PD Dr. René Dietrich

External Lecturer
Having been a lecturer and DFG research fellow at the Obama Institute until 2019, I am now the academic coordinator of the KU Center for Advanced Studies “Dialogical Cultures – Critical Reflection Spaces for Cultural Studies and Social Sciences” and continue to teach as an external lecturer (Privatdozent) at the Obama Institute. Previous to my academic appointment at Mainz, I studied at Freiburg and Whitman College, USA, received my PhD from the University of Giessen, and was the coordinator of the International PhD Program “Literary and Cultural Studies” at Giessen. In Mainz, I completed my second book project (Habilitation) on U.S. settler colonial biopolitics and Indigenous life writing.

 My publications include the monograph Remembering and Revising (after) the End: American Post-Apocalyptic Poetry since 1945 from Ginsberg to Forché (Trier: WVT 2012) as well as the co-edited volumes Lost or Found in Translation: Interkulturelle/Internationale Perspektiven der Geistes- und Kulturwissenschaften (WVT: 2011), A History of American Poetry: Contexts-Developments-Readings (WVT 2015), and Biopolitics, Geopolitics, Life: Settler States and Indigenous Presence (forthcoming with Duke University Press 2023). 

In my teaching, I am interested in exploring with students the complex interactions and tensions between texts and contexts that come to light in formations of American culture, society, and politics in a given historical constellation. My courses regularly include online components that aim at fostering student centered discussions.