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University of Pittsburgh

Sabine von Dirke

Associate Professor


1522 Cathedral of Learning
Pittsburgh, PA 15260


vondirkePhD in German Studies, Stanford University, 1991
MA in Germanic Languages and Literatures, Washington University, 1985
BA-Equivalent in History and German Literature, University of Tuebingen, Germany

Courses Taught

Undergraduate Courses

  • Post-War German Literature and Culture
  • The German-Speaking World Today
  • Minorities in Post-War Germany
  • Media

Graduate Courses

  • Post-War German Literature and Culture
  • Labor and Economics in German Culture of the 20th and 21st Centiuries
  • Minority Literatures and Cultures
  • Memory, History, Narrative
  • Postmodern Culture in Germany


Professor von Dirke's research explores German culture from 1945 to the present with special emphasis on countercultural developments, popular culture, and cultural production under the pressures of socio-economic differentiation and im/migration. She has written a monograph entitled “All Power to the Imagination!” The West German Counterculture from the Student Movement to the Greens (1997). Conceptually and theoretically, her scholarship draws on current cultural and literary theory based on the work of the Birmingham Center for Contemporary Cultural Studies, the Frankfurt School, Foucauldian discourse analysis as well as other theorist of modernity and postmodernity. Recent articles have focused on transatlantic transfers of popular culture with an emphasis on its significance for immigrant cultures and current German literature addressing questions of migration as well as the effect of the increasing socio-economic differentiations most visible since the 1990s.


  • “Sleepless in the New Economy: Money, Consumption, and Unemployment in Current Literature.” Über Gegenwartsliteratur About Contemporary Literature. Ed. by Mark Rectanus (Bielefeld: Aisthesis, 2008) 141-156.
  • “The RAF as Historical Trauma and Pop Icon in Literature since the 1980s.” In: History and Cultural Memory of German Left-Wing Terrorism, 1968-1998. Ed. by Gerrit-Jan Berendse and Ingo Cornlis. (Amsterdam, New York: Rodopi, 2008) 105-125.)
  • "Pop Literature in the Berlin Republic.” In: Contemporary German Fiction: Writing in the Berlin Republic. Ed. by Stuart Taberner. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007) 108-124.
  • “Hip Hop Made in Germany. Transatlantic Transfers of Popular Music Culture.” In: German Pop Culture: How “American” Is It? Ed. by Agnes Mueller, Ann Arbor: (The University of Michigan Press, 2004.) 96-112.
  • “All Power to the Imagination!” The West German Counterculture from the Student Movement to the Greens. Lincoln, London: University of Nebraska Press, 1997.

Professional Membership/Offices

  • German Studies Association
  • Women in German
  • Modern Languages Association
  • North East Modern Languages Association