The lecture, a traditional academic genre, is everywhere today. There are network-based MOOCs and courses on iTunesU, ostentatiously named lecture repositories such as the World Lecture Project and Academic Earth, and brassy TED talks. A discursive practice, it seems, is breaking free from the university, a genre uncouples from its institutions. But what characterizes the highly impure and yet remarkably robust form of the lecture in the first place? Having emerged before Gutenberg at the interface of speech and writing and to this day navigating an intermediary stance between them, the lecture maintains a hybrid form involving different visual media, as well, such as the chalk board, the dual slide projection, or today’s presentation softwares. Finally, however ‘massively open’ it claims to be, the rhetorical devices with which the lecture constitutes its varying audiences call for further analysis. Focusing on this surprisingly resilient format, the symposium addressed topics such as the relation between the lecture and the future(s) of the university; the literary potentials of the lecture; its kinship with theatre and performance; as well as its role in constructing a so-called ‘wider public sphere’.
Barbara Natalie Nagel
Keynotes by Christopher Fynsk and Thomas Meinecke
An ICI Berlin event organized by Jakob Norberg, Marcus Coelen, and Arnd Wedemeyer, with generous support by the Dahlem Humanities Center of the Freie Universität Berlin, the VolkswagenStiftung, and the ICI Berlin
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