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Catalogue of
Studies in Liminality and Literature.
Catalogue of
                    The TRELLIS Papers.
Catalogue of
               The Northanger Library


THE GATEWAY PRESS is an independent academic publisher dedicated to research in literature in English, with a comparative, interdisciplinary and historical slant. THE GATEWAY PRESS have been launched to meet a perceived need in Spain: for an academic press devoted to publishing scholarly work on literature written in English addressed to an international readership.

This is the first undertaking of its kind in Spain. No series of academic research papers in English is currently available here where, for that matter, a reputable University Press remains largely to be established, with the attendant difficulties for genuine distribution of research on an international scale.

TGP recently reached an agreement with the Publications Service of the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. This will entail financial backing and more publicity.

TGP currently edits two series. Studies in Liminality and Literature (SLL) and The TRELLIS Papers (TTP). It will soon be editing Gothic texts and research for The Northanger Library .

TGP is a research initiative of the LIMEN Group, recently included in the register of research groups at the UAM (code-named F-051).


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2. Studies in Liminality and Literature

This is a first in European academic publishing: a series of scholarly works in English which explore the poetics of the threshold. Studies in Liminality and Literature has been created to cater to the growing number of scholars currently working in a vast and mostly ill-defined 'territory' which is (paradoxically) shaped by lines, thresholds, demarcations, and which (again, paradoxically) is placing the question of peripheries at the centre of research.

SLL publishes authoritative working papers in English and is designed to provide a forum for research on various aspects of literature to which the concept of liminality is relevant.

Over the last quarter of a century, the hallowed status of canonical literary texts has been repeatedly and intensely questioned; as a result, much has been written on 'marginal' or 'marginalized' literary areas such as Gothic novels, Detective and Western fiction, Science-Fiction, women's writings, writings by ethnic and/or national(ist) groups, and so on-fields whose very existence and function are yet defined in terms of canon criteria. This series seeks to question and redefine the status of texts, genres and other literary systems usually labeled 'marginal(ized)'.

By 'marginal(ized)' we understand any text generated in a zone which borders on discourse but is excluded from (and by) it; by 'liminal' we understand any text generated between two or more discourses, a transition area between two or more universes and which thereby shares in two or more poetics. In a second, derived sense, we also apply the term 'liminal' to texts, genres or representations centered around the notion of the threshold, or whose fundamental theme is the idea of a crossover, an entry or a transgression into the unknown, the Other, the Numinous. While these definitions are open to debate, our interest lies in problematizing concepts which, through their own success, are in danger of becoming canonical. The distinction between 'marginal(ized)' and 'liminal', and the corollaries it generates, shape the basis for this series, and carry a deep reassessment of both our canonical and our non-canonical literary systems, as of their teaching.

As dissatisfaction with the concept of marginalization grows, work must necessarily lead into, on the one hand, abandoning premises which, as traditionally conceived, have become too narrow for reasearch purposes (e.g., the notion that being 'on the margin' is necessarily the result of ideological positions) and, on the other hand, exploring the more formal aspects of the 'margin' - its geometry, so to speak. Such an exploration in turn reveals that we are not actually discussing spaces on the edges of textual reality but exploring spaces in between other spaces - not dealing with margins but with thresholds. To this enquiry into the poetics of the threshold the series is ultimately dedicated.

SLL is designed to provide a forum for research on various aspects of literature to which the concept of liminality is relevant. The series will be concerned with (among others) matters of spatial organization and spatial symbolism, as they relate to the notion of thresholds; the presence and significance of thresholds at plot, theme, structure or genre level; interface areas and the structure and workings of textual, generic and historical interfaces; fractality, self-similarity, intertextuality in literary texts; theoretical, methodological and analytical problems raised by texts or genres which straddle the canon/non-canon, oral/written, medieval/modern, English/non-English divides; canon-formation and canon-demarcation; politics of exclusion, margin-creation, threshold-deletion; the status of popular and 'liminal' culture vis-a-vis the canon.

