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The Voyage from Practitioner to Researcher – Stability to Liminality Part II

De Montfort University, Hugh Aston HU2.34
17/01/2018 (13:00-15:00)
Dr Victoria Knight (

Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Emotion and Criminal Justice Cluster presents;

The Voyage from Practitioner to Researcher – Stability to Liminality Part II


Date and time: Wednesday 17 January 2018, 1.00pm - 3.00pm

Location: De Montfort University, Hugh Aston HU2.34
Presenter: Steve Christopher

Registration: All welcome

Key contact details: Dr Victoria Knight  (


Having discussed the challenges of transiting from the world of professional practice to academia in the original presentation, this session will focus specifically upon reflections of the emotionally-laden phenomenon of liminality arising from that particular rite of passage. Opening with a brief introduction on the conceptualisations of rite of passage (van Gennep,1909) and liminality (Turner, 1967), the talk will proceed to discuss a variety of notions such as vocational comfort zone (White, 2009), imposter syndrome (Clance and Imes 1978), internalised stigmatisation (Goffman, 1963)  and confidence (Barbalet, 2001; Ahmed, 2002, 2004) that feed into the fluidity of liminal flux characterised by anguished doubt, disequilibrium, de-stability and indecision Horvath (2000; 2009). Experiencing the twin-tracked liminality of being a novice academic lecturer and PhD student stimulated in-depth reflection around concurrent liminalities, the impact of liminal weighting (Thomasssen, 2009) and the possibility of permanent frozen liminality (Enders, 2011; Jewkes, 2005). Such features indicate the enacted experience of liminality, which contrasts starkly with the virtual vacuum concept advanced by Turner, and so goes to the capacity of human agency (Bourdieu, 1984, 1986) and reflexivity (Mead, 1934; Steier 1991; Holland, 1999) to negotiate the phenomenon. The presentation closes with some practical suggestions to mitigate the feelings of liminality in academia that can apply across all vocational life.

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