Associate Professor Ian Afflerbach

(University of North Georgia, USA)


“Selling Out Your Art”


December 6, 2022, 4:15pm, 02-611 (GFG)

What does it mean to say that an artist has “sold out”? Where did this expression come from, and why has it gained such widespread currency? This talk explores the history of “selling out,” which emerges as a cultural anxiety during the Gilded Age, when Americans began to worry that personal success and financial gain might come at a moral cost. We will see how “selling out” spread from the realm of “high” art in the late nineteenth century, to popular art forms like punk rock and hip-hop today.

You can download the poster for this talk here.

Ian Afflerbach is Associate Professor of American Literature at the University of North Georgia, where his research and teaching focus on the history of ideas, modernist studies, African American literature, and popular periodicals. He recently completed his first book, Making Liberalism New (Johns Hopkins 2021) and has begun work on a second project—a cultural history of “selling out” in modern America.

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