of these works.
I will be polling students soon to establish a meeting time and place for three out of class meetings. Expect to spend two to three hours three times during the semester to discuss additional readings.
POSSIBLE REVIEW BOOKS:
Bandlen, Bjorn, et alia, Strategies of Passion: Love and Marriage in Old Norse Society
Byock, Jesse. Feud in the Icelandic Saga
Byock, Jesse, Viking Age Iceland
Christiansen, Eric. The Norsemen in the Viking Age (2001).
DuBois, Thomas, Viking Age Religions.
Hadley, Dawn. The Vikings in England: Settlement, Society, and Culture (2007)
Hines, John, ed., Land, Sea, and Home: Settlement in the Viking Period
Hodges, Richard. Goodbye to the Vikings: Re-reading Early Medieval Archaeology (2006)
Jesch, Judith, Women in the Viking Age (2005)
Jochens, Jenny, Women in Old Norse Society (1995)
Jochens, Jenny, Old Norse Images of Women (1996)
Lawson, M. K. Cnut, King of England 1016-1035
Miller, William Ian. Bloodtaking and Peacemaking: Feud, Law, and Society in Medieval Iceland.
Nedkvitne, A. The Social Consequences of Literacy in Medieval Scandinavia
Norman, Lena Elizabeth. Viking Women: The Narrative Voice in Woven Tapestries
Quinn, J, et alia, Learning and Understanding in the Old Norse World
Ross, Margaret Clunies, Old Norse Myths, Literature and Society
Sawyer, Birgit, The Viking-Age Rune Stones: Custom and Commemoration in Early Medieval Scandinavia
Sawyer, Birgit and Peter. Medieval Scandinavia from Conversion to the Reformation.
Searle, Eleanor. Predatory Kinship and the Creation of Norman Power, 840-1066
Sawyer, Peter, Kings and Vikings
Also, students should be aware of Gwyn Jones, The Vikings. It is long and wordy and I will not assign it this semester, but it is the text that everybody in my generation and before grew up on and it is a fantastic source for lectures.
If you have something else in mind you would prefer to read, let me know and we can discuss the substitution.