Hunter Martin

  • Fellowship year:2009-2010
  • University: University of Wisconsin - Madison
  • Dissertation Topic/Category: Modern Europe
  • Dissertation Title: From Ideas to Icons: The Commodification of French Intellectual Culture, 1945-1990
  • Hunter Martin’s goal is to exmine two particular dynamics that structured the relationship between intellectuals and French society during the period following the Second World War. First, the thesis explores how the so-called “commodification” of intellectual cultured effaced barriers between elite thinkers, the general public, and the State. Second, it examines the intersection between this process and the evolution of engagement (or socio-political commitment) as an ideal from the postwar to the postmodern era, a convergence which impacted not only the nature of intellectual activism, but also the status of intellectuals within society. Thus, the dissertation considers how, within the French “Economy of Knowledge,” postwar intellectuals marketed themselves and their ideas to a society that considered them the creators of a worthy, even necessary product.