Journal article

‘The Thin Air of Reality’: Applause in the lecture theatre

S Balkin

Performance Research | Taylor & Francis (Routledge) | Published : 2018


As a gesture applause is both a demonstration of etiquette and an expression of feeling. This article asks how applause can help to conceptualize affective atmospheres in academic performance genres, focusing on the undergraduate lecture and the conference keynote. Historical and theoretical accounts of applause in theatre illuminate its expressive, evaluative and mannered modalities, which are relevant to but distinct from the conventions of applause in the lecture theatre. I analyse anecdotal evidence from social media and my own experience as a lecturer and conference organizer in dialogue with these accounts. The lecture genre raises and sometimes thwarts expectations of seriousness, aff..

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University of Melbourne Researchers