World Picture Conference 2022 “More”

deadline for submissions: 
January 25, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Brian Price / University of Toronto

World Picture Conference
April 22-23, 2022
Colorado College, Colorado Springs, Colorado

Domietta Torlasco (Northwestern University) &
Pheng Cheah (University of California, Berkeley)

The theme of this year’s conference is “more.” Whether as supplement, increase, excess, or craving, more is the unnumbered plus-sum of returns and repetitions, but also of demands for continuity and extensions of the same. To want more is to wish for extra–a word that names the fact of our desire when we are in a state of desiring too much to say anything especially eloquent—or perhaps even to be extra: dramatic to the point of gratuitous. But more can also be heard as a complaint, invoked when the threat of the same feels like too much to bear. We are often asked for more of something else when we’ve been acting in a way that does not appeal to others. Smile more, when I’m in a bad mood. Less is more, when I’ve said too much. These uses of the term point to the economic valence that lies coiled within so many appeals to the ideal of excess—not simply the logics of surplus-value or the imperatives of indefinite growth and expansion that attend them, but the conceptual kernel of capital writ large. It is surely by this same rationale, contradictory as it may seem, that the comparatively regulatory language of social mores emerges, as if the “s” appended to “more” simply signaled the rehearsal of an affect or belief to the point of its conventionalization as value. But regardless of whether the call for “more” is made in the name of excess or economy, volume or value, the dynamic it establishes between these poles performs a logic of valuation all its own.

We welcome any number of variations on the theme, including these and more. Please send a 300- word abstract, along with a short biography and a five-entry bibliography, to by January 25th. Decisions will be announced by mid-February.