Our next seminar will be taken by Katie Haworth on 12th March 2018. As usual tea and biscuits will be served at 17:40 with the seminar starting at 18:00. Below we talked to Katie about moving back to the north, and the excitement of Anglo-Saxon objects and riddles.
Tell us a bit about yourself, where are you from?
Originally I’m from Huddersfield in West Yorkshire, but I spent four years at Cambridge for my undergraduate and masters.
What brought you to Durham?
Partly it was the expertise and reputation of the department and the medieval heritage of Durham itself. But I’ve also enjoyed moving closer to home. I missed the friendliness of northerners and the hills when I was in Cambridge.
What is your favourite thing about the medieval/early modern period?
Definitely the surviving objects. My undergraduate degree was in ASNC, so there was a focus on history and literature, which was great, but it was an interest in the material culture that made me switch to Archaeology. The chance to examine and research things that were once owned and used by people over a thousand years ago is so exciting.
What does your research focus on?
My research aims to catalogue and study the beads and pendants worn by women in the seventh century. The aim is to consider these necklace assemblages as comprehensively as possible and consider the light they can shed on key religious, economic, political and social shifts during the period.
What do you plan to focus on in your seminar?
I’m going to introduce my research project as a whole, examine a few key case studies and hopefully demonstrate the value of a holistic, interdisciplinary examination of a single object type.
If you were not in academia, what would you be doing?
I’m a keen baker, so maybe I would have opened a café or a tea room somewhere.
Do you have a favourite medieval/early modern text?
An Old English poem called Wulf and Eadwacer. Apart from the fact that the narrator is female, the deliberately riddling language means everything else about the narrative and meaning of the poem is up for debate and I like the mystery.