A Call for Papers

PhaenEx 3, no. 2 (Fall/Winter 2008) Special Topics Issue:
"Back to the Things Themselves! Edges and the In-Between."

This special topics issue of PhaenEx invites papers that explore the phenomena of the in-between and edges in relation to one another, or as phenomena in their own right.

The editors are explicitly interested in the application of phenomenology's insights, not only in standard (@ 20-30 pp) papers but also briefer sketches, musings or reflections so long as they further phenomenological consideration of the themes of this special issue.

Please note that our "general criteria" for publishing work for this special issue are as follows:

1) The argument itself is generated from a phenomenological description of whatever in-between/edges you are using. While bringing in theory is great (as a bouncing off point, as a foil, as background, to set up the intellectual debate, etc), we really want people to try to NOT rely on it to discern the meaning of the phenomenon. Rather, whatever thesis/arguments are reached should stem from a description of the things themselves. (In other words, if you took away all the textual refs, would there still be an argument of sorts? This is a sort of litmus test).

2) The paper draws some sort of conclusion about the in-between/edges themselves as phenomena, rather than only describing an example of the in-between/edges. (For example, some papers have discovered that the inbetween is a fecund space for the development of certain ethical relations, or a space of creativity, desedimentation, or works as an ontological operator of relations, pushes phenomenology to its own methodological limits, etc.) We are looking for at least something that will teach something about the so-called "nature" of the in-between and/or edges, that was disclosed through a description of
whatever "thing itself" you are describing.


While the following questions are by no means exhaustive or prescriptive, they may inspire authors in their explorations of the in-between and/or edges:

What is neither here nor there, now nor then? What resides or occurs in the in-between, and what is its meaning or purpose? And what is the meaning or purpose of the edges that mark the liminality of both this in-between, and the phenomena on either side of it? What are the rhythms, speeds, contours or densities of the in-between? What affects, sensations or movements do edges evoke? Can the in-between be known, can we dwell there - or do we only ever traverse this phenomenon, pass through or pass over? Do edges draw a clear line in the proverbial sand, or do they rather shift like the waves of sands across a desert? "The in-between" and "edges" are clearly related phenomena, in that they both raise questions about the limits of binary systems of classification and the identity of things as discrete and separate entities. But what is the nature of this relation? How do the phenomena of the in-between and edges support one another, challenge one another, or even form the condition of possibility for one another?

Participants might consider grounding their descriptions in the following phenomena:

* in-betweens of identity (transsexuality, hybridity, diaspora, middle-age, tween-hood) and/or the edges that demarcate difference

* architectural in-betweens (bridges, passages, tunnels) and/or architectural edges (walls and fences, city limits, urban/suburban/ex-urban transitions)

* musical in-betweens (intermezzo, the caesura, musical bridges) and/or aesthetic edges (the frame of the work of art, the foreground/background divide, the edges of a certain genre)

* linguistic and grammatical in-betweens (patois, the stammer, the comma, the conjunction, the copula, ellipsis) and/or edges of language (slang, gibberish, the boundary dividing animal communication and human language)

* cultural and political in-betweens (the "shoulder" season, commuting, "between jobs," half-way houses) and/or cultural and political edges (fringe groups and movements, marginality, the poverty line)

* other territories of transformation and experiences of liminality


Please address any questions to Lead Editor Astrida Neimanis and Guest Lead Editor David Koukal.