Thresholds in Literature and the Arts

Sonia Miceli's picture
Call for Publications
September 19, 2018 to January 15, 2019
Subject Fields: 
Classical Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Humanities, Literature, Psychology

During the last century, liminality as a concept became a matter of interest to many fields: from Psychology to Anthropology, from Philosophy to Cultural and Literary Studies. Yet, the condition this word describes predates the term itself: one can, for instance, consider the classical binomial katabasis/ anabasis to fathom the historical roots of the reality the term encompasses.

As stated by Mircea Eliade, in The Sacred and the Profane, the liminal space is a paradoxical place that connects the space it severs: under the sign of ritual though, the liminal not only allows passage, but almost demands it. As far as etymology is concerned, the term derives from the Latin word limen, which shares the same root as the latin word limes: limit, margin, border. On the one hand, limen constitutes the threshold of a building or a room; on the other hand, its relation to the act of passage is clearly antithetical to that of the limes, whose role is to assure the impermeability between spaces. If the orthographic similarity hints at a common thread – a rock or a piece of wood that is placed crosswise in order to signal the end/beginning of a place – the minor spelling difference reveals deep functional and ontological differences.  

The papers presented at the Thresholds in Literature and the Arts International Conference (June 2018) offered a first insight into the conceptual and theoretical paths the different fields of knowledge and artistic practices have been exploring. This volume, co-edited by the Centre for Comparative Studies and the Centre for Classical Studies of the School of Arts and Humanities at the University of Lisbon, represents a further step towards the clarification of this rather hazy concept that has been often (mis)used.

Topics of interest for submission include, but are not limited to:

– History of the concept;

– Languages, translations, versions;

– Social and political thresholds: women, refugees, prisoners, temporary employees, stateless people, ethnic minorities, LGBT communities;

– Psychological and Psychoanalytical contributions and confusions;

– Travel Literature;

– Literature as a liminal space: the paratext, the testimony, autobiography, memoires;

– Recent expressions: gender, postcolonialism, posthumanism.

Papers must be submitted no later than January 15, 2019 to the following email address:

By reason of the lengthy nature of the double-blind peer review, results are not to be expected before May 2019.

Papers must not exceed 32.000 characters, spaces and bibliography included, and may be written in English, Portuguese or French. Quotations in any other languages besides these must be translated into the language in use and the translation put into a footnote. Before submitting images/pictures of any sort, make sure you get the copyright permission, a copy of which must be sent to us. All submissions must include an abstract (max. 1500 characters, spaces included).

All papers must be written according to The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed.:

Contact Info: 

Centre for Comparative Studies and Centre for Classical Studies of the School of Arts and Humanities at the University of Lisbon.