The Conference On The Conference [UPDATE]

full name / name of organization: 
Simon Fraser University School for the Contemporary Arts The Conference On The Conference Organization Committee


March 4th and 5th, 2011

Simon Fraser University
A School for the Contemporary Arts Graduate Candidate's Symposium/Exhibition
Vancouver, BC. Canada

Call for Papers: The Conference on The Conference

The Simon Fraser University School for the Contemporary Arts organizing committee for The Conference on The Conference invites you to participate in a conference exploring the different conceptual, theoretical, and methodological understandings and practices of the contemporary academic conference. The event of the conference - of institutional assembly, programmatic circulation of ideas, staging for democratic exchange, spectacle of knowledges and information - is of questionable importance today. There is a proliferation of academic forums yet a break-down in the belief that 'the conference' provides the space for critique.

Conferences are typically designed to illuminate a particular topic, methodology, field of study, program of research, mode of analysis. To bring focus to the event of "the academic conference" The Conference on The Conference, in a performative gesture of bringing-to-focus, calls for ways to critically exhibit this institutional practice/performative and space for the dissemination of ideas.

The Conference on The Conference is an interdisciplinary conference that draws on social theory, methods, and scholarly research to provide a space and opportunity for researchers from a wide range of disciplines to discuss and present their work and research. We welcome proposals for papers on these and other analyses as pertains to the academic conference. The following is a lengthy but non-exhaustive list of possible fields/topics and questions:

• Frames and Fields of the conferential
• History of tiers and types of conferences
• Presumptuous titles for a conference (i.e., The Conference on The Conference)
• Sociology of presenting and the presenting of a sociology
• Study of pseudo-performatives
• Study of pseudo-studies
• Study of implicatedness
• Codification of the concept 'very'
• Institutional art
• Ideas of academic autonomy and healthy debate
• Conference as an art form (sometimes sublime and sometimes desultory)
• Conference paper clichés (i.e., saving grace, silver lining, take the good with the bad, don't throw out the baby with the bath-water)
• Is the want for more intimate intellectual exchange a naive romantic longing for simpler times of generating controversy and crisis within one's field?
• The Greek symposium
• Poetics of the syllabus
• Eventalism
• Corporate/academic spectacles in The Eyes of the University
• "Eventalism, Événement and 'the surprise of the event' (Nancy)"
• Staging a conference as a mere administrative exercise
• Teletechnologies, powerpoint presentations and counter-communicative strategies
• Does the call for re-conceiving of the conference represent a critique of the contemporary scene of the conference?
• Mediated strangers in the academic community
• The politics of discussant, respondent and unexpected heckler
• Concept of contemporary democracy
• Teleconferencers vs. Facebookers?
• In the face of overwhelming capitalist interests, how might we put our narrow discursive practices and the functions of the academy be put on display?
• A necessary feigned oppositionality tempered by serious humor
• "buying one's own rhetoric" as rhetorical gesture
• Academic neighborliness and friendship - a conference utopia?
• Hierarchies of presenters - panel compositions and scheduling under the keynote's shadow
• Conference room tropes - snacks, table-skirts and the staging of q&a's
• Conference hotel tropes - snacks, table-skirts and the staging of mini-bar sales
• Conference host/guest etiquette
• Discursive practices and repetition of the same
• The New and the positive spin. The Old and the positive span.
• Continuous frame of the present Present continuous of the frame Frame of the continuous present Continuous present of the frame...
• On the risk of giving a bad-name to the Academy - is this possible?
• To assemble and to serve
• Deferring, inferring, referring as conferring
• Conference presentation rules
• Discipline of the 200 word 'abstract'
• Thesizing on the 'frivolous' with the plan of exceeding one's 20 minute time allowance
• What is it that the conference model can allow us to trace, articulate and exhibit about our scholarship and theorizing in order to aid struggles against a democracy driven and conditioned by resource-based capitalism?
• One's moment of grandstanding and grandeur - justifying the registration fee
• Career-making, career-staking, career-taking and career-faking
• Perpetual touring on the conference circuit - A scholar's utopia?
• Touristic model and new modes of colonization
• Is the staging of a performative that's a performative staging of the conferential a re-iteration of the standardized rote and routine mechanisms for dissemination?
• The belief in the possibility for collegial and constructive dialogue
• Sociology of CORPORATE sponsored events
• CORPORATE sociologics of events
• Business card exchange, name-tag and book-signing etiquette
• What!? Not another Conference held under false pretenses!
• The structure, legality and ethics of the 'false pretense'
• David Lodge's Small World
• Conference vs. Convention vs. Festival?
• Conference vs. Exhibit?
• Curator vs. Director?
• Hostipitality
• Archival Studies: the conference record written as a towards and forwards and afterwards
• "The Conference on The Conference" as a post-structural structuralizing stunt
• Archaeology of the social and physical design of conferences
• Might The Conference on The Conference be no less than a crypto-corporate normalizing performative?
• Theories of dissemination and dissent

Submissions should include:

-    Title and abstract (no more than 200 words)

-    Format of presentation

-    Requests for audiovisual equipment
- Your full name, institutional affiliation, and contact information
- "Paper Submission" in the subject line of your email

Please send submissions to by December 23, 2010.

For those who are concerned about accommodations in Vancouver note that the symposium/exhibition organizing committee can reserve affordable hotel rooms nearby the conference site. For more information on the symposium/exhibition also contact: