Plan II Honors Logo
Plan II Honors

Sabine Hake

ProfessorPh.D., University of Hannover, Germany

Sabine Hake



German film, Weimar culture, modernism and the avant-garde, the culture of the metropolis, fascist aesthetics, working-class culture, Marxist theory


I am the Texas Chair of German Literature and Culture at the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to coming to UT in 2004, I taught at the University of Pittsburgh for sixteen years. Since receiving my Dr. Phil. from the University of Hannover in 1984, I have worked primarily in two areas, Weimar culture and German cinema. As a cultural historian/film historian, I am 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 central terms informing my 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. My 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 my work on Weimar culture, I have written on  the representation of Berlin in literature, photography, and film.I am currently working on two book projects, a reassessment of German cinema from the perspective of media convergence and a study on the German proletariat as an imaginary subject in literature, art, film, and political theory.


T C 357 • Anti-Amer/Americanizatn Of Eur

43775 • Fall 2009
Meets TH 200pm-500pm CRD 007B

TC 357/43775 Junior Seminar Plan II
Anti-Americanism and the Americanization of Europe
Thursdays 2-5 PM Carothers 007B

Instructor: Sabine Hake
Office Hours: T 10-11 PM, TH 11 AM-12 PM, and by appointment
Office: Burdine 3.134
Telephone: 232-6379
(Please note: E-mails will be answered within 48 hours on regular business days.)

Anti-Americanism has never been more widespread and intense than today. Americanization, too, continues to play a key role in the heated debates on globalization. But what does Americanization actually mean? What are the causes and effects of Anti-Americanism? What makes “America” both a wish dream and a nightmare in the views of the world? And what are the consequences of the world’s love-hate relationship with America for international relations?

We will address these questions by examining the transatlantic relationship between the US and Europe in its historical manifestations and current dynamics, paying special attention to the role of culture in the making of anti-Americanism. Culture has always played a key role in the relationship between America and Europe, with the prevailing images, stereotypes, and prejudices reflecting political and economic developments but also expressing larger concerns about identity, nation, history, and modernity. It is the main purpose of this course to study the meaning and function of European anti-Americanism through the lens of cultural production and critical thought and to better understand the role of literature, philosophy, art, and film in producing national stereotypes and prejudices and in organizing patterns of cross-cultural encounter and exchange. Looking at typical texts will allow us to assess the current antagonisms as part of a long-standing pattern of infatuation and resentment, imitation and rejection.

In particular, we will study European anti-Americanism within the larger context of nineteenth and twentieth century history: the analysis of American democracy by Tocqueville and the myth of the Wild West in art and literature; the waves of modernization after World War I and World War II; the fascination with all things American in modern mass and consumer culture; the functioning of anti-Americanism in conservative and progressive thought; and the marked increase in Anti-Americanism after 9/11/2001.

The course will be of special interest to students in European Studies, American Studies, History, and Government.

Class format/ method of instruction: The class will be conducted in a seminar fashion, with the instructor giving brief lectures about the history of European anti-Americanism. Throughout, students are expected to prepare questions for the readings/screenings and to participate actively in discussions; film screenings will be organized separately. As a junior seminar, this course places special emphasis on training students in reading cultural texts. We will learn how to situate cultural texts in their historical contexts, how to analyze texts for their rhetorical moves and ideological functions, how to identify visual and literary tropes, and how to assess the function of culture both as part of larger social and political developments and in the context of changing national imaginaries and imaginary geographies.
Grading (in the new =/- system):
30% Attendance, preparation, and active participation, including one formal presentation
30% midterm essay exam based on questions provided by instructor
40% final exam (essay questions only) on material covered in class

Attendance Policy:
You are expected to attend all class sessions and be present during the entire time period. Attendance will be taken at some time during every session. You will be given 1 unexcused absence for the entire semester. More than 3 unexcused absences results in an F for the entire course. Excused absences include documented illnesses or family emergencies and will be handled on an individual basis; for details, see below.

Required and recommended readings, with required ones in bold:
Berman, Russell. Anti-Americanism in Europe: A Cultural Problem. Stanford: Hoover Institution, 2004.
Diner, Dan. America in the Eyes of the Germans: An Essay on Anti-Americanism. Princeton: Marcus Wiener Publishers, 1996.
Grazia, Victoria de. Irresistible Empire: America’s Advance through 20th-Century Europe. Harvard: Harvard University Press, 2005.
Joffe, Josef. Überpower: The Imperial Temptation of America. New York: Norton, 2006.
Kroes, Rob. If You've Seen One, You've Seen the Mall: Europeans and American Mass Culture. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1996.
Levy, Bernard-Henri. American Vertigo: Travelling America in the Footsteps of Tocqueville. New York: Random House, 2006.
Markovits, Andrei. Uncouth Nation: Why Europe Dislikes America. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007.
Revel, Jean-Francois. Anti-Americanism. San Francisco: Encounter Books, 2000.
Rubin, Berry and Judith Colp. Hating America: A History. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.
Roger, Philippe. The American Enemy: The History of French Anti-Americanism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005.
Tocqueville, Alexis de. Democracy in America. New York: Penguin, 2001. (excerpts available as pdf files)

Course Syllabus
8/27    Lecture: Anti-Americanism: A Preliminary Definition

9/3     Lecture: Anti-Americanism after 9/11
    Readings (for that day): Markovits, Introduction and Chapters 1-2 (1-80)

