This Project concentrates on representations of the transformable, unstable, metamorphic body in British fantastic literature from pre-Romanticism to posthumanism. Its focus on shifting shapes is predicated on both the transformative aesthetic of the fantastic and on shifting concepts of the human body in Western culture. It breaks radically new ground by exploring fantastic body transformations in their relation to a) changing ideas about the body, b) changing forms and generic developments, and c) the creative processes by which the fantastic subverts the status quo and presents the impossible as conceivable.

The necessity of investigating this literature comprehensively arises from currents and practices in contemporary cultural and social life intimately connected with the body. Bioengineering, cloning and artificial reproduction, cosmetic surgery, gene therapy, computer surgery, organ transplantation, and information technology are suggestive of dramatic shifts in the conceptualisation of the human body (the body as animal, the body as machine, the body as a system of atoms and chemical functions, the body as cyborg, as a decipherable text written in DNA code, as a commodity, or a store of reusable organs).

Fantastic literature is the prime site for exploring this changeable metabody, which multiply interrelates with an ethos and aesthetic necessarily based on transformation. For fantastic literature permanently changes in response to the existing world. Gothic, romance, fantasy, and science fiction – each creates its own cognitive and emotional otherworld, employing shapeshifting to its particular ends: for producing horror, for creating a carnival world or a utopian/dystopian future, for effecting a wish-fulfilment pattern, etc. The fantastic in literature constantly re-negotiates the borderline between that which exists and that which cannot or, at a given time, could not, exist.
This Project is funded by the FWF, Vienna.

  • News
    Due to the Corona crisis teaching is taking place via e-learning –a challenge for the learning platform Blackboard. That is why it is now being technically upgraded.
    What challenges has the corona pandemic brought to journalism? Can the media transform the increased interest in what they offer into sustainable (digital) business models?
    CHRISTIAN KRATTENTHALER, University of Vienna, will hold an online lecture as a Webex-Meeting as part of the series of lectures „Music & Mathematics" on Tuesday, 9. June 2020, at 17:00.
    Are you looking for an exciting and educational master's degree? Then the Centre Jewish Cultural History is the place for you! We are looking forward to presenting our master's degree course online on Monday the 8th June 2020 at 17:00.
    „UNInteressant? – "Ideas that will improve our lives": With this slogan Universities Austria (uniko) is launching an online-campaign, in which all of the 22 public universities will cooperate with the Austrian Science Fund the FWF.
    01.09.-12.09.2020, Due to the current pandemic situation the ditact_womens IT summer studies of the University of Salzburg will take place a week later than planned, from the 01.09.-12.09.2020. Most of the courses will be held online.
    The Vice Rectorate for Research, Nicola Hüsing, received five thousand face masks, which were donated by Gebrüder Woerle Ges.m.b.H. in keeping with the motto „SHARING is CARING“ . The face masks were given out to the employees of the University of Salzburg.
    Due to the current situation personal contact with the Psychological Counseling Center is not possible at the moment. We are however available by e-mail, telephone, chat or video chat. Unfortunately, our normal range of workshops cannot take place in the usual way. We would however like to offer the following webinars as an alternative.
    We are gradually learning how to adapt to the Corona outbreak, both in our everyday lives as well as at the university. For us, this means changing to online teaching for the duration of the current semester. Courses and exams held in lecture halls and seminar rooms will not be possible, with exception to some special exams. Regulations for this are currently being drawn up; exceptions are also to be made for selected laboratory exercises and practical sports courses.
    Information of 23rd April 2020: The Minister of Science’s new ruling on special regulations for study law at universities has now been announced, which gives us the opportunity to regulate some important matters. Please note that these regulations have been set for a limited time period (i.e. for this semester, but sometimes even beyond this).
    Current information on labour law at PLUS
    The most important information on the changes to research services at the University of Salzburg.
    Distance learning for exchange students and the completion of courses from overseas.
  • Veranstaltungen
  • 10.06.20 Aufleuchten statt Ausbrennen – Hamsterrad oder Karriereleiter – so erkennt man den Unterschied
  • Alumni Club
  • Uni-Shop
  • University of Salzburg's facebook site University of Salzburg's twitter site University of Salzburg's instagram site University of Salzburg's flickr site University of Salzburg's vimeo site