Surplus and the Melodramatic Excess

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Matthew Skwiat/ Nemla
contact email: 

Consider submitting paper extracts for Surplus and the Melodramaric Excess at the upcoming Nemla Conference, March 7-10 2024 in Boston! 

This session investigates the surplus of melodrama through an examination of its excess. What can an overabundance of tears, laughter, and music tell us about the cultures they grew out of or ourselves? In what ways can we re-engage with and rethink the legacy and influence of the melodrama during its time and today?

Melodrama, loosely defined, is a mode often associated with excess, exaggeration, and a surplus of human emotion. Its appeals to the senses and human feelings made it one of the most popular artistic forms across theater, novels, and film. This session seeks to investigate the melodrama through a study of its surplus. What does its excess tell us about it as an art form, genre, or mode? How/why have artists/writers utilized the melodramatic form in their works? Finally, in what ways do tears, laughter and music affect the reader/viewer socially, psychologically or culturally? Abstracts across theatre, novel, and film are welcome. Abstracts should he 250-300 words and include a brief bio. Please use the following link to submit:

or submit questions to Dr. Matthew Skwiat,