Dr. Dietmar Meinel

Dr. Dietmar Meinel


Dr. Dietmar Meinel

University of Duisburg-Essen
Institut für Anglophone Studien
R12 R04 A01
Universitätsstr. 12
45141 Essen

Room: R12 R04 A01

E-mail: dietmar.meinel [at] uni-due.de

Phone: +49 201 183-6204

Fax: +49 201 183-4372

Biographical Information

Dietmar Meinel received his M.A. degree from the Freie Universität Berlin in 2009 with a major in North American Studies and minors in German literature (Neuere Deutsche Literatur) and sociology. He was a doctoral fellow at the Graduate School of North American Studies at the John F. Kennedy Institute from 2010 to 2013 where he wrote his dissertation under the supervision of Winfried Fluck, Laura Bieger, and Donald Pease. Meinel published the monograph Pixar’s America: The Reanimation of American Myths and Symbols (Palgrave MacMillan) in 2016. Since October 2013 he has been a research and teaching assistant (Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter) at University of Duisburg-Essen in North American Studies.

Research Interests

  • Popular Culture
  • Visual Arts and Culture
  • Nineteenth Century America
  • Literary and Cultural Theory


Furlanetto, Elena and Meinel, Dietmar. “Kind Dragons and Skinny Vikings: Post-Heroism and the White Savior in How to Train your Dragon (2010).” Imago: Studi di Cinema e Media 16 (2018): 119-130.

Meinel, Dietmar. “Surviving on Wrecked Ships: The Failing Individual in Edgar Allan Poe’s The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket (1838).” The Failed Individual: Amid Exclusion, Resistance, and the Pleasure of Non-Conformity. Ed. Katharina Motyl and Regina Schober. Campus, 2017. 267-286. Print.

Meinel, Dietmar. “Cultural Studies and the Un/Popular: How the Ass-Kicking Work of Steven Seagal May Wrist-Break Our Paradigms of Culture.” Martin Lüthe and Sascha Pohlmann (eds.). Unpopular Culture. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2016. 241-258. Print.

Meinel, Dietmar. Pixar's America: The Re-Animation of American Myths and Symbols. Basingstoke & New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016. Print.

Meinel, Dietmar and Moffett-Bateau, Courtney. “Now We Teach It, Now We Learn: Potentials and Pitfalls of a Research-Oriented Seminar.“ Neu gedacht und neu gemacht: Lehrideen aus der Universität Duisburg-Essen. Ed. Zentrum für Hochschulbildung. Duisburg and Essen: University of Duisburg-Essen, 2015. 70-74. Print.

Buchenau, Barbara, Furlanetto, Elena, Hassan, Zohra, and Meinel, Dietmar. “Urbanität neu denken? Provokationen aus der nordamerikanischen Gegenwartskultur.“ Neu gedacht und neu gemacht: Lehrideen aus der Universität Duisburg-Essen. Ed. Zentrum für Hochschulbildung. Duisburg and Essen: University of Duisburg-Essen, 2015. 54-60. Print.

Meinel, Dietmar. “‘And when everyone is super […] no one will be’: The limits of American Exceptionalism in The Incredibles.” European Journal of American Culture 33.3 (September 2014): 181-194. Print.

Meinel, Dietmar. “The Garden in the Machine: Myth and Symbol in the Digital Age.” Rereading the Machine in the Garden. Eds. Eric Erbacher, Nicole Maruo-Schröder, and Florian Sedlmeier. Frankfurt: Campus Verlag, 2014. 190-210. Print.

Meinel, Dietmar. “Empire is out There!? The Spirit of Imperialism in the Pixar Animated Film Up.” NECSUS European Journal for Media Studies (Spring 2014): n. pag. Web. 16 June 2014.

Meinel, Dietmar. “’Space: The Final Fun‐tier’ – Returning Home to the Frontier in Pixar’s WALL‐E.” Animation Studies Online Journal 8 (2013): n. pag. Web. 30 September 2013.

Bieger, Laura and Dietmar Meinel, eds. Black, White & In-Between. Aachen: Shaker Verlag, 2008. Print.

Meinel, Dietmar. “White Western. Whiteness and Race Politics from John Wayne to Clint Eastwood.” Black, White & In-Between. Eds. Laura Bieger and Dietmar Meinel. Aachen: Shaker Verlag, 2008. 103-133. Print.

