Ongoing Funded Projects at the Faculty

Networked Narratives: Queer Exile Literature 1900-1969

in charge: Benjamin Robbins, PhD | Department of American Studies

The project examines the English-language literature that emerged from a range of queer communities across Europe and North Africa from 1900 to 1969. Within this time period, in the decades before the gay liberation movement, the United States and Britain made homosexuality a crime. In response, many queer people moved to places such as Capri, Paris, Berlin, and Tangier, where homosexuality was either legal or tolerated. Within this group, US and British queer writers wrote novels and short stories about their experiences of being forced to leave their countries of birth. This project compares these texts and suggests that they helped to establish an overlooked literary tradition: the queer exile narrative.

You can find more information here.

Delocating Mountains: Cinematic Landscapes and the Alpine Model

in charge: Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr. Christian Quendler | Department of American Studies

This research project Delocating Mountains contributes to a cultural history of mountain cinema that extends beyond classical approaches to mountain film by investigating three types of delocations. In a first and general sense, 'delocation' refers to the cinematic mediation of mountains, the transposition of mountains onto the film screen. This not only addresses the different ways in which cinema responds to art historical forms of the representation of mountains, but also the roles mountains play in probing the representational power or virtue of the filmic medium, what it should or manages to achieve (during different historical periods). The second way of moving mountains is geopolitical. It focuses on exchanges between European and North American ideas of mountains and mountain film traditions that shed light on the aesthetic and representational conventions of mountain cinema beyond the tradition of the classical German mountain film. The third form of delocation emphasizes filmic representations of mountains that shift their gaze from ascent to descent. While alpinist perspectives have often celebrated heroism, masculinity, and national glory, this change of perspective from ascent to descent allows the foregrounding of ecological, collective, and feminist concerns. The conceptual basis for these delocations is the Alpine model, by which mountain historians understand the formative role that the Alps have played in developing globalized forms of knowledge and representation of mountains since the Enlightenment. Cinema not only plays an important role in the modern dissemination of the Alpine model, it also shows its limits. By examining the Alpine model in these three ways, this project takes important steps towards a comprehensive cultural history of mountain cinema and offers new insights into film and mountain studies.

You can find more information here.

A Life in Ancient Greek: The Secret Diary of Karl Benedikt Hase (1780–1864). LAGOOS [ΛΑΓΩΟΣ]

in charge: Ass.-Prof. William M. Barton| Department of Classical Philology and Neo-Latin Studies

This project is dedicated to the ‘secret’ diary of Franco-German Hellenist Karl Benedikt Hase (1780–1864), which the scholar kept throughout his professional life in Ancient Greek. The diary has long been recognised as a source of extraordinary significance for numerous areas of research: Scholars of Classical and Byzantine Studies have asserted the value of access to Hase’s diary for the history of the field as well as for information works we now know him to have forged; historians of philhellenism want an inside perspective on the lively networks in pf supporters for th Greek cause in 19th-century Paris; and philologists increasingly attentive to the use of the Ancient Greek after the classical period have singled out the diary as an exceptional example of the language’s use as a means of confiding intimate information to the page.
Knowledge of Hase’s daily records of his life in Balzac’s Paris were rediscovered in late 2020. This project’s aim is now to make the text and data from Hase’s private memoires available to wider scholarship for the first time. This it will do in a digital edition of the diary’s surviving text and the later manuscript of excerpts, along with English summaries and notes. The project’s additional analytical work will address a series of unanswered questions in the disciplines of Classical and Byzantine Studies, the history of philhellenism and the use of Ancient Greek as a written language in Western Europe.

You can find more information here.

Caelestis Hierusalem Cives. The Role and Function of the Latin Hagiographic Epic in Early Modern Saint-Making

in charge: Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr. Wolfgang Kofler | Department of Classical Philology and Neo-Latin Studies

The project concerns early modern hagiographic epics devoted to saints and candidates for sanctity, which remain clearly neglected in research so far. This not only applies to the studies of epic poems (preferring the biblical epic and especially the historical epic), but also to studies of hagiography (focusing on prose and iconography) and studies on the post-Trent cult of saints. A particular research issue is the function performed by strongly conventionalized epic texts in saint-making. Three categories of poems will be considered, each of which comes into play at a different stage of the respective proceedings. The first group consists of epics which try to establish a new cult or to spread abroad a local one – either without or with delayed success; the texts of the second group engaged in ultimately, and rapidly, successful procedures; the epics of the last group seek to promote newly established cults.

