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Oliver Knabe

Assistant Professor in German Studies

Full-Time Faculty

College of Arts and Sciences: Global Languages and Cultures


Email: Oliver Knabe
Phone: 937-229-2427
HM 346


Dr. Knabe has been at UD since 2021, and he currently serves as the section head and advisor of the German program. He specializes in 20th and 21st century German literature and cinema, with a particular focus on politics, sports and social justice. In addition to language classes, he has taught courses on football films, German sports culture, cinema, fairy tales and immigrants and refugees. In 2022, he introduced a new comics course for German language learners at UD. 

Among his publications are articles on (East) German football and German rap music. As a co-editor, he published the 2022 volume Football Nation. The Playing Fields of German Culture, History and Society. He is currently working on a new project titled The Ambiguous Game that focuses on the role of social (in)justice in German football.

Courses taught

  • Basic Proficiency in German (101/141)
  • German (Culture) through Comics (Intermediate German, GER 201)
  • Playing Socialism: DDR 101 (Intensive Review, GER 301)
  • West-Germany: 1945-Today (German Composition I, GER 321)
  • Immigrants, Refugees, and National Images – German-American Relations (GLC 334)
  • Fairy Tales (GLC 331)
  • More than just a Game: International Perspectives on Soccer (ENG 200)

Publications and presentations


Football Nation. The Playing Fields of German Culture, History and Society. Eds. Alan McDugall, Rebeccah Dawson, Oliver Knabe and Bastian Heinsohn. Berghahn Books. 2022

Articles and Book Chapters (Selection)

“East Germans Rehearse the Uprising: GDR Football Stadiums as Revolutionary Testing Grounds for the 1989 Revolution in Ernst Cantzler’s ‘Und Freitags in die ‘Grüne Hölle’”. Colloquia Germanica. Special Issue. 2022. 

“Writing against an Internalized Devaluation of East German Culture”. East German Studies Between Biography and Research Objectivity (Colloquia Germanica). Special Issue. 2023. Forthcoming

“From GDR-Emigrant to Third-Class Citizen: Football Stadiums, Social Divides, and East German Identities in Andreas Gläser’s “BFC is to Blame for the Wall.” Football Nation. The Playing Fields of German Culture, History and Society. Berghahn Books. 2022. 

“‘Ich leb’, was ihr rappt’: Confronting Racism through Consumption in OG Keemo’s Otello.” (Co-Authored with Dr. Kirsten Mendoza) Shakespeare and the Intersection of Performance and Appropriation. 2023. Forthcoming 

Invited Talks

“Not a Level Playing Field: Social Disparities in Post-1990 Germany through the Lens of Football.” Bucknell University. Lewisburg, Pa. March 23, 2021. 

“The Wall(s) Beyond Reunification: The Politics of East German Football and Fan Culture.” University of Kentucky. Lexington, Ky. September 16, 2020.

“Digital Teaching Tools for the Language Classroom and the Crux of their Distribution.” Austin Peay State University’s Annual World Language Workshop for Secondary and College Instructors, Clarksville, Tenn. February 24, 2018. 

Conference Presentations (Selection)

“Writing against an Internalized Devaluation of GDR Culture.” (Roundtable: East German Studies Between Biography and Research Objectivity). German Studies Association 2021, 45th Annual Conference, Indianapolis. Sep 30-Oct 3, 2021 

“Remembering East Germany and the Wende-Years: Football Stadiums as Memory Spaces in Andreas Gläser’s Autobiography ‚Der BFC war schuld am Mauerbau.‘“ German Studies Association 2020, 44th Annual Conference, Washington, D.C. Oct 1-4, 2020

“The Role of Language Centers in a DH-Competitive Job Market.” With Nathalie Porter. Conference of the International Association for Language Learning Technologies (IALLT). Eugene, Ore. June 19-22, 2019

“Creating Language Panda: An Online Repository for Digital Teaching Materials.” With Melanie Forehand. Roundtable Presentation. Northeastern Modern Language Association 2019, 50th Anniversary Convention, Washington, D.C., March 2019

“East Germans Rehearse the Uprising: GDR Football as a Democratic Testing Ground in Ernst Cantzler’s Und Freitags in die ‘Grüne Hölle.’German Studies Association 2018, 42nd Annual Conference, Pittsburgh. September 2018