Maria Vella

HDR student

Maria Vella 
B.A (Honours) Literary Studies, Grad.Dip Ed. 

PhD Thesis Title
Liminality and the liminal being; betwixt and between videopoetry.


The first part of my project question the extent to which videopoetry could be regarded as a liminal space. This part marries psychoanalytical theories, such as Julia Kristen’s abject, and Carl Jung’s trickster, with anthropological theories on liminality by the anthropologist Victor Turner. 

The creative component of the project will be a suite of videopoems. The videopoems draw on my childhood experiences of being an immigrant, and being ‘outside’ language. The creative component aims to assess the relationship between the child immigrant and the liminal being. Furthermore, my videopoems are predominately bilingual (and between languages), but I do not always provide a translation. This was a deliberate way of exploring the ‘power-reversal’ aspect of liminality. In doing so, the non-Maltese viewer experiences a sense of marginality, akin to the liminal experiences of the child immigrant. 


Professor David McCooey


Maria is a visual artist and a published poet. Her poetry work has been published in literary journals such as Overland, as well as in the Best Australian Poems anthology. Her videopoem, ‘Broken Words’, is being published by Going Down Swinging



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