The series considers contributions in accordance with these guidelines. Because a wealth of journals already exists inside and outside Spain catering to scholarly work in article format, SLL is offered rather as a forum for longer studies-monographs and books. It will be open to translations of texts into English if they are accompanied by appropriate critical commentary emphasizing the relevance of liminality to the work. We invite typescripts dealing with some of the issues above. They should range between 25000 and 90000 words. All submissions will be acknowledged. All typescripts will be assessed by two readers.

Studies in Liminality and Literature

Isabel Soto
EDITORIAL BOARD Nancy Bredendick (UAM)
Paul Giles (Cambridge)
Thomas Healy (Birkbeck, UCL)
Jim Lawley (UNED)
Tony Lopez (Plymouth)
Esteban Pujals (UAM)
Roberta Quance (QU Belfast)
Philip Sutton (UAM)
Departamento de Filología Inglesa
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM)
28049 MADRID, Spain

PO Box 15133
28080 MADRID, Spain
DISTRIBUTORS Pórtico Librerías
C/ Muñoz Seca 6
50005 ZARAGOZA (Spain)
P.O.Box 503 - 50080 ZARAGOZA (Spain)


SLL 1. Margins and Thresholds:
An Enquiry into the Concept of Liminality in Text Studies
By Manuel Aguirre, Roberta Quance, and Philip Sutton 2000
ISBN 84-607-0901-9

This volume elaborates a working theory of liminality for the study of texts. After a careful distinction between marginality and liminality, three different problem areas are selected for the testing of the theory. A formal analysis shows various popular fiction genres to conform a threshold area between literature and folklore. In the symbolic order, the authors study the role attributed to the figure of woman in myth, a role which time and again places her on the threshold between culture and nature. Subsequently, the structure of a rock concert performance is shown to be shaped on three planes by a recurring set of generic liminal attributes which endow it with an archetypal quality. The authors argue that the study of thresholds, whether at formal, positional, or structural levels, whether thematic, symbolic, or narrative, whether in written, oral, iconographic or performative text, is a most useful analytical strategy and strongly encourages a redrawing of cultural maps so as to make central room for the concept of the limen.

SLL 2. A Place That Is Not A Place:
Essays on Liminality and Text
Edited by Isabel Soto 2000
ISBN 84-931843-0-6

The essays collected here, authored by a group of scholars both from within and outside Spain, are the result of a seminar held at Madrid's Autónoma University in March 1999, and represent a further exploration of thresholds and issues of canonicity in relation to text. Liminality is considered here in terms, inter alia, of genre, structure, theme, cultural conventions, ideology (its transgressive, or otherwise, potential). An attempt is made also to historicize the phenomenon, reading it against the circumstances which produce the texts in which the limen is manifested. The first essay borrows concepts and theory from the fields of cultural anthropology and semiotics to theorize the relationship of liminality to text - especially performance text, and its reception (Philip Sutton). Similarly, language as a mediating threshold is explored in the work of contemporary poets who are seen, in turn, to engage concerns congruent with those of current critical discourse (Tony Lopez, Esteban Pujals). Gothic fiction is likewise revealed as a liminal genre, not only thematically, structurally, etc. but also because it is poised (liminally) at a moment in history when Britain was re-inventing itself as an urban, industrialized and imperial nation (Manuel Aguirre). SLL 2 also problematizes 'the centre' by subjecting the writings of certain canonical authors -Washington Irving, Langston Hughes, Lorca- to the refracting lens of the limen (Paul Giles, Isabel Soto), as by questioning the geographical and political 'marginality' of Wales vis-a-vis England and the West (Gwyn Thomas), while showing at the same time how the book may be used to frame an individual or cultural existence on the margins and thereby to impart sense to senseless fragments of experience (Mary Farrell).

