College of Liberal Arts

MLA Awards Germanic Studies Professor for Latest Book

Thu, Dec 20, 2018
"The Proletarian Dream," is the first part of Hake's two-volume book.

The Modern Language Association of America awarded its Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for Studies in Germanic Languages and Literatures to Sabine Hake from The University of Texas at Austin, for her book The Proletarian Dream: Socialism, Culture, and Emotion in Germany, 1863–1933.

Hake, a professor and Texas Chair of German Literature and Culture at UT Austin, is the 13th person to receive the award since 1993. It recognizes “an outstanding scholarly work on the linguistics or literatures of the Germanic languages, including Danish, Dutch, German, Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish, and Yiddish.”

In her book, The Proletarian Dream: Socialism, Culture, and Emotion in Germany, 1863–1933, published by De Gruyter, Hake presents archival materials that illustrate the imaginary and emotional dimensions of German working-class culture from the mid–nineteenth century through the end of the Weimar Republic. 

“My goals with the book were two-fold: to reconstruct the history of political emotions and emotions in politics for the German case and to uncover the complicated connections among socialism, nationalism and populism in modern democracies,” said Hake, who is currently working on a second volume of the book, titled The Worker’s States, 1933-1989.

The members of the selection committee were John B. Lyon (Univ. of Pittsburgh); Helmut Müller-Sievers (Univ. of Colorado, Boulder), chair; and Yasemin Yildiz (Univ. of Illinois, Urbana). The committee’s citation for Hake’s book reads: 

"Her research, embedded in a sophisticated framework that theorizes the history and philosophy of emotions, offers views on a cultural movement that have hitherto been obscured by the interpretative power of ideology. The Proletarian Dream, beautifully written and beautifully produced, is the first part of a two-volume book that promises to change nothing less than our understanding of German popular culture."

Hake has taught in the Department of Germanic Studies at UT Austin since 2004. As a cultural historian, her research has focused on Weimar culture, Nazi cinema, and most recently, the role of emotions in modern mass mobilizations. 

“The Department of Germanic Studies is so incredibly proud of Dr. Hake winning the highly prestigious Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for Studies in Germanic Languages and Literatures from the Modern Language Association,” said Hans Boas, the department’s chair. “We are all looking forward to celebrating this major professional recognition with Dr. Hake in the new year.”

The prize is one of eighteen awards that will be presented on January 5, 2019, during the association’s annual convention in Chicago, which is expected to draw 7,000 attendees. For more information, visit

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