Sabine Von Dirke

  • Associate Professor

(Ph.D. Stanford University, 1991; M.A. Washington University, 1985) is Associate Professor of German at the University of Pittsburgh. Her education included the study of History (major), Political Science and Empirical Cultural Studies (minors) at the University of Tübingen and a post-doctoral fellowship at the Center for German and European Studies at Georgetown University (1994-1995). Her scholarship is situated at the intersection of the social sciences and the humanities. Her current research explores the negotiation of the neoliberal agenda in German and European cultural discourse with special emphasis on immaterial labor, i.e. white color employees (see recent publications below). Other published research explores transatlantic pop-cultural synergies in music (German New Wave, German Hip Hop) as well as literature (Pop Literature of the 1990s), intra-European and global migration, West German counter-cultural developments (monograph 1997) and left-wing politically motivated violence (RAF).

She has attended the GSA conference regularly as a presenter, moderator or commentator since1993 and was one of two section coordinators for 20th and 21st Century Germanistik and German Film for the GSA conference 2011 in Louisville, Kentucky as well as a member of the GSA’s Nomination Committee. At the University of Pittsburgh, she has served as the Chair of the German Department (1999-2001, 2005-2006) and as the Associate Director of the Humanities Center (2012-2014). She is committed to developing strong undergraduate and graduate curricula in the field of German Studies across the disciplines and schools. At Pitt, she has spear-headed the curricular initiative of the 18 credit Certificate in German Language as an alternative for students in other fields (School of Engineering, College of Business Administration). The European Studies Center at Pitt commissioned her and provided funding for a sequence of two advanced German-language courses for social scientists as part of Pitt’s most recent and successful application for Title VI funding. Both of these German-language courses qualify for General Education Credits (Historical Change, Social Change). She has repeatedly received Pitt-specific grants for conducting research abroad.

Education & Training

  • PhD 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

Representative Publications

Sabine von Dirke, “Claiming Cultural Citizenship: East Asian-German Presence on YouTube und Public Television’s In: East Asian-German Cinema. The Transnational Screen, 1919 to the Present. Ed. by Joanne Miyang Cho. (New York, London: Routledge, 2022) pp. 282-298.

Sabine von Dirke, “A Few Bad Apples or the Logic of Capitalism? Neoliberal Globalization in the Economic Crime Drama Since the Millennial Turn.” In: German Politics and Society 39.4 (Dec. 2021), pp. 8-24. Special Issue on “German Politics and Popular Culture.” Guest Editor: Niko Switek.

Sabine von Dirke, “Between Nostalgic Yearning and Horror Scenarios: The Meaning of Work and Technology in Current Essay Films by Harun Farocki and Carmen Losmann.” In: Meaning of Modern Work in Nineteenth- and Twenty-First Century German Literature and Film. Ed. by Peter C. Pfeiffer and Nathan T. Tschepik. (Oxford, New York, Berlin: Peter Lang, 2020) 111-135. 

“Neoliberalism’s Re-Engineering of the Authoritarian Personality.”  Colloquia Germanica 50.3/4 (2017) 327-339.

“Time’s Deadly Arrow: Time and Temporality in Narratives of Immaterial Labor.”  Studies in 20th and 21st Century Literature. 40.2 (Summer 2016).

"Under Construction: Andreas Neumeister's Pop Modern Histographies." German Pop Literature. Ed. by Margaret McCarthy. (Berlin, Boston: de Guyter, 2015) 53-75.

Globalization, Literature, Film and the New Economy. Seminar: Journal of Germanic Studies. 47.4 (Fall 2011) co-edited with David Coury.

“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.