Impact of Diasporas on the Making of Britain


Over the five years the Impact of Diasporas on the Making of Britain project ran, the team participated in and ran a series of events, produced resources and were included as part of a major British Museum exhibition.

'The Impact of Diasporas' publication in partnership with Oxford Diasporas Programme

Download this informative guide to The Impact of Diasporas (PDF, 10MB). Originally published for a Royal Geographical Society event with the Oxford Diasporas Programme, held on 17 September 2015, this 80-page, fully-illustrated volume tells the history and stories of diasporas throughout the world.

The Lovedon Hill Runic Urn 3D model

The Impact of Diasporas team made a dynamic 3D model of the 6th century cremation urn – from Loveden Hill in Lincolnshire – which carries one of the earliest examples of Old English, in runic script. The model allows viewers to rotate the vessel and read the inscription in context. It is free to view, and can be downloaded onto mobiles, tablets or laptops.

The urn is now in the British Museum and this model has been made with the support of the Trustees of the British Museum, and the help of the Department of Britain, Europe and Prehistory.

Read more about the urn in this Landscape Research Centre blog.

Markers of Identity: Ethnic and Racial Studies

The 'Diasporas Special' issue 'Markers of Identity', Ethnic and Racial Studies (Volume 39, Issue 2, 2016) contains nine articles on the theme of 'Markers of Identity' from the Impact of Diasporas team and the Oxford Diasporas Programme, both funded by the Leverhulme Trust Research Programme Grant awards. 

Read the articles.

Aliens, Foreigners and Strangers in Medieval England c. AD 500–1500

Professor Joanna Story ran a major interdisciplinary conference on the theme of Aliens, Foreigners, and Strangers in Medieval England, c. AD 500-1500 at the British Academy on 26-27 March 2015, in collaboration with Professors Mark Ormrod and Elizabeth Tyler at the University of York.

The conference explored the extent and impact of immigration in Medieval England in the 'long millennium' of the Middle Ages.

Immigration, its causes and its consequences is a contentious topic with profound political, social, economic and cultural effects both for individual migrants and for the host and donor communities. It is not a new phenomenon. This conference took a multidisciplinary approach to the presence and treatment of foreigners in England across the medieval millennium. It provided deep historical and cultural context to discussions among policy-makers and the general public about ethnicity, multiculturalism and the evolution of national identity in modern Britain.

More information, including a download publication, on the British Academy website.

'The Vikings: Life and Legend' and 'Vikings: Live' at the British Museum

Members of the Impact of Diasporas team participated in the Vikings Live film, broadcast in cinemas across the UK and worldwide and available to watch here. The film takes a deep look at the Vikings based on the very popular 2014 British Museum exhibition The Vikings: Life and Legend.

Talks and events at the British Museum that featured Impact of Diasporas team members included:

  • The Vikings in Britain and Ireland: between culture and memory.  Panel discussion with experts including Marc Scully, 25 April 2014.
  • The Vikings revealed by science.  Study day including a session on genetic data with Turi King, 17 May 2014.
  • Fishing in the gene pool for Vikings.  Lecture by Mark Jobling, 23 May 2014.
  • Viking voices: the Scandinavian impact on the languages and names of Britain.  Members' lecture by Jayne Carroll, 2 June 2014.

Other resources related to the Vikings


  • 'The Vikings in Britain and Ireland' by Jayne Carroll, Stephen Harrison and Gareth Williams. London: British Museum Press. 2014. ISBN 9780714128313.
  • Runes by Martin Findell. London: British Museum Press. 2014. ISBN 9780714180298.



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