Conferences and Papers

With Evangelia Kindinger, co-organizer of the “Taverns, Salons, and Vaudeville Theaters: Space and Public Spheres in Nineteenth Century America” Workshop at the annual meeting of the DGfA/GAAS, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, May 24 to 27, 2018.

“Playing the Urban Future: Movement, Space, and Cityscapes in Mirror’s Edge (2008).” Paper at the Playing the Field: Video Games and American Studies Conference, Amerikahaus München, LMU München, Germany, April 26 to 29, 2018.

With Yasamin Ulfat, co-presenter “Bokhara Burnes and John Rambo in Afghanistan: Constructions of Imperial Heroism in Travels into Bokhara (1834), Cabool (1842) and Rambo III (1988).” Paper at the We Don’t Need Another Hero? Heroism in Contemporary Culture Lecture Series, University of Duisburg-Essen, April 24, 2018.

“For White Men Only: 1950s Science Fiction Films in Soviet Russia and the United States.” Paper at the Intersections of Whiteness Conference, Ruhr University Bochum and TU Dortmund, Germany, January 11 to 13, 2017.

“Post 9/11 Animation Films: How to Train your Dragon (2010) and the War in Iraq.” Guest Lecture at the University of Erfurt, Germany, December 15, 2016.

“Animating America: Pixar and the Myths and Symbols of American Culture.” Paper at the 30 Years of Pixar Symposium, King’s College, London, England, December 10, 2016.

“Managing Fear: Survival and Drowning in Winslow Homer’s Seascape Paintings.” Paper at the Fictions of Management Conference, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, December 8 to 10, 2016.

Nancy Cheryll Davis (Towne Street Theater, Los Angeles), theater performance “PassingSOLO” and guest lectures, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany, November 6 to 16, 2016.

“Diversity in English-Language Classrooms: Research-Oriented Teaching in Project-Based Initiatives.” DisQspace Presentation with Courtney Moffett-Bateau at the 2016 Annual Conference of the German Association for Teaching in Higher Education, Ruhr University Bochum, Germany, September 21 to 23, 2016.

Member of the Organizing Team of the Radboud University and University of Duisburg-Essen Spring Academy (RUDESA) 2016, International Student Workshop in cooperation with Radboud University and the University of Wyoming, March 14 to 18, 2016.

“Finding Neurosis: Narratives of Mental Disability in Pixar’s Finding Nemo (2003).” Paper at Neurosis & Social Transformations International Workshop, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany, February 18 to 19, 2016.

Member of the Organizing Team of the Neurosis & Social Transformations International Workshop, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany, February 18 to 19, 2016.

Member of the Organizing Team of the Ruhr PhD Forum 2016, Ruhr-University Bochum and TU Dortmund, Germany, January 29 to 30, 2016.

“Wrecked Ships and Sinking Classes: Failure and Edgar Allan Poe’s The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket (1838).” Paper at The Failed Individual Conference, University of Mannheim, November 12 to 14, 2015.

Member of the Organizing Team of the Empire & Neurosis Conference, 3rd Postgraduate Forum “Postcolonial Narrations” of the Association for Anglophone Postcolonial Studies (GAPS), University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany, October 8 to 10, 2015.

Member of the Organizing Team of the Ruhr PhD Forum 2015, University of Duisburg-Essen and Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany, January 23 to 24, 2015.

"On Weeping and Knowing Why: The Politics of Contemporary US Cinema in Wendy and Lucy (2008), Margaret (2011), and Django Unchained (2012)." Paper at the Rupture, Crisis, Transformation: New Directions in US Studies at the End of the American Century Conference, Birkbeck, University of London, November 22, 2014.

“’We are all of Paper.’ The Persistence of Hegemony in ‘Postrace’ Aesthetics.” Paper at the 9th biennial MESEA (The Society for Multi-Ethnic Studies: Europe and the Americas) Conference: “Crossing Boundaries in a Post-Ethnic Era: Interdisciplinary Approaches and Negotiations,” Saarbrücken University, Germany, May 29 to June 1, 2014.

“Bridging the Un/Popular Divide through the Works of Steven Seagal.” Paper at the Unpopular Culture Conference, Amerika Haus Munich, Germany, October 31st - November 3rd, 2013.