Hagiographic epics were not only an expression of praise enjoyed by saints and those considered to be such, but played an important role in the process of saint-making, proving opinions regarding the sanctity of the persons concerned and thus supporting their canonization. They thus drew attention to the candidate for sanctity; they were to aid in bringing about the initiation of the canonization procedure or to spread the cult and knowledge of the newly proclaimed saint. Moreover, as poems of respected genre form, they were directed primarily to those who were able to actively support, including financially, the canonization efforts, although they also addressed wider groups of society.

In questioning the function of these texts, their literary form will also play a role. The project will explore how the tradition of ancient epic, which is very much visible in them, and the hagiographic background are being made usable for new propagandist purposes oscillating between the politics and the religion. Not least because of this approach, combining both pragmatics and aesthetics of the texts studied, the project will make an important contribution to closing a major research gap. So far, scholarship has paid little attention to Neo-Latin hagiographic epic poetry, which is why new insights are not only desirable per se, but will also lead to a deeper understanding of the religious culture of the early modern period.

You can find more information here.

The Dissertations of the Academia Taxiana

in charge: Dr. Isabella Walser-Bürgler | Department of Classical Philology and Neo-Latin Studies

This project collects, classifies and examines the entire corpus of Latin dissertations the ca. 120 members of the Academia Taxiana, a learned Enlightenment society operating in Innsbruck between 1740 and 1760, produced in the historical Tyrol (i.e. North Tyrol, South Tyrol, the Trentino) on historiographical topics. The scope of these dissertations ranged from from hagiography, numismatics, local history and universal history to literary history, the history of science, antiquarian history and archeology. Next to the critical edition and English translation of several selected paradigmatic dissertations, rhetorical analyses, historiographical investigations, the literary-historical contextualization of the dissertations within Neo-Latin academic oratory and the dissertations’ institutional embedding, all texts will be digitally processed and made accesible through the AI-based software Transkribus.

You can find more information here.

Scanderbegus Latinus. The Image of Skanderbeg in Neo-Latin Literature

in charge: Mag. Dr. Stefan Zathammer | Department of Classical Philology and Neo-Latin Studies

George Kastriota (1405-1468), called Skanderbeg, is one of the most important figures of the wars against the Ottomans on the Balkan in the 15th century. Calixtus III (Pope 1455–1458) awarded him the title of athleta Christi, his helmet with its distinctive ornament of goat horns crowns the black double-headed eagle in the coat of arms of the modern Republic of Albania, and the story that Sultan Mehmed II. (1444–1446), on receiving news of the death of the man who had resisted him and his father Sultan Murad II (1421–1444 and 1446–1451) for almost 25 years, is said to have exclaimed “At last Europe and Asia are min! Woe to Christendom! It has lost its sword and its shield,” shows to the importance attributed to Skanderbeg early on.

The humanist Marinus Barletius (ca. 1450 – after 1510), a native of Scutari in northern Albania, Skanderbeg found a masterful biographer early on, who set up a lasting monument to him with a monumental Latin biography. The story of Skanderbeg’s almost novel-like life, in which one can read of victories against an overpowering enemy as well as of misfortune and betrayal, was treated in the early modern period in the different literary genres. For more than 300 years, the prince from the rugged Albanian mountains held a firm place in the ranks of Western heroic figures.

In Albania itself, however, the memory of Skanderbeg had largely faded for a long time after the Ottoman conquest in the 15th and 16th century. Only in the context of the national and independence movement, the so-called rilindja (“rebirth”), in the late 19th century he was ‘rediscovered’. All governments, rulers and regimes that ruled Albania in the 20th century –President (later King) Achmed Zogu, the Italian fascists and German National Socialists, the communists under the dictator Enver Hoxha and the post-communist republic – made him the national hero of Albania and instrumentalized him ideologically as a source of legitimacy for their own cause.

The image of Skanderbeg as a national hero, which has developed in the course of the 20th century through the work of Albanian writers and historians, has little in common with that found in early modern texts. The texts of the early modern period do not show a national hero, but a Christian hero whose struggle was not only about defending his own country, but primarily about defending Christianity and Christian Europe in general. The popularity of Skanderbeg throughout Europe was primarily shaped by neo-Latin literature, which this project aims to examine for the first time.

You can find more information here.

Promethean Creation or Post-Promethean Agency? Prometheus in Discourses of Literatur, Work, and Agency

in charge: Dr. Alena Heinritz | Department of Comparative Literature

As a transgressive creator figure, Prometheus is referred to in poetologies throughout modern European literature; as an image for autonomous human agency creating the human world through work, the figure illustrates debates about human work or labour. This investigation is relevant in the context of current posthumanist reflections on Prometheism and ideas about a post-Promethean agency. The project aims at profiling the special role of literary and cultural studies research as a bridge between society, technology, as well as ethics and philosophy of technology.

