I delivered my first lecture yesterday, on what intellectual history is, an overview of the major themes and thinker of the Enlightenment, and Immanuel Kant. The first two elements of this trifecta of fun went well, the third less so. Here's what I've learned:
  1. After complaining about how historians have no right to use images, since they (historians) have such an inadequate grasp of art-historical theory, I fully intend to use lots of images and to draw crude, unsophisticated connections between them and their historical context.
  2. My powerpoint skills are not skillful.
  3. I need to write narrative lectures - unless I'm lecturing on something I know a lot about, a bunch of notes and disparate paragraphs culled off of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy aren't going to hack it.
  4. I already knew this, but lecturing is an out-of-body experience. I lose track of time and it's like listening to someone else talk. I can hear myself fall off my train of thought and then climb back on, but it doesn't elicit any kind of panic reaction, just curiosity. It's weird.
  5. It's going to be tough to do this and work on my dissertation this summer. But I will persevere.


Chica said...

relate all lectures back to your disseration.
how would any of the students know?

noncoupable said...

That's good advice. Having never delivered many lectures but heard many good ones, here is all I know from my advisers:
- structure the lecture so that you only stress and repeat a max of 3-5 points in any one given session (give them a break in between if you lecture more than 1h10m); they can't handle more than that without forgetting
- digital stop watch on the podium or in hand (watches with hands make things more confusing)
- if possible, pepper the lecture with some fun stories or anecdotes that get points across
- if all else fails you can always start making fun of people, countries (Canada) or swearing; it works for HH's adviser pretty well and gives him time to think of what to say next

Happy Hippo said...

I'm glad that you discovered the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. It's the greatest gift to lazy people. I use it in between naps.

Be careful about making fun of Canadians. If they are in the room there is the danger of an explosion of shirt ripping.

kungfuramone said...

The last thing I need is a pack of shirtless Canadians, frothing at the mouth and screaming for blood (through the froth.)

Happy Hippo said...

That's an interesting image. Rabid dogs don't come to mind. No. But rabid crabs with a serious blood lust? Yes.

theNerdPatrol said...

I love powerpoint and am happy to help! Just sayin' :)