EVENT Mar 07
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Spare, (Almost) Never Heir: Girls, Second Sons and Other Fantastic Creatures (NeMLA)

Event: NeMLA
Categories: Postcolonial, Hispanic & Latino, World Literatures, African & African Diasporas, Asian & Asian Diasporas, Australian Literature, Canadian Literature, Caribbean & Caribbean Diasporas, Indian Subcontinent, Eastern European, Mediterranean, Middle East, Native American, Scandinavian, Pacific Literature, Miscellaneous
Event Date: 2024-03-07 to 2024-03-10 Abstract Due: 2023-09-30

As much as surplus indicates plenty, it also hints at excess. If the word is applied to people rather than goods, it suggests a denigration of status and even a certain dehumanization. What happens when the word ‘surplus’ is made adjacent to power? What if it is extended to questions of inheritance, which is a transferable, much-desired form of surplus materials? How do people behave when they are not preferred, or ‘first’ in line to succeed? What does the concept of succession and transfer of inter-generational wealth and ideology achieve?

In folklore and mythology, often the greatest problem is lack of a successor. Childlessness, the lack of sons, unsuitable sons, too many sons, magical or toy children, hybrid bodies, and over-ambitious women feature prominently in some of the greatest epics and most popular fairy tales in the world. Violent succession is also a major feature of national histories. These narratives highlight transgressions – of gender norms, species, food and faith. Modern adaptations have responded with further twists on the question of entitlement or barriers to social equity. The role of a creative writer is to undo knots, pick at narrative locks, and to allow hitherto silent characters to emerge from the shadows (and even from the tomb).

Creative responses are invited to the question of unequal inheritance, and to the idea that all children were not (and in many places, are not) equal claimants to one’s possessions, traditions, legacies and love.

The session is aimed at creative writers who can present original work in fiction (of any genre) and poetry. Reading time should be no more than 10 to 15 minutes. Presentations should be in English (or presented in English translation).

For queries about the panel, you can contact Annie Zaidi: annie.zaidi@durham.ac.uk

Submissions only via the conference online system: https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/Login



Annie Zaidi