Today, I presented the 2013 John Levitt Memorial Lecture at Keele University to a crowd of c. 55 people. Many of those in attendance had been taught by John.
The topic of my paper was very similar to the paper I presented at the Runes Network colloquium in Chester earlier this year and therefore requires little repetition. Using the Pillar of Eliseg as an example, I discussed how stone crosses utilised combinations of location, material as well as abstract ornamentation, figural art and text to commemorate and assert identities in the early medieval landscape.
Notably for me, this lecture was the first time I have had the privilege and opportunity to present a memorial lecture. Even more of an honour to present to an audience of those who have spent so long studying early medieval literature. John’s daughter was also present.
The Q&A session was very strong and I was honoured to hear many kind words about my lecture, including that John would have enjoyed it. I never met John, but the enthusiasm and knowledge of Anglo-Saxon literature and society presented by the audience are a lasting testament to his teaching.
Best of all, I got a pre-lecture fish and chips with a beer at the Sneyd Arms. Even better than best of all, the organisers told me that they really loved my talk.