“’And when everyone's super ... no one will be:’ The Limits of American Exceptionalism in The Incredibles (2004).” Paper at the American Exceptionalism(s): The City on the Hill in the Twenty-First Century Symposium, Goldsmiths, University of London, England, 15th June, 2013.

“Poking and Prodding the Exceptional World of Pixar: American Exceptionalism and Ideology Critique in Up (2009).” Paper at the 2013 Ruhr PhD Forum in American Studies, Ruhr-Universität Bochum and TU Dortmund, Germany, January 18th-19th, 2013.

“‘Space. The final fun-tier.‘ Returning Home to the Frontier in Pixar’s WALL-E (2008).” Paper at the Graduate School of North American Studies International Conference (2012) Making It Home. Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Recognition and Displacement in America. John F. Kennedy Institute, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, May 11th-12th, 2012.

Ratatouille (2007) – An American Dilemma.” Paper at the National Conference of the Popular Culture Association and American Culture Association in Boston, April 11th-14th, 2012.

“Exceptional Aesthetics. Reconsidering Aesthetic Experience in the (New) American Exceptionalism of Pixar.” Paper at the 9th Heidelberg Center for American Studies Spring Academy, Heidelberg University, Germany, March 26th-30th, 2012.

“Monster Capitalism – Neoliberalism and Neoconservatism in Monsters Inc. (2001).” Paper at the 10th Interdisciplinary and International Conference for Graduates and Postgraduates of Social Science, Humanities and Cultural Studies (Re)Presentations of Working Life, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany, November 12th-13th, 2011.

Grants and Research Honors

Member of the Young Global Faculty, a post-doctoral network of the Stiftung Mercator in cooperation with the University Alliance Ruhr (UA RUHR) coordinated by the Mercator Research Centre Ruhr (MERCUR) in Essen.

“Innovationspreis der Lehre” (Innovative Teaching) of the University of Duisburg-Essen. 2015.

Teaching Grant “Forschendes Lernen,” Werkstatt Lehre Konkret, University of Duisburg-Essen. 2014.

Doctoral Fellowship, German Research Foundation (DFG), Excellence Initiative of the German Federal and State Governments. 2010-2013.

Scholarship Recipient, Fulbright American Studies Institute, San Francisco State University, California, USA. 2012.

Scholarship Recipient, Clinton Institute for American Studies Summer School, University College Dublin, Ireland. 2012.

Scholarship Recipient, Futures of American Studies Institute, Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, USA. 2011.

Additional Positions

Conceptualization and instruction of “Wer ist hier Aggro?” – a workshop for teachers and social workers on gender-normative, homophobic, and violence-glorifying tendencies in German Hip Hop cultures interactive e. V. 2008-2009.

Workshop instructor with cultures interactive e. V., a social project combining political and youth cultural education to facilitate democratic practices, prevent adolescent violence and right-wing extremism. 2007-2009.

Workshop instructor with Culture-On-The-Road, an Entimon pilot project combining political and youth cultural education to facilitate democratic practices, prevent adolescent violence and right-wing extremism. 2002-2006.


Dietmar has seen the Pacific Ocean from both sides. If his profession ever yields enough wealth, he would travel into space. And in 12th grade, he held the long jump record at his school: 5,45 m. To this day, he still believes his teacher took the wrong measurement.


Solange. A Seat at the Table.
How To Dress Well. Care.
The Range. Potential

D’Angelo. Black Messiah.
Darkstar. Foam Island.
Hunee. Hunch Music.

Benjamin Clementine. Glorious You.
Chet Faker. Build on Glass.
How To Dress Well. What Is This Heart?.

Daft Punk. Random Access Memory.
London Grammar. If You Wait.
Omar S. Thank You For Letting Me Be Myself.

Jessie Ware. Devotion.
Frank Ocean. Channel Orange.
Grimes. Visions.

Courses Taught at the UDE

  • PS A Survey of American Literature
  • PS Grundkurs Literaturwissenschaft
  • HS Failure in America: An Incoherent Cultural History
  • HS From Cowboys to WALL-E: Intersections of Masculinity and American Exceptionalism in Popular Culture
  • HS Into the American Century: From the Gilded Age to the End of World War I
  • HS Now You See It, Now You Don't: Interdisciplinary Explorations of Race in a 'Postracial' America