Unpacking Surplus in the Novels of Tiphanie Yanique (Northeast Modern Language Association Convention)
Organization: Northeast Modern Language Association
Event: Northeast Modern Language Association Convention
This panel invites papers that explore the various engagements with surplus—specifically as in excess, excessive, leftover, or unwanted—in the novels of Tiphanie Yanique. This exploration may take a variety of forms, spanning from the emotional to the spatial and intergenerational. For instance, such an analysis might examine excessive or unwanted emotions, such as love, desire, anger, in Monster in the Middle (2021) and what one couple inherits from their ancestors. Alternately, papers might examine the ways in which Land of Love and Drowning (2014) writes back to a concept of geographical surplus, or the peripheralization of certain spaces, through centering the former Danish West Indies or US Virgin Islands, a place named in relation to other spaces indicative of certain power dynamics. The surplus of intergenerational ties connects both novels and underscores the ways in which previous generations have a direct hold on those in the present. This includes the inheritance of elements passed down between the entangled generations—from names, memories, and stories to material objects and physical or even magical characteristics for the Bradshaw women in Land of Love and Drowning. How might reconsidering these novels through the lens of surplus, the excessive, the unwanted, bring different aspects into sharper focus?
Jenna Grace Sciuto