DMMA - Dynamic Model of Multilingualism Assessment

in charge: A.o. Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr. Ulrike Jessner-Schmid | Department of English

Our project is grounded in the field of applied linguistics, which focuses on all language-related problems in society and the solutions language theory can offer. Dynamic model of Multilingualism Assessment (DMMA) investigates the development of assessment criteria for multilingual development and multicompetence from a complexity and dynamic systems theoretical perspective (CDST), primarily based on the Dynamic Model of Multilingualism (DMM; Herdina & Jessner 2002). As we argue that multilingualism refers to three or more languages, and the implementation of CDST principles is required the approach is highly innovative for its holistic perspective. By adding complexity in the assessment approach, we hope to improve fairness and equality for all children in the educational system in an increasingly globalized world. Therefore, our project is of interdisciplinary relevance for sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, speech therapy and education.
Consequently, our main objective is to develop a set of tools that enables us to measure multilingual proficiency and multilingual development in the German speaking educational context (i.e., pre-school and primary school level). By using CDST based qualitative measures a comprehensive battery of criteria to assess both language and cognition related processes. This battery will include insights gained from interviews conducted with experts involved in testing language development in the German-speaking context.

You can find more information here.

Präfi­gu­ra­ti­o­nen von Pop in Unter­hal­tungs­ma­ga­zi­nen der 1920er Jahre

in charge: Assoz. Prof. Dr. Maren Lickhardt | Department of German Philology

Das Teilprojekt untersucht mit pop-theoretischem Hintergrund die intermediale und transgenerische Ästhetik von populären deutschsprachigen illustrierten Unterhaltungsmagazinen der 1920er und 1930er Jahre wie Scherl's Magazin, Uhu und Die Dame in ihrer stilbildenden, orientierungsstiftenden und gruppenkonstituierenden Funktion. Von der Beobachtung ausgehend, dass sich Präfigurationen pop-literarischer Aspekte wie ein listenförmiger, intermedialer Stil, konsumästhetische Appelle sowie distinguierende Rhetoriken in literarischen Texten der 1920er und frühen 30er Jahre finden lassen (z.B. bei Irmgard Keun, Ruth Landshoff-Yorck, Erika und Klaus Mann, Erich Maria Remarque), setzt das Teilprojekt am massenmedialen Bedingungsgefüge dieser Literatur an: Es wird erforscht, wie die illustrierten Magazine kleine Kunstformen konstituieren, aus der Unterhaltungsmedienkultur neuartige Typen von Schriftsteller:innen entstehen lassen und wie sie v.a. tradierte Bildbestände um Konsumwissen ergänzen. Zahlreiche der dem Projekt zugrunde liegenden Zeitschriften können als Digitalisate auf eingesehen werden.

You can find more information here.

GEPHRAS2: The D-Z of Genoese and Italian Phrasemes
(Collocations and Idioms)

in charge: Mag. Dr. Erica Autelli | Department of Romance Studies

GEPHRAS2 ist das Folgeprojekt von GEPHRAS (, Leitung: Erica Autelli): Beide Projekte sind vom FWF gefördert und widmen sich der Erstellung eines phraseologischen Online-Wörterbuchs Genuesisch-Italienisch (Autelli et al. 2018-21; in Vorb.). Ziel ist es, genuesische Phraseme (Kollokationen, Idiome, kommunikative, komparative und strukturelle Phraseme) mit ihren aktuellen italienischen Äquivalenten systematisch zu erfassen, inkl. Angabe verschiedener Varianten, metalexikographischen Informationen, IPA-Transkriptionen, Audiodateien, Beispielsätzen, historischen Belegen und Bildern zu je einem Phrasem eines Lemmas. Besonders innovativ sind die zahlreichen Suchoptionen, die ein Durchstöbern der Datenbank nach einzelnen oder mehreren Wörtern, Phrasemtyp oder morphosyntaktischer Kategorie – auf Genuesisch oder Italienisch – ermöglichen und dabei auch den verschiedenen Graphien des Genuesischen Rechnung tragen. Das Projekt soll zur Dokumentation und Erhaltung des gefährdeten Genuesischen beitragen und zugleich als Modell für weitere phraseographische Arbeiten dienen.

You can find more information here.

