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Liminal spaces, resources and networks

Facebook as a shaping force for students’ transitions into higher education

Sally Baker and Eve Stirling

students’ transitions, we draw on the anthropological notion of liminality ( Turner 1969 ; Van Gennep 1960 ) to explore the ‘betwixt and between’ spaces that students inhabit as they make their status transformations from school/college students to

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Liminality and Missing Persons

Encountering the Missing in Postwar Bosnia-Herzegovina

Laura Huttunen

families of the missing, their social networks, and the bureaucratic systems of the modern state alike. In this article, I argue that this temporality and the predicament created by it are best captured by the concept of the liminal . I will explore the

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Migration, Empire, and Liminality

Sex Trade in the Borderlands of Europe

Tracie L. Wilson

aspects of culture and stress multiplicity in cultural expression and meanings. In particular, I draw from the anthropological concept of liminality to emphasize the significance of borderlands and the crossing of borders, as well as people who cross them

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Trespass into the Liminal

Urban Exploration in Estonia

Francisco Martínez and Patrick Laviolette

This article outlines narratives of trespass. It analyses relations between the personal and the social in abandoned urban physical surroundings. Grounded in our own duo-auto-ethnographic encounters with off-limit places, the research examines the classic notion of liminality through a set of prisms that are less than orthodox. It does so by stressing the formative and transformative possibilities of those threshold spaces that often get bypassed, surpassed or trespassed. Through a series of vignettes describing moments of urban exploration in different parts of Estonia, our implicit aim is to unsettle such conceptual categories as risk and adventure, material decay and transgression. Explicitly, we argue for revisiting storytelling tropes such as the flâneur or the stalker, freeing them up from their respective leisure and pastime associations.

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Melanie Kennedy and Natalie Coulter

crystallized in this image of ideal tweenhood, this moment of liminal girlhood. This ideal tween is white—unambiguously white with blonde curls—with a confident smile, embedded in consumer culture. She is an icon of the nation, bound up, in this case, with the

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Alexandra Schwell

This article explores how the fluctuating cartography of East and West and the varying degrees of perceptive Europeanness influence everyday practices of the people working in Polish state bureaucracies, who professionally advance European integration within a national framework. While an important part of their self-image is formed through the dissociation from cultural 'Eastness' and the backwardness they ascribe to fellow citizens, they still experience negative stereotyping and mistrust from the part of the EU-15 'Westerners'. Consequently, East-Central European state officials oscillate on the continuum between cultural 'East' and 'West' and constantly negotiate distance, relatedness and thus their own liminal position. By scrutinising how Polish state officials aim at positioning themselves on the mental map of Europe, this article shows that they attempt to escape the cultural pattern of negative stereotyping and mistrust by using a functionalist narrative of efficiency. This is a rhetorical strategy employed to cope with existing asymmetries.

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Dancing on the Threshold

A Cultural Concept for Conditions of Being Far from Salvation

Gregor Rohmann

“Dancing mania” and “St. Vitus dance” were culturally formed illness concepts that enabled late medieval people in the Rhine area to act out states of liminality. The semiotics of these trace back to ancient Platonic cosmology, which had been transmitted into medieval theology by late antique Neoplatonism. In this article the iteration of these motifs especially through the early and high Middle Ages is scrutinized. When “dancing mania” emerged in the fourteenth century it was thus neither an early case of mass hysteria nor a particular form of religious deviance, as is still assumed frequently.

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Encompassing Empowerment in Ritual, War, and Assassination

Tantric Principles in Tamil Tiger Instrumentalities

Michael Roberts

This study highlights the Tantric threads within the transcendental religions of Asia that reveal the commanding role of encirclement as a mystical force. The cyanide capsule (kuppi) around the neck of every Tamil Tiger fighter was not only a tool of instrumental rationality as a binding force, but also a modality similar to a thāli (marriage bond necklace) and to participation in a velvi (religious animal sacrifice). It was thus embedded within Tamil cultural practice. Alongside the LTTE's politics of homage to its māvīrar (dead heroes), the kuppi sits beside numerous incidents in LTTE acts of mobilization or military actions where key functionaries approached deities in thanks or in preparation for the kill. These practices highlight the inventive potential of liminal moments/spaces. We see this as modernized 'war magic'—a hybrid re-enchantment energizing a specific religious worldview.

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Experiencing In-betweenness

Literary Spatialities

Tahmineh Hooshyar Emami

ABSTRACT

“Exploring in-betweenness” is the name of a collection of experiments that originate from my background in Architecture, overlapped with an interest in actual and perceived spaces of refuge. The result is a two-part experiment in which firstly, creative writing and literary analysis were used as vehicles to criticize and suggest alternative hierarchical arrangements of space, and secondly, the experiment which constitutes the topic of this article, where the actual and constructed dialogues between words and buildings are further explored. The author as both an insider and an observer aims to explore the relationship between space, lived experiences and sociological narratives. In “Literary Spatialities,” critical spatial writing is used to position the reader as the author through reflective passages and visual reconstructions to explore border encounters between refugee and host communities.

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Real Women Aren't Shiny (or Plastic)

The Adolescent Female Body in YA Fantasy

Leah Phillips

In this article I explore how mythopoeic Young Adult (YA) fantasy offers examples of living and being an adolescent female body that challenge the dominant, hegemonic discourses dictating the adolescent girl's appearance in the West's imagesaturated culture. I begin by establishing the features of mythopoeic YA fantasy, before looking at Daine in Tamora Pierce's Immortals quartet and Cinder(ella) in Marissa Meyer's The Lunar Chronicles. Daine's shape-shifting body and Cinder's cybernetic one offer bodily change as an integral part of the (adolescent female) body, as opposed to the fixed perfection required by the fantasy femininity on offer in popular culture, including print, televisual, and social media. Employing a reading of touch in order to explore the multiplicity that is available on, and through, these bodies, I question the representational economy dominating the hegemonic discursive construction of the adolescent girl.