chapter  1
The academic lecture (1800–present): subject, medium and performance 1
WithNorm Friesen
Pages 14

This chapter explores the lecture as a manifestation of spirit in the 19th century. The transformation of the lecturer into a kind of actor or performer can be readily illustrated in conjunction with an event that is of special importance to the topic of the screen – namely the emergence of broadcast television in the 1950s and 1960s. The chapter considers how, in the age of YouTube, podcast and technology, entertainment, and design (TED) Talks – as well as of contingent academic labor – the ongoing importance of the lecture and the lecturer appears as contested as it is irrefutable. The YouTube lecture, one could also say, finds its exemplary form in the TED Talk, presentations in front of a live audience in which ‘speakers are given a maximum of 18 minutes to present their ideas in the most innovative and engaging ways they can’.