Remembering and Translating Violent Pasts: Literary Translations as Media of Transcultural Memory

in charge: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Claudia Jünke | Department of Romance Studies

The project has two central objectives: First, it sets out to investigate the role of literary translations as media of transcultural memory, i.e. their impact on the transnational remediation, transmission and circulation of memories of past violence. Second, it aims at mapping the role of translation in literary memory studies in order to counteract the oblivion of translation in this academic field. It is grounded on the idea that literary translations are important media of transcultural memory which negotiate between the source and the target culture, guarantee the “afterlife” (Walter Benjamin) of texts in other contexts and contribute to memories’ migrations and transformations across the borders of book markets, languages and cultural spheres. “Translation” is both understood as interlingual transfer (“translation proper” in Roman Jakobson’s terms) and – in a broader perspective – as transmission and relocation across different kinds of spatial, temporal and cultural borders.

The investigation is centred on memories of violent pasts in contemporary novels in the source languages French and Spanish and in the target languages German, French and Spanish. It consists of two case studies that will be analysed in three project areas: 1) French and Algerian novels on the Algerian War of Independence written in French and their translations into German and Spanish; 2) Argentinian and Chilean novels on the last military dictatorships written in Spanish and their translations into German and French. The method builds on insights from literary studies, memory studies and translation studies and distinguishes between the poetics of memory and translation (focus on textual aspects of the novels and their translations: literary construction of memories, translational features, translation strategies, translational paratexts) and the cultures and politics of memory and translation (focus on contextual aspects of the novels and their translations: the text’s reception and embedding in the source and target memory cultures, ethical aspects, different agents and institutions involved (translators, publishers, book markets, literary prizes etc.)).

Generally speaking, the project explores the transcultural migration and transformation of literary memories of the Algerian War of Independence and the last dictatorships in the Southern Cone in different transcultural, transnational and interlingual constellations; it outlines a new research design that results from an opening up of literary memory studies towards the theoretical and conceptual underpinnings of translation studies and the “translational turn” in the humanities; it examines what translations "do" when they are "doing  memory" and maps the role of translation in literary memory studies, particularly in the research on transcultural, transnational and “multidirectional” (Michael Rothberg) memory.

You can find more information here.

Bilingual Edition of the Dioptra

in charge: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Jürgen Fuchsbauer | Department of Slavonic Studies

The Dioptra is an extensive Greek didactic poem of over 7,000 verses, which was written in 1095 by a monk named Philippos. The work consists of five books. The first of these, which is also by far the shortest, forms a section in itself. In it, a monk addresses his soul and calls it to repentance and penance in view of death and the expected punishment or reward in the afterlife. The remaining four books have the form of a dialogue between flesh and soul, with the flesh answering the soul's questions. Here, topics like faith and repentance, the nature of the body and the soul as well as their relationship, the coming of the Antichrist and the resurrection of the dead are dealt with. Due to its thematic diversity, the Dioptra represents a veritable compendium of theology, but also of natural history. This, together with the entertaining presentation as versified dialogue, obviously made the poem particularly interesting for people without a high theological education.

Around the middle of the 14th century, the Dioptra was translated into Middle Bulgarian Church Slavonic. The Slavonic version is typical of this second heyday of older Bulgarian literature. It imitates the Greek original as closely as possible. At that, the language is highly standardized; the developments that the spoken language had undergone, on the other hand, appear only to a small extent. However, despite the archaising and Greek-oriented language, the content of the work was of such interest to the Slavonic-speaking readership that it was quickly distributed and copied by hand for a long time. The popularity of the Slavonic Dioptra is evidenced by more than 200 copies written over the course of half a millennium in Bulgaria, Serbia, Moldavia and in what is now Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. While the text was initially read especially in higher social classes, even by princes, from the 17th century onwards people from the lower classes of society, craftsmen, soldiers and especially the Old Believers who had split off from the official orthodox church, became interested in the work.

The object of our FWF project is the publication of the entire Slavonic text together with a Greek comparative text that corresponds as closely as possible to the original of the translation. The poem will be edited in printed and in digital form. The first volume of the print version has already been published. The digital version will be made available online in an annotated form that can be searched by words and by grammatical categories.

The Slavonic Metaphrasis of Byzantine Orthodoxy

in charge: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Jürgen Fuchsbauer | Department of Slavonic Studies

The medieval literature of the Orthodox South and East Slavs consists mainly of translations of religious texts from Greek. The adoption of Byzantine theological thinking by the Slavs thus plays an enormously important role in the intellectual and cultural history of south-eastern and eastern Europe. In our project, this centuries-long transfer of texts and the knowledge contained in them is regarded as a metaphrasis, i.e. as a deliberate reshaping of the originals while retaining the original ideas.

