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Liminal Borderlands in Irish Literature and Culture

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Edited By Irene Gilsenan Nordin and Elin Holmsten

Liminality, if interpreted as a concern with borders and states of in-betweenness, is a widespread theme in Irish literature and culture, which is perhaps not surprising considering the colonial and postcolonial background of Ireland. The liminal, from the Latin word limen, meaning «a threshold», can be broadly defined as a transitional place of becoming. It is a borderland state of ambiguity and indeterminacy, leading those who participate in the process to new perspectives and possibilities.
This collection of essays examines the theme of liminality in Irish literature and culture against the philosophical discourse of modernity and focuses on representations of liminality in contemporary Irish literature, art and film in a variety of contexts. The book is divided into four sections. The first part deals with theoretical aspects of liminal states. Other sections focus on liminal narratives and explore drama as liminal rites of passage, while the last part examines transformative spaces in contemporary Irish women’s poetry.

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Contributors 197

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Contributors Susan Cahill is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the School of English, Drama and Film, University College Dublin, working on an IRCHSS funded project entitled “Inventing and Reinventing the Irish Woman.” The project explores the influence of cultural production by women outside of Ireland on changing gender roles in Ireland. She com- pleted her PhD at University College Dublin in 2006, on contemporary Irish fiction, focusing on the novels of Anne Enright, Colum McCann, and Éilís Ní Dhuibhne. Irene Gilsenan Nordin is Associate Professor of English at Dalarna University, Sweden. She is Director of DUCIS (Dalarna University Centre for Irish Studies), and editor of Nordic Irish Studies. She is editor of The Body and Desire in Contemporary Irish Poetry (Irish Academic Press, 2006), and recently co-edited Re-covering Memory: Irish Representations of Past and Present (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007). She is currently co-editing Re-definitions of Irish Identity in the Twenty-First Century: A Postnationalist Approach (forthcoming Peter Lang, 2009), and com- pleting a book on the element of the spiritual in the poetry of Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin for Mellen Press. Heidi Hansson is Professor of English Literature at Umeå University, Sweden. Her main research interest is women’s literature, and she has published in the fields of postmodern romance, nineteenth-century women’s cross-gendered writing, and Irish women’s literature. She has recently completed a book entitled, Emily Lawless 1845–1913: Writing the Interspace (Cork University Press, 2007) and the edited collection Irish Nineteenth-Century Women’s Prose: New Contexts and Readings (Cork University...

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