If you’ve spent decent time on social media over the past couple of years, you’ve probably come across photos of liminal spaces.
Dictionary.com lists the primary definition of a liminal space as “a state or place characterized by being transitional or intermediate in some way,” like a motel or a train station where everyone is either coming or going.
But toward the tail end of 2021, the number of Google searches for liminal spaces skyrocketed thanks to its recently-popularized second definition: “any location that is unsettling, uncanny, or dreamlike.”
It’s difficult to elaborate on the common thread of all liminal spaces. In the eyes of the masses, you know a place is a liminal space simply because of its aura. But you don’t necessarily know why it makes you feel the way that it does.
We wanted to pin down the viral phenomenon a bit more, so we caught up with Peter Heft, a scholar and the author of “Betwixt and Between: Zones as Liminal and Deterritorialized Spaces,” for a more-academic perspective. Listen in…