Cite as: Jakob Norberg, Introduction to the conference The Lecture: A Symposium on the Destinies of an Academic Genre, ICI Berlin, 27–28 June 2014, video recording, mp4, 13:47 <>
27 – 28 Jun 2014


By Jakob Norberg

Video in English

Format: mp4
Length: 00:13:47
First published on:
Rights: © ICI Berlin

Part of the Conference

The Lecture: A Symposium on the Destinies of an Academic Genre

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’.


ICI Berlin
(Click for further documentation)


Remigius Bunia
Marie Gil
Judith Kasper
Nikolaus Müller-Schöll
Barbara Natalie Nagel
Jakob Norberg
Christopher Fynsk
Thomas Meinecke

Organized by

Jakob Norberg
Marcus Coelen
Arnd Wedemeyer
An ICI Berlin event with generous support by the Dahlem Humanities Center of the Freie Universität Berlin, the VolkswagenStiftung, and the ICI Berlin