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My title page

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.

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Audience assembling for the 2031 John Levitt memorial lecture

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.

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