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Petra Dierkes-Thrun



Littlefield Center 248
Phone (650) 723-3565 (email preferred)

Office Hours:

By appointment

Research Groups:

Affinity links:

19th Century Studies
Fin de siècle
Gender and Sexuality
Feminist and Queer Theory
digital humanities
Digital pedagogy

Petra Dierkes-Thrun

Lecturer in Comparative Literature

Assistant Vice Provost for Strategic Initiatives, Office of the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning (VPTL)

Petra Dierkes-Thrun’s research and teaching interests include the European and transatlantic fin de siècle and modernism (including literature, the visual arts, opera, dance, and film); feminist and queer theory; LGBTQ literary and cultural studies; and digital pedagogy as well as literary theory for the digital age; pedagogically smart uses of technology in teaching, and project-based learning in the Humanities.

Petra Dierkes-Thrun has served as an Advisory Editor for Gender and Sexuality Studies at boundary 2 (Duke University Press) and was the Founding Editor of The Latchkey: Journal of New Woman Studies, a peer-reviewed, international scholarly online journal dedicated to the figure of the New Woman in fin-de-siècle and modernist society and culture (Rivendale Press, UK). 

Petra is also an Assistant Vice Provost in charge of Strategic Initiatives for the Office of the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning (VPTL).


Honors and awards:

2015-16 Stanford Faculty Research Fellow, The Clayman Institute for Gender Research

2015 Teaching Excellence Award, Phi Beta Kappa (Northern Caifornia Association)

2015 Honoree of the World Affairs Council and the Global Philanthropy Forum for leadership in education in the Bay Area





Salome’s Modernity: Oscar Wilde and the Aesthetics of Transgression.  Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 2011.

Wilde’s Worlds: International Perspectives on Oscar Wilde. Edited essay collection on new Comparative Literature directions in Oscar Wilde studies, co-edited by Petra Dierkes-Thrun and Michael Davis. (Currently in preparation.)


Peer-reviewed articles:

  1. “Decadent Sensuality in Rachilde and Wilde.” In Decadence and the Senses, ed. Jane Desmarais and Alice Conde. Oxford: Legenda (MHRA & Maney Publishing). Forthcoming in 2015.

    “Victoria Cross’s Six Chapters of a Man’s Life: Queering Modernist Middlebrow Feminism.” In The Popular Imagination and the Dawn of Modernism: British Middlebrow Writing 1880-1930, 2 vols. Eds. Christoph Ehland and Kate Macdonald. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Forthcoming in 2015.

    “Wilde’s Comedic Takes on the New Woman: A Comparison with Ibsen and Shaw.” In Oscar Wilde's Society Plays, ed. Michael Y. Bennett. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Forthcoming in 2015.

  2. “’Sincere and Studied Triviality’: The Importance of Being Earnest as an Aestheticist Comedy of Manners.” In Wilde in Earnest, ed. Emily Eells. Collection Intercalaires: Agrégation d’anglais. Paris: Presses universitaires de Paris Ouest, 2015. 19-34.

  3. “Realism.” The Fin-de-Siècle World, ed. Michael Saler. New York: Routledge, 2015. 706-718.

  4. “Salomé in the Comics: P. Craig Russell’s Intertextual Graphic Adaptation from Strauss and Wilde.”Special issue on Wilde’s Salomé in The Oscholars (open-access, peer-reviewed journal), ed. by Virginie Pouzet-Douzer. Spring 2013. Online.

  5. “Aestheticist Comedies of Manners.” A History of British Drama: Genres – Developments –Interpretations.  Ed. by Sibylle Baumbach, Birgit Neumann, and Ansgar Nünning. WVT Handbücher zum Literaturwissenschaftlichen Studium.  Trier, Germany: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, 2011.  227-240.

  6. “’The Brutal Music and the Delicate Text’?  The Aesthetic Relationship between Oscar Wilde’s and Richard Strauss’s Salome Reconsidered.” Modern Language Quarterly 69.3 (September 2008): 367-389.

  7. “Salomé, C’est Moi?  Salome and Wilde as Icons of Transgression.” Approaches to Teaching the Works of Oscar Wilde, ed. by Philip E. Smith. Modern Language Association, Approaches to Teaching World Literature series.  New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2008. 171-179.

  8. “Incest and the Trafficking of Women in G.B. Shaw’s Mrs Warren’s Profession: ‘It Runs In the Family’.”ELT (English Literature in Transition, 1880-1920) 49.4 (September 2006): 293-310.

  9. “Arthur Symons’ Decadent Aesthetics: Stéphane Mallarmé and the Dancer Revisited.” Decadences: Morality and Aesthetics in British Literature, ed. by Paul Fox.  Studies in English Literatures.  Stuttgart: Ibidem, 2006. 33-65. 


Book reviews and other publications:

  1. Salomé Stripped Down and Dressed Up for Today’s Stage: A New Translation of Oscar Wilde’s Play.” Review of a new edition of Oscar Wilde’s Salomé, ed. and trans. by Joseph Donohue (University of Virginia Press: Charlottesville and London, 2011).  Irish Literary Supplement, September 2013.
  2. “Comparisons Worth Making: Queer Studies and Comparative Literature.” Review ofComparatively Queer: Interrogating Identities Across Time and Cultures, ed. by Jarrod Haynes, Margaret R. Higonnet, and William J. Spurlin.  London: Macmillan, 2010. GLQ 19.2 (2013): 264-66.
  3. “A Bill of Rights and Principles for Learning in the Digital Age.”  Co-authored with John Seely Brown, Betsy Corcoran, Cathy N. Davidson, Todd Edebohls, Mark J. Gierl, Sean M. Morris, J. Philipp Schmidt, Bonnie Stewart, Jesse Stommel, Sebastian Thrun, Audrey Watters.  First published simultaneously in several online venues and by the Chronicle of Higher Education on January 23, 2013.
  4. Review of Imperishable Beauty: Art Nouveau Jewelry, by Yvonne J. Markowitz and Elyse Zorn Karlin.The Eighth Lamp: Journal of Ruskin Studies (Spring 2010).
  5. Salome by Richard Strauss.”  Pittsburgh Opera Magazine (Fall 2001): 16-19.
  6. Review of Romantic Genius: The Prehistory of a Homosexual Role, by Andrew Elfenbein. The Rocky Mountain Review of Language and Literature 54.2 (Fall 2000): 110-112.


2003     PhD, University of Pittsburgh (English, Cultural and Critical Studies)
1996    Erstes Staatsexamen, Rheinische Freidrich-Wilhelms-Universitaet Bonn, Germany (English, German, Catholic Theology)


COMPLIT 130 Fin-de-siècle Literature and Culture
COMPLIT 194 Independent Research
COMPLIT 399 Individual Work