“The Proletarian Prometheus”
Texas Chair of German Literature and Culture, University of Texas at Austin
Hake is the Texas Chair of German Literature and Culture at the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to joining the faculty at UT in 2004, she taught for sixteen years at the University of Pittsburgh. Since receiving her Ph.D. from the University of Hannover in 1984, she has worked primarily in two areas, Weimar culture and German cinema. As a cultural historian/film historian, she is most interested in the relationship between cultural practices and aesthetic sensibilities, on the one hand, and social movements and political ideologies, on the other. The key terms informing her research are mass culture, popular culture, urban culture, and working-class culture; modernism and modernity; the historical avant-gardes; the fascist aesthetic; classical film theory and theories of culture. Her research on German film has focused primarily on the first half of the twentieth century, with a special emphasis on Weimar cinema and Third Reich cinema. In her work on Weimar culture, she has written on modern architecture and urbanism and the representation of Berlin in literature, photography, and film.
About the Lecture
In the symbolic politics that have come to dominate public debates, the notion of cultural appropriation plays a central but often misunderstood role. Inseparable from questions of hegemony, the term refers to be use of elements of a minority culture or subculture by a dominant culture. But what if it is the working class that appropriates elements of bourgeois high culture as a gesture of political empowerment and an expression of class unity? We can examine the aesthetic, rhetorical, and emotional aspects of this kind of refunctionalization through the example of proletarian Prometheus, an important figure of the nineteenth- and early-twentieth century socialist imaginary. Focusing on the socialist movement in Wilhelmine Germany, this lecture uses his representation in political cartoons, poems, and treatises to draw attention to the little studied visual culture of the labor movement and to argue for a different model of appropriation that emphasizes the performative aspects of such refunctionalization.
Book Prize Award Presentation and Lecture
Wednesday, February 1, 2017, 4-5 p.m. (reception at 3:30)
“The Age of the Crisis of Man”
Mark Greif | Associate Professor of Literary Studies at The New School
Location: 311 Glasscock Building
About the Susanne M. Glasscock Humanities Book Prize for Interdisciplinary Scholarship
The Glasscock Book Prize, first awarded in 1999, originated by the Texas A&M Center for Humanities Research, was permanently endowed in December 2000 by Melbern G. Glasscock ’59 and his wife Susanne M. Glasscock, for whom the prize is now named.
Submissions for the 19th Annual Book Prize are due by June 15, 2018.