SLL 3. Betwixt-and-Between:
Essays in Liminal Geography
Edited by Philip C. Sutton 2002
ISBN 84-931843-1-4

Based on invited contributions to the 2nd International Seminar on Liminality and Text, held at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid in April 2001, this volume contains further investigations of issues raised earlier in the SLL series. Here, however, the emphasis shifts from thresholds themselves onto the spaces they adjoin. In a culturally and historically varied selection of texts, all seven authors identify liminal sites whose properties are then determined on the basis of an analysis of the geographies they simultaneously link and separate. Aguirre, for instance, shows how the customary laws of reality are suspended in the narrative structures of fairy tales, making them analogous to rites of passage. Gallego and Soto both interpret racial hybridity as a liminal condition in a variety of African American literary texts. Healy and Messent scrutinise the ever-shifting threshold which separates civilisation from barbarity, the former in the context of the problematisation to which it was subjected in early modern England, and the latter in its reflection in a contemporary icon, Thomas Harris's Hannibal Lecter. Quance's study of the Don Juan myth invokes the passage from life to death, whilst Pujals's review of English neoclassicism focuses especially on the relation between art and politics. Across this diversity of texts and critical approaches, the liminal emerges as a space defined by powerful neighbours, yet always paradoxically infused with emancipatory dreams.

SLL 4 . Mapping the Threshold:
Essays in Liminal Analysis
Edited by Nancy Bredendick 2004
ISBN 84-931843-2-2

The charge to the invited speakers at the 3rd International Seminar on Liminality and Text, held at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid in the Spring of 2003, was to discover and delineate the properties of the limen. Their response, as can be seen in the essays collected here, configures the limen in all kinds of shapes and dimensions: doorsill, borderline, border strip, shoreline, space, gap, and phase. Whatever the configuration, however, in all the essays, the dynamic quality of the limen stands out. It is a space or a phase characterized by “dazzling energy, dizzying transformation;” “fructile chaos, a striving after new forms;” it is “unstable, unfinished, ever changing;” it is “fluid, multivocal, empowering;” and it is “ambivalent, polluting, and dangerous to norm governed structures.” In essay after essay, speakers describe the limen as a fertile place for creativity and change, if not the very seat of such activityall of which bolsters the notion that what is significant about the limen is not just its position or shape but also its disruptive force and generating power.

SLL 5 . The Dynamics of the Threshold:
Essays on Liminal Negotiations
Edited by Jesús Benito and Ana Mª Manzanas 2006
ISBN 84-931843-3-0

This volume collects the results of the 4th ISLT held at Madrid's Autónoma University in March 2005, and offers a challenging exploration, in film, music, literature, anthropology, sculpture and two-dimensional monuments, of the unpredictable behaviour of the threshold as a site dominated by the dynamic logic of ambiguity. Aguirre explores in Gothic narrative technique the continuous procrastination of an event which stretches liminal space until it swallows everything like a black hole-rather like the lake in South Carolina that Ineke Bockting expands on as an able metaphor for the haunted culture of the American South. Manzanas studies in works by J.M. Coetzee and Thomas King the way borderlessness itself may constitute new gates separating self from other, the privileged from the underprivileged. Referring to the liminal condition of Native Americans, David Murray argues that those who actually inhabit that threshold are the powerless or the disempowered. Hein Viljoen explores Breytenbach's poetry to suggest that the threshold may enable survival, unleash creativity, transform reality. Alan Rice asks whether the intercultural and diasporic experience of a little black slave can force us to redefine imperial notions of race, nation and identity. Isabel Soto shows how Frederick Douglass's Narrative and Gayle Jones's "Asylum" make manifest the intersection of three strands: intertextuality, mise-en-abyme, and "double consciousness", to dramatize the incursion into the forbidden territory of the white text. Taking his cue from Carroll's looking-glass fantasy, Philip Sutton focuses on film and TV screen to show that the crossing of the 'real' character over to the fictional text is laden with conflict and tension. Robert Samuels explores that limen where literary discourse looks to the musical world while music reaches out to narrative in search of new modes of signification. Miriam Mandel sums up some of the results of the Round Table that followed the conference, and addresses yet another threshold, the future of our investigations.

