Salvatore Calabrese

Between Literature and Sociology. Critical Autosociobiographies in Pierre Bourdieu, Didier Eribon, and Annie Ernaux.

Since "Returning to Reims" by Didier Eribon appeared in German in 2016, a steadily growing interest in a new literary form has been observed in Germany. We are talking about "auto-socio-biography". The authors of this genre write about the circumstances of their low social background and the adversities of social advancement through education. In doing so, they do not aim solely at reconstructing their own biography, but rather take it as a basis for advancing a decidedly leftist critique of society within the framework of a theory of social classes.

The research project examines the origins of autosociobiography, which is especially prominent in France. In doing so it demonstrates how this genre can only be adequately considered by emphasizing the theoretical as well as thematic context of the texts of Didier Eribon, Annie Ernaux, and Pierre Bourdieu. In addition, the focus is on the question of how autosociobiographical writing, which moves in an in-between space of literary aesthetics and sociological theory, can be described in terms of literary studies and which impulses emanate from this new form of writing for literary, sociological, but also socio-political discourses.



Salvatore Calabrese studied sociology and history in Freiburg (B.A.) and in Frankfurt (M.A.) and completed his sociology degree with a master’s dissertation on Pierre Bourdieu’s concept of habitus. This was followed by studies in creative writing (M.A.) in Hildesheim and a concentration on his own literary writing practice. Since then, he has been writing and working on the boundaries between sociology, literary studies and his own literary texts.


His research interests include

  • Social theory of Pierre Bourdieu
  • Autobiographical research (especially autosociobiography)
  • Literary writing as aesthetic practice
  • Contemporary literature



2015: zus. mit Sczech, Verena / Hofstätter, Lukas / Neckel, Sighard / Petzold, Conny: Globale Bankvorstände. Zum Stellenwert internationaler Berufserfahrung bei Bankvorständen in Deutschland und weltweit. Global Financial Class Working Paper Series Nr. 1. Frankfurt a. M.: Goethe-Universität (


University teaching activities 

Summer Semester 2019
„Creative Writing“
Lectureship at Westfälische Hochschule Gelsenkichren 



"Who am 'I' when I write? Reflections on a Poetics of Scientific Writing" (lecture in the context of the "Anniversary Week: 40 Years of Cultural Studies in Hildesheim").

"Autosociobiography. Critical Biographies between Literature and Sociology" (guest lecture at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg). 


Literary and scientific scholarships

  • Winter semester 2017/18 - Summer semester 2018: Deutschland-Stipendium
  • Participation at the Kölner Schmiede 2018/19