9/10     Lecture: Anti-Americanism and European Unification
    Readings (for that day): Markovits, Chapters 3-4 (80-149)

9/17     Lecture: The Idea of Europe in Cultural and Political Life
    Readings (for that day): Levy, En route and Chapters 1 and 2 (3-77)

9/24     Lecture: The Origins of Anti-Americanism in 18th and 19th Century Critical Thought
    Readings (for that day): Levy, Chapters 3 (78-105) and 4 (106-35)

10/1     Lecture: The Fascination with the Wild West in 19th Painting and Popular Culture
Assignments (for that day): Levy, Chapter 5 (136-167) plus Tocqueville

10/8     Lecture: The Image of America in Modern European Art
    Assignments (for that day): de Grazia, Intro (1-14) and Chapter 5 (226-83)
10/15     Lecture: The Debate on Americanism after World War One
    Readings (for that day): de Grazia, Chapter 3 (130-83)

10/22     Lecture: Hollywood in Europe
    Readings (for that day): de Grazia, Chapter 7 (336-75)

10/29     Lecture: The Americanization of Europe after World War Two
    Readings (for that day): de Grazia, Chapter 6 (284-335)

11/5     Lecture: Cold War, Vietnam War, and the 1968: “America” and the European Left Viewing (for that day): Wilder: One Two Three

11/12     Lecture: The Age of Globalization
Readings (for that day): Markovits, Chapter 6 (202-24) and Grazia, Chapter 8 (376-415)

    Viewing: Paris, Texas (1984, 147’, DVD 3328)

12/3     Lecture: Nostalgia for America: The Case of Texas

General Rules and Regulations
CLASS AND CLASSROOMS: Cell phones must be turned off in class; computers may be used only for note taking. If a student uses electronic devices for non-class related activities and creates a disturbance s/he will be asked to leave for the remainder of that class.

ACADEMIC ASSISTANCE: Academic Assistance is provided by the UT Learning Center, in Jester Center, Room A332A. It offers help with college-level writing, reading, and learning strategies. It is free to all currently enrolled students.
See: <> for requesting help you need in using the main library (PCL) or the Fine Arts Library (for films).

STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES: The University of Texas at Austin provides upon request appropriate academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. For more information, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 471-6259, 471-6441 TTY. Any student with a documented disability who requires academic accommodations should contact the Service for Students with Disabilities as soon as possible to request an official letter outlining authorized accommodations. These letters must be given to the professor at the beginning of the class. See: <>.

SYLLABUS AND ASSIGNMENTS: All requirements have been given to you in writing; continuation in the class means acceptance of the rules and regulations spelled out in the syllabus. NO LATE WORK WILL BE ACCEPTED; see the conditions for making up work for medical and other leaves listed in the next section.

RELIGIOUS HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ABSENCES: Students can make up work missed because of a religious holiday as long as they provide the instructor with documentation at least one week before the holiday occurs. The same applies to official university obligations like Club or Varsity sports. Documentation from a physician is required for medical absence; arrangements for work to be made up must be made promptly, and in no case should the work be completed more than 2 weeks after the absence.
Other absences (e.g. family events) must be arranged for at least TWO WEEKS IN ADVANCE and missed work must be turned in at the NEXT CLASS SESSION upon return.

CHEATING AND PLAGIARISM: Cheating and other forms of scholastic dishonesty, including plagiarism, will be reported to the Dean of Students. Cheating on tests or plagiarism on papers is an F for the assignment, with no makeup possible. If you engage in any form of scholastic dishonesty more than once, you will receive an automatic F for the course. If you are unsure about the exact definition of scholastic dishonesty, you should consult the information about academic integrity produced by the Dean of Students Office: <>.
Plagiarism means using words or ideas that are not your own without citing your sources and without indicating explicitly what you have taken from those sources.
If you are unsure about what constitutes plagiarism, consult: <>

What does "citing your sources" mean? It means providing appropriate footnotes and bibliographic entries. See <>.
To make correct citations, researchers often use bibliographic software like UT's "Noodlebib" <> or Zotero <

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON CHEATING: The Student Judicial Services Website provides official definitions of plagiarism and cheating: Definitions of plagiarism and other forms of scholastic dishonesty, based on Section 11-802d of UT’s Institutional Rules on Student Services and Activities:
The University’s Standard of Academic Integrity and Student Honor Code (from Chapter 11 of the University’s Institutional Rules on Student Services and Activities):
Consequences of scholastic dishonesty:
Types of scholastic dishonesty: unauthorized collaboration, plagiarism, and multiple submissions:

I strongly encourage you to use the Undergraduate Writing Center, FAC 211, 471-6222: The Undergraduate Writing Center offers free, individualized, expert help with writing for any UT undergraduate, by appointment or on a drop-in basis. Any undergraduate enrolled in a course at UT can visit the UWC for assistance with any writing project. They work with students from every department on campus, for both academic and non-academic writing. Whether you are writing a lab report, a resume, a term paper, a statement for an application, or your own poetry,
UWC consultants will be happy to work with you. Their services are not just for writing with "problems." Getting feedback from an informed audience is a normal part of a successful writing project. Consultants help students develop strategies to improve their writing. The assistance they provide is intended to foster independence. Each student determines how to use the consultant's advice. The consultants are trained to help you work on your writing in ways that preserve the integrity of your work.

Profile Pages

External Links

  •   Map
  • Plan II Honors Program

    University of Texas at Austin
    305 East 23rd St
    CLA 2.102
    Austin, Texas, 78712-1250