PhD Project "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 was devoted to the origins of autosociobiography, which is prominent above all in France, and in doing so showed how this genre could only be adequately brought into view by emphasizing the theoretical as well as thematic connection of the texts by Didier Eribon, Annie Ernaux, and Pierre Bourdieu. In addition, the focus was on the question of how autosociobiographical writing, which moves in an interstice between literary aesthetics and sociological theory, can be described in terms of literary studies and what impulses emanate from this new form of writing for literary, sociological, but also sociopolitical 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




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