University Lecturing as a Technique of Collective Imagination: On Seeing Things as If They Had Taken a Bodily Form

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Lecturing is the only educational form inherited from the universities of the middle ages that is still in use today. However, it seems that lecturing is under threat, as recent calls to do away with lecturing in favour of more dynamic settings, such as the flipped classroom or pre-recorded talks, have found many adherents. In line with the post-critical approach of this book, this chapter argues that there is something in the university lecture that needs to be affirmed: at its best, the university lecture functions as a technique for thinking together or for making collective thinking happen in a lecture hall. The lecture offers the set-up, both technological and architectural, to forge a common experience that binds together the listeners and the speakers; that experience can be characterised as visualising ideas or seeing things as if they had taken on a ‘bodily form’. By looking at several examples of lecturing moments experienced by Gadamer as a student and later recounted in his autobiography, we can better understand the paradigmatic experience that characterises the lecture – as an ideal to be sought, even if, perhaps, not always actualised in everyday lectures.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPost-critical Perspectives on Higher Education
EditorsNaomi Hodgson, Joris Vlieghe, Piotr Zamojski
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Lecture
  • university
  • Visualisation
  • Imagination
  • Thinking
  • Students
  • collective


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