We have been discussing liminality in the lab lately – especially me and Jennie (who is just about to move from Umeå University and HUMlab to Luleå University of Technology – thus becoming a HUMlab alumni or remote associate).

The liminal state is characterized by ambiguity, openness, and indeterminacy. One’s sense of identity dissolves to some extent, bringing about disorientation. Liminality is a period of transition, during which your normal limits to thought, self-understanding, and behavior are relaxed, opening the way to something new. (Wikipedia)

To a large extent, HUMlab is a liminal entity. As a structure it is somewhere in between different disciplines, disciplinary areas, technologies, different categories of people, traditional humanities/digital humanities, reflecting/creating, analogue/digital, university/non-university, work/non-work etc. And while there is a sense of stability in that liminal space, ‘the liminal’ is constantly being reconfigured and rebalanced.

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One Response to liminality

  1. Jim says:

    I agree that liminality is a useful critical concept. The property of being able to unite multiplicity is very apt in so many areas of digital theory and practice. To me it seems to be dialogic, in that it is able to be “constantly…reconfigured and rebalanced” as you say. This is also a major feature of so much digital textuality.
    Good luck Jennie in your new field of practice!

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