At the threshold of the extra-ordinary
Georgina Ramsay (University of Delaware )
Matthew Bunn (University of Newcastle)
Matthew Bunn
Old Arts-156
Start time:
2 December, 2015 at 11:00
Session slots:

Short abstract:

Life, death, and other foundations of human existence are made precarious at the thresholds of exceptional experience. This panel explores embodied experiences of extra-ordinary circumstances, where being is refracted through previously unrealised boundaries, thresholds, and limits.

Long abstract:

The mediating of boundaries, limits, and borders is central to the unfolding of human experience in both ritual and mundane settings, as anthropological inquiry broadly attests. But what of the thresholds that emerge in the limits of human experience, in those realms of exceptional circumstance that push and compel subjects to negotiate their existence within precarious and hitherto incomprehensible and unimagined terrains? Through thresholds, being unfolds on the verge of states that are yet to be experienced, but to which the shape of future existence is to be determined. Life, death, and other foundations of human existence are made precarious in the mediating of thresholds at the boundaries of exceptional experience. The mediating of such circumstances can be encountered as a deeply empowering expression of subjectivity through which we can confront, extend, or even transgress previously unrealised personal limits. In other circumstances thresholds are imposed, and subjectivities are compromised as agents are forced to traverse the limits of an existence that unfolds within incompatible logics. In this panel, we invite papers that explore how limits are mediated within and beyond thresholds of experience, and how the discontinuities that destruct subject's understanding of the world come to be traversed through embodied experience of the extra-ordinary.