British Literary and Cultural Studies

British Literary and Cultural Studies brings together scholars whose work covers a wide temporal, thematic, theoretical and methodological range. Our current research and teaching foci include:

  • Early Modern Literature and Culture: female writers; literature and deformity; Shakespeare; New Historicism
  • Victorian and Neo-Victorian Studies: esp. popular genres such as sensation, utopian and Gothic fiction; industrial novel; Victorian periodicals, serialization and adaptation; gender and literature; science and medicine; Victorian materialities; neo-Victorian (bio)fictions and adaptations
  • British and Irish Modernisms: regional and global modernisms; European modernism and periodisation; Black modernism; James Joyce and high modernism
  • Contemporary British Literature and Culture: lockdown narratives and re-assessments of home/land and nation; cultural memory; heritage culture; contemporary short fiction; anglophone drama, theatre, and performance; fan cultures, practices and activism; storytelling and social change; social media studies; British film and television; urban and space studies; ecocriticism and the Anthropocene; sound and short fiction; cultural archaeology; myths and archetypes
  • Children's and Young Adult Cultures: children's literature and culture; (multimodal) young adult fiction; picturebook analysis; social media research; teaching literature and culture in the EFL classroom
  • Formalist and Cognitive Approaches in Literary Studies: narratology; lyric theory; cognitive poetics; cognitive approaches to reading
  • Intertextuality, Adaptation, Inter-, Multi- and Transmediality Studies: theatre, film, TV and comic adaptations; mash-ups; multimodal analysis; transmedial narratology; transmedia archaeology; biopics and biofictions; poetry and/as performance; sound studies
  • Medical and Health Humanities, Medicine and Literature: early modern literature and deformity; historical knowledge cultures; disability in British fiction; representations of (mental) health discourses; ageing studies; biometric art; post-COVID-19 art worlds; viral theatre; illness narratives across media and genres; gender and medicine
  • (Post-)Colonial, Transcultural and Migration Studies: Black and Asian British literature; intersections of 'race' and class in contemporary British literature; post-colonial spaces; fictions of the Empire; refugee tales; migrant states of exception; transatlantic and/or Austria-related cultural transfer and circulation
  • Gender Studies, Queer and Masculinity Studies

Research Cooperations

Our co-operations include the research platforms #YouthMediaLife (Mediatised Lifeworlds), GAIN (Gender: Ambivalent In_Visibilities), and SOLE (The Stress of Life), the COST Action 16204 Distant Reading for European Literary History, the Global Nineteenth-Century Studies Research Society, ÖGKJLF (Österreichische Gesellschaft für Kinder- und Jugendliteraturforschung), LiLLT (Literature in Language Learning and Teaching) – AILA Research Network, The Association of Adaptation Studies, The German Society for the Study of Drama and Theatre in English (CDE), the International Autobiography Association (IABA Europe) and Netzwerk Biographieforschung. We also closely work with colleagues from a number of universities: e.g. the University of Oxford (UK), Leeds Beckett University (UK), the University of Exeter (UK), the University of Koblenz-Landau (DE), the University of Wuppertal (project: Migrant States of Exception) (DE), Technische Universität Dortmund (gender studies) (DE), TU Braunschweig (DE), St. Gallen University (CH), the University of Ljubljana (SI), Charles University Prague (CZ), Roma III (IT), Politechnika Koszalińska (PL), Cornell University (US), the University of Virginia (US), and the University of Toronto (CA).

Centres & Research Projects

  • 8th Annual Conference of Austrian Association for Gender Studies (ÖGGF): Sep 2021 (Prof. Dr. Sylvia Mieszkowski, co-organising with GAIN)
  • Anglophone High Modernism and Southeastern Europe (Ass.-Prof. Dr. Fuchs; in preparation)
  • Art & Action: Intersections of Literary Celebrity and Politics (Hertha Firnberg Project; PI: Dr. Sandra Mayer)
  • At Home in the Pandemic: Lockdown Narratives and the Domopolitics of COVID-19 in the Contemporary British post-Brexit Novel (Prof. Dr. Sarah Heinz)
  • Cultural mediation in producing and teaching British and American plays in Austria and Slovenia (OeAD Project; PI: Ass.-Prof. Dr. Dieter Fuchs)
  • Me, My Books & I: Social Media and Literary Discourses (Prof. Dr. Susanne Reichl; in preparation)
  • Migrant States of Exception, double issue (27.2 and 27.3) for Parallax (Prof. Dr. Sylvia Mieszkowski, co-editing with Lea Espinoza-Garrida, Birgit Spengler und Julia Wewior from Wuppertal University)
  • More than Meets the Ear: Sound and Short Fiction, double issue (11.1 and 11.2) for Short Fiction in Theory & Practice (Prof. Dr. Sylvia Mieszkowski & team)
  • Poetry Off the Page: Literary History and the Spoken Word, 1965-2020 (ERC Consolidator Grant/FWF START Prize; PI: Dr. Julia Lajta-Novak)
  • Post-COVID-19 Art Worlds: Viral Theatre, Precarity and Medical Humanities (interdisciplinary conference, sponsored by VolkswagenStiftung) (Prof. Dr. Monika Pietrzak-Franger together with Dr. Heidi Liedke, University Landau-Koblenz, 21st-23rd July 2021, Hannover, Germany) --- COVID-19 beyond Borders: Rethinking Medical Humanities at the Frontlines (interdisciplinary online lecture series and conference) (Prof. Dr. Monika Pietrzak-Franger together with Prof. Anna Elsner, University of St. Gallen, 1st June-7th July 2021, University of Vienna)
  • Post-COVID-19 Care: Medical Humanities and Health Economies at the Frontlines - Interuniversity Cluster (PI UW, Prof. Dr. Monika Pietrzak-Franger; PI MUW, Prof. Dr. Susanne Mayer)
  • Refugee Tales (workshop) (Prof. Dr. Sylvia Mieszkowski together with Dr. Sandra Mayer, 20th-21st May 2022)
  • Rejuvenescence Fictions (APART-GSK, ÖAW; PI: Dr. James Aaron Green)
  • The Poet's "Working Correspondence": A Digital Edition of W. H. Auden's Letters to Stella Musulin (FWF Project; Team: Dr. Sandra Mayer, Prof. Dr. Monika Seidl, Mag. Timo Frühwirth)
  • Victorian Resurrections (international conference) (Prof. Dr. Sylvia Mieszkowski together with Dr. Sandra Mayer, 22nd-24th Sep 2022) (confirmed keynotes: Ann Heilmann; Patricia Duncker)