Towards Transdisciplinarity: Liminality and the Transitions Inherent in Pluridisciplinary Collaborative Work

  • Christine Z. Miller
Keywords: Liminality, invisible work, pluridisciplinary, interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary, transdisciplinary teamwork


Although the value of cross-disciplinary teams is widely accepted, relatively little attention has been given to the work that precedes addressing a team’s objective or stated problem, that is, the work required to negotiate their various disciplinary perspectives. This article considers how the notion of liminality, a cultural and social state of “betweenness,” might be used to conceptualize transitory stages in the development of pluridisciplinary groups and teams that are comprised of individuals from many diverse disciplines. It suggests how anthropologists can play a role in guiding and facilitating this particular domain of invisible work.