University to launch world’s first fantasy research centre

The University of Glasgow will launch the Centre for the Fantasy and the Fantastic on Wednesday.

Academics are set to launch the world’s first fantasy research centre at the University of Glasgow.

The Centre for the Fantasy and the Fantastic, which launches on Wednesday, comes five years after Glasgow academics launched the world’s first masters in Fantasy Literature.

The centre, led by Dr Dimitra Fimi and Dr Rob Maslen, will bring together the biggest concentration of academics in this field working on a portfolio of research, knowledge exchange and educational activities.

Dr Dimitra Fimi, a senior lecturer in Fantasy and Children’s Literature, and specialist on J.R.R. Tolkien, based at the College of Arts, said: “This will be the first research centre in the world to focus solely on fantasy.

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“It will look at different expressions of the fantastic – literature, art, illustration, games and gaming as well as film and TV.

“My colleagues and I have considerable expertise and have published extensively on fantasy and the fantastic. We also have a great number of PhD students working with us on exciting research projects. 

“This research centre is a chance for us to expand our collaboration with colleagues across the university and internationally, and to work closely with, and learn from, the fantasy community and creative practitioners in order to explore together what are the transformational possibilities of fantasy as a mode of expression and as a practice.

“And of course Glasgow is the perfect location for students in this field. We are surrounded by expressions of fantasy and the fantastic in the university’s very architecture. But this is also a future facing University interested in world leading cutting edge research which will now include our Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic.”

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Dr Rob Maslen, a senior lecturer in English Literature who set up the MLitt in Fantasy Literature, said: “’Fantasy can be found everywhere in twenty-first-century global culture, in films, TV shows, plays, games, comics, the visual arts, and literature from picture books for the very young to multi-volume epics and one-off experimental forms.

“The new Glasgow Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic allows us to pay close attention to this extraordinary phenomenon, its past, its present, and its many possible futures. I can’t wait to discover where its projects will lead us.”