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BA (with Honours) (St. Xavier’s College, University of Mumbai), MA (University of Mumbai), MA, PhD (Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York)
Pragya Vohra is a lecturer in early medieval history. After completing her PhD from the Centre for Medieval Studies at York, Pragya taught at the universities of York, Sheffield and Hull, before being appointed Teaching Fellow at the University of Leicester (2012), and Lecturer in Early Medieval European History at Aberystwyth University (2013). She was subsequently Research Associate and Project Manager on the Leverhulme Trust project ‘The Impact of Diasporas on the Making of Britain’ (2014-2016) and Network Facilitator on the Leverhulme Trust Network project ‘Insular Manuscripts, AD 650-850: Networks of Knowledge’.
Pragya works on the social and cultural history of the Viking age British Isles and Scandinavia, including the Norse North Atlantic, with a special interest in migration, settlement and the formation of diaspora.
Pragya’s research focusses on the movement of people during the Viking age, the social dynamics of migration, settlement and the creation of diaspora and the manner in which these processes were remembered and memorialised.
Based on her doctoral work, Pragya’s first book, Kinship In The Viking Diaspora (forthcoming 2018), uses the lens of kinship relations to test medieval evidence of Viking migration and settlement in the North Atlantic against the modern sociological construct of diaspora. This book explores how Old Norse sources, coming largely from an Icelandic perspective, memorialise a functioning Viking diaspora reflecting maintained social relations across the North Atlantic and the emergence of local identities in equal measure.
Pragya’s current research (begun under the auspices of the Leverhulme Trust ‘Impact of Diasporas’ project) investigates the connections between England and the Viking world, focussing on the reign of England’s Viking king, King Knut. The main focus of this research centres of the memorialisation of Knut, the role of the Anglo-Scandinavian elite as the primary commissioners and consumers of artefacts of social memory, and the potential impact of developments in elite identity which caused England to become ‘lost’ in Viking diasporic memory.
A concurrent research strand is based on the discovery by Pragya and her team on the AHRC ‘Languages, Myths and Finds project’ of a Scandinavian runic inscription in the Tees Valley, only the eighteenth in England. The River Tees was the locus of medieval Scandinavian settlement, reflected in diverse evidence (place-names, sculpture, etc.) and the concentration of enigmatic ‘hogback’ stones in the area points to the development of a distinctive cultural identity. This research investigates the processes of migration, settlement and assimilation in this region; their role in the development of the region’s unique cultural identity; and the region’s connections with the wider Viking diaspora.