Document Actions

You are here: FRIAS Fellows Fellows 2019/20 Prof. Dr. Sabine Hake

Prof. Dr. Sabine Hake

University of Texas at Austin
Cultural Studies
External Senior Fellow (EURIAS Programme)
October 2015 - July 2016


Sabine Hake is Professor and Texas Chair of German Literature and Culture in the Department of Germanic Studies at the University of Texas at Austin where she has taught since 2004. A cultural historian working on late nineteenth and twentieth century German culture, with a special emphasis on film, she has published six monographs, most recently Topographies of Class: Modern Architecture and Mass Society in Weimar Berlin (2008) and Screen Nazis: Cinema, History, and Democracy (2012), as well as four anthologies on various aspects of film and media. Her work has been supported through fellowships from the J. Paul Getty, Andrew W. Mellon, and Rockefeller Foundations, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Humanities Center, and the DAAD. Since 2011, she serves as the editor of German Studies Review, the journal of the German Studies Association. She is currently working on two book projects, a series of case studies on German film/cinema in the age of media convergence and a two-volume work on the project funded by a EURIAS Fellowship.


Selected Publications

  • Screen Nazis: Cinema, History, and Democracy, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2012.
  • Topographies of Class: Modern Architecture and Mass Utopia in Weimar Berlin. Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2008.
  • German National Cinema. Expanded and revised edition. London: Routledge, 2008.
  • Popular Cinema of the Third Reich. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2001.
  • The Cinema's Third Machine: German Writings on Film 1907-1933. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1993.


FRIAS Research Project

The Dream of the Proletariat — Class Identifications and Socialist Imaginaries in Germany, 1863-1973

The “proletariat” is an ideological fantasy—but it had a profound effect on German culture and politics from the rise of Social Democracy to the end of the Cold War. As the most radicalized part of the industrial working class, a thus defined proletariat promised the alignment of labor struggles under capitalism with the utopian project of socialism. Yet as a cultural construct, the proletariat also organized the fantasies, desires, and attachments necessary to the production of new class-based identifications. My book project reconstructs this dream of the proletariat through the forgotten archives of late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century German working-class culture, including novels, dramas, songs, autobiographies, paintings, dances, essays, treatises, and films. Individual chapters deal with the Lassalle cult, the role of allegory in SPD cartoons, definitions of the proletariat in Marx, novels about the Ruhr Uprising, staging practices in the Sprechchor, proletarian children’s literature, and the Sexpol movement. Such an interdisciplinary approach allows us to reconstruct what it meant—and, even more important, how it felt—to claim the name “proletarian” with pride, hope, and conviction. As a case study on the history of emotions, this project hopes to contribute to the ongoing reassessment of socialism and communism by analyzing the overdetermined role of culture in prefiguring a distinct class-based emotional habitus. But as a theoretical investigation into the ideology of culture, whether dominant, alternative, or oppositional, the study also raises important questions about the future of class today.