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
    The recording of the PLUS Talks "Studies and Teaching WS 2020/21“ from 25.11.2020 is now available.
    Matthias Henke, musicologist, Danube University Krems, talks about Beethoven's current biography “Beethoven. Akkord der Welt ( Chord of the World)”, published in 2020 by Hanser Verlag.
    Researchers led by Salzburg's geoinformatics scientist Christian Neuwirth had already developed and presented a mathematical model for Covid-19 in May 2020 which examines the question of how long and intensively social distancing measures have to be maintained in order to reduce corona deaths further.
    Results of the study on media use by children and families during lockdown. Home schooling could be improved, but is on the right track. Secondary schools have a better profile. Families have learned to deal with lockdown and homeschooling.
    As a result of the current situation the updated opening times for Salzburg University library will apply from the 17th November 2020.
    A study carried out by the sleep laboratory of the Faculty of Natural Sciences on the topic of sleep under the direction Prof. Dr. Manuel Schabus is dedicated to the changes in sleep during the Covid-19 lockdown in 6 different countries (Ö, AT, UK, GR, CU, BRA). The fear, which is worrying from a psychological point of view, and which is evident across society, is also reflected in this data: 78% of those surveyed feel threatened or worried by the Covid-19 pandemic.
    Online lecture on chemistry: December 2nd 2020 - 6 p.m. Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna received the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of one of the sharpest tools in genetic engineering: the CRISPR / Cas9 genetic scissors. With this technology, researchers can modify the DNA of animals, plants and microorganisms with extremely high precision.
    The PLUS Report 2020 has been published.
    Digitization has led to an enormous spread of different forms of mobile working. Corona has brought an additional boost and has introduced home office in areas and for activities that were previously unimaginable.
    During the time of Corona, in particular, it became clear just how important it is to support students digitally in their every day university life. The project „On Track“ – stay on track combines digital and social worlds. It is starting at the right time!
  • Veranstaltungen
  • 27.11.20 Update Immobilienertragsteuer sowie neue Grunderwerbsteuer und Gerichtsgebühren (ganztägig)
    01.12.20 Der Körper als PLAYFUL TOOL
    02.12.20 Musikpyhsiologie und Musikermedizin: Musizieren im Zusammenwirken von Psyche und Körper
    02.12.20 Nobelpreise 2020 - CHEMIE (Genschere)
  • Alumni Club
  • 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