The project has three aims. Firstly, an online reference work in the form of a wiki is to be created. It will provide a complete record of the theological literature translated from Greek to Slavonic, starting from the beginning of Slavonic literacy in the 9th century until the Ottoman conquest of the Balkans in the 14th century. The material collected by Francis J. Thomson over the course of a lifetime of research, recorded by hand on index cards, serves as the basis. The cards will be digitised and their contents updated, supplemented, and expanded by experts working around the world. Secondly, as part of a dissertation, selected texts and collections of texts will be used to analyse how this Slavonic metaphrasis of Byzantine Orthodoxy took place in detail. And thirdly, Francis Thomson’s cartotheca will be made accessible online.

In keeping with the interdisciplinary nature of the project, it is being implemented as a cooperation between the department for Greek Studies at the Catholic University of Leuven (Prof. Dr Reinhart Ceulemans, Dr Lara Sels) and the department for Slavonic Studies at the University of Innsbruck (Prof. Dr Jürgen Fuchsbauer).

Kaleidoscopic Patterns of Protest: Qualifying and Quantifying Visual and Textual (Self-)Representations in Eastern European Protest Cultures

in charge: Ass.-Prof. Dr. Gernot Howanitz, Ass.-Prof. Dr. Magdalena Kaltseis | Department of Slavonic Studies

In the last ten years, massive protests against the government and/or unfair elections took place in all three Eastern Slavic countries—Russia (2011/12), Ukraine (2014), and Belarus (2020). More recently, the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 led to anti-war protests in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus as well as many other countries around the world. These protests were mainly organized via social networks, were disseminated in independent media and countered by the official state-owned media. Thus, visual (self-)representations of the protest cultures must be recognized as an integral part of the protests proper: Symbols and slogans are used in mediatized (self-)representations—YouTube videos, blog posts, communication via social networks, TV news broadcasts or feature-length documentaries— to spread the ideas and claims of the protesting people.
Our project unites close and distant viewing to assess how kaleidoscopic patterns of protest emerge from the constant recombination of specific visual symbols such as banners, flags, slogans, or people marching in the streets. Not only are we interested in a general description of visual and textual (self-)representations of protest in Eastern Europe but we also analyze the patterns of specific protest cultures to describe their symbolic repertoire. In order to achieve this, we build a corpus of visual and textual (self-)representations of protest. We then use deep learning to identify specific symbols in the corpus. These results are utilized to (1) visualize and analyze the differences between official and user-generated content, traditional and new media, and individual countries, and (2) to select specific images and video clips for a qualitative multimodal discourse analysis.

You can find more information here.

Slavia Tirolensis

in charge: Mag. Dr. Emanuel Klotz | Department of Slavonic Studies

Austria has inherited a large number of Slavic place names, the oldest of which date back to the late 6th century. At that time, the Slavs settled in the area of today’s Austria and established contacts with their western neighbours. Slavic settlements reached westward until nowadays’ Eastern Tyrol, reflected in names like Kals, Tristach and Prägraten. Although research on Tyrolean place names of Slavic place names has boomed recently, the names of some regions – like the Lienz Basin, the rear Virgen valley and the Defereggen – have not yet been systematically investigated. The project focusses on these blind spots. At first, the toponomastic material shall be scanned for possible slavisms. Secondly, the borrowing dates of the loans shall be determined. This will allow conclusions about the duration of the language contact between Slavs and Bavarians and thus reveal how long Slavic was spoken in Tyrol. Finally, the result of the project shall be published in a digital map that informs about the local pronunciation, historical records, the etymology, and the phonetic development of the place names. Furthermore, the applicant will publish a habilitation thesis on the findings of the project.

LANGTI - Languages for Translating and Interpreting

in charge: Mag. Dr. Astrid Schmidhofer | Department of Translation Studies

LANGTI stands for “Languages for Translation and Interpreting” and is the name of my (Astrid Schmidhofer’s) habilitation project in the field of translation studies. LANGTI is dedicated to the study of language competence and its development for translation and interpreting (TI) purposes within university programmes and beyond and is financed by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF).

Language is the most central tool in translation and interpreting, and language courses constitute a considerable part of many translation and interpreting study programmes. Nonetheless, language competence and its development have never been a central concern to translation studies, and research on language teaching and learning for TI purposes was, for a long time, conducted by only a few practitioners (cf. Cerezo Herrero and Schmidhofer 2021). However, the study of language competence in relation to TI competence and how language competence can best be developed for later TI activities not only is of theoretical relevance to translation studies, but also can serve as a basis for designing language modules within university programmes and training programmes for practising translators and interpreters.

The name given to this field of study by my co-authors and myself is TILLT, which stands for “Translation and Interpreting-oriented Language Learning and Teaching”. It has been used in various previous publications and will also be used throughout this website and my habilitation thesis.

You can find more information here.

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