SLL 6. The Thresholds of the Tale:
Liminality and the Structure of Fairytales
By Manuel Aguirre 2007
ISBN 84-931843-4-9

It has often been claimed that the genre of the fairytale enacts the hero's exemplary journey of initiation and transformation; and in a certain light this is obviously true. Taking recourse to such fields as anthropology, mythography, comparative religion, folkloristics, performance theory and literary criticism, and leaning on ritual studies, Propp's morphology, and liminalist analysis, this book offers a contribution to the structure of that journey and, more generally, to the 'grammar' of the fairytale. It concentrates on formal analysis of textual techniques, outlines a set of compositional principles common to ritual and fairytale, and postulates a performance-text continuum within which to view the fairytale as text and as a genre of fiction without neglecting its performative nature. This analysis, however, leads to a questioning of the traditional 'heroic biography' pattern, and to the proposal of an alternative framework-the Sovereignty model-which brings out the decisive (though mostly obscured) role played by the female figure in the genre. Throughout, liminalist analysis is shown to be an indispensable tool in assessing the form and significance of the system of fairytales. The Thresholds of the Tale should appeal equally to the folklorist and the literary critic, researchers in cultural studies and the history of ideas, as well as to anyone interested in the interface between the literary canon, folklore, and popular culture.

SLL 7. Embodied Boundaries:
Images of Liminality in a Selection of Women-Authored Courtship Narratives
By Valerie Henitiuk 2007
ISBN 84-931843-5-7

A comparative, interdisciplinary approach, incorporating both anthropological theories of the limen and feminist literary criticism, brings to light vital aspects of four very different works. This book analyses liminality as a meaningful strategy for social comment and protest in works by Murasaki Shikibu, Marie de France, Elizabeth Inchbald, and Edith Wharton. Negotiating the demands and perils of courtship, their heroines create a form of refuge on the threshold as a way of protesting a female's bounded body and limited options. Through an innovative juxtaposition of East and West, ancient and modern, and multiple linguistic communities, meaningful commonalities in women's writing are revealed. Embodied Boundaries demonstrates how these authors, despite obvious differences in socio-cultural context, employ strikingly similar images that act to destabilize the prevalent centre/margin paradigm and thereby challenge gendered hierarchical practices based on a damaging imbalance of power.

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Editors: Manuel Aguirre and Belén Piqueras

This is a series of working papers initially derived from a project designed to introduce Second Cycle students to research. TRELLIS is an acronym for "Teaching Research in English-Language Literatures, Intermediate Stage". The project seeks to build links between research carried out at postgraduate and professional level and the kind of research-oriented work that is offered to First and Second Cycle students. It includes a series of seven meetings -the TRELLIS Seminars- which ran in the Department of English at the UAM between 2002 and 2005. Meanwhile, however, the project goes on and the 'trellis' concept has outgrown its original intention and now has the full function suggested by the word: an interlace of efforts which, in bringing together various types of research at different levels of complexity, seeks to reinforce and disseminate results, thus hoping to create a feedback loop throughout the three Cycles. One practical aim is to provide a flexible, reasonably speedy method of publication by editing each paper independently-though the possibility that some of these materials may eventually be collected in book form on thematic or other criteria is not to be ruled out.

The TRELLIS Papers will accordingly edit a variety of materials that will include not only the results of the TRELLIS Seminar but also work presented by Third Cycle students in certain forums, by speakers-both staff and students-in the Liminality Seminars, as well as other relevant work.

The primary objective is to make available to the department various types of work carried out in it. Quality is of course a must in any paper submitted for inclusion in the series. Submissions to The TRELLIS Papers will be expected to conform to the editorial policy outlined in the second number of the series.


Nº 1
Manuel Aguirre

Nº 2
Manuel Aguirre and Charles Farrell


Nº 3
Nancy Bredendick

Nº 4
Raquel García Iglesias

Nº 5
G. LEWIS ' THE MONK (2008)
Beatriz Sánchez Santos

Nº 6
Daniel Essig

Nº 7
Belén Piqueras

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