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2020 SPE Annual Conference: Hosted by The University of Houston | Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts | School of Art

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Past SPE Annual Conferences

Take advantage of automatic enrollment in your affiliated chapter. While each of the eight chapters are unique, they all provide local conferences, networking opportunites, and other benefits to serve the special needs of their constituency. You can also volunteer to serve as a chapter leader. 

Affiliated Chapter Leadership


Chair Rebecca Michaels
Vice Chair/Secretary Elena Volkova
Treasurer Jeanne Anderton
contact Mid-Atlantic


Chair Rob Dickes
Vice Chair/Secretary Garin Horner
Treasurer Joseph Mougel
contact Midwest


Chair Jodie Goodnough
Vice Chair/Secretary Laura Beth Reese
Treasurer Robert Knight
contact Northeast


Chair J. Jason Lazarus
Vice Chair/Secretary Rani Robison
Treasurer Jennie Castle
contact Northwest

South Central

Chair Diane Durant
Vice Chair/Secretary Rebecca Drolen
Treasurer Kristy Peet
contact South Central


Chair Zane Logan
Vice Chair/Secretary Marni Shindelman
Treasurer Emily Gomez
contact Southeast


Chair Abbey Hepner
Vice Chair/Secretary Emma Powell
Treasurer Paul Sisson
contact Southwest


Chair Amanda Dahlgren
Vice Chair/Secretary Renee Billingslea
Treasurer Ken Marchionno
contact West

International Chapters




Upcoming Chapter Events

In Our Own Voices: Culture / Identity

- Fairbanks, Alaska   |   September 13 - September 15, 2019

Explore the Last Frontier this upcoming fall with our 2019 Chapter Conference - being held at the University of Alaska - Fairbanks! This two day conference will provide one track for peer-reviewed international presenters, panelists, workshops artists and portfolio reviewers while also dedicating an entire track to Alaska-based photographers, indigenous artists and educational opportunities. The theme, which is "In Our Own Voices: Culture / Identity", invites a wide array of photographers and educators to share their talent with our international guests and local artists. Our conference will also feature a members-only show in the UAF Art Department Gallery in the Fine Arts Complex. Call for Art Proposal will go live before June 1, 2019.  Brian Adams, an Anchorage-based Inupiaq photographer, and Lorenzo Triburgo, Brooklyn-based photographer and performance artist, will serve as our keynote speakers for the event. Brian Adams documents real Alaska through its people, their various cultures and their unique landscapes. Brian's photobooks, entitled I am Inuit and I am Alaskan provide wonderful context to the cultural diversity and traditions of the Last Frontier. Lorenzo Triburgo has helped with our previous SPE-NW conference at OSU in 2017 and is creating amazing work focusing on identity with their series of heroic "Transportraits" and their current performance work in front of Stonewall.  Our two day business expo will be open and free to the public, and will feature a wide variety of major corporate sponsors, local businesses and educational opportunities. CALL FOR PROPOSALS The upcoming 2019 SPE-NW Chapter Conference will feature two full days of conference workshops, panel discussions, research lectures, and image-maker presentations. Two tracks of conference presentations will feature regional and international presenters along with a strong representation Alaska-based artists and professionals. We welcome submissions from photographers, educators, artists, students and do not require that proposals incorporate cultural and/or identity elements, although we encourage artists and speakers in those topics to submit. We warmly accept submissions from professionals that are not SPE members as well as people living outside of our region. Thank you for your interest and do not hesitate to contact our Conference Chair through email (provided below) or via SPE-NW's Facebook and Instagram pages. Come join us for the beautiful fall weather in Alaska's interior and explore the taiga during a hike in the fall colors, get the chance to view amazing auroral displays in our night skies and experience our local indigenous culture.  We encourage submissions in the following categories: Workshop / Hands-on Training / Outside Photo Explorations (3 hour) Image-maker Presentations (45 minute) Teaching methodology & research (45 minute) Panel discussion (3-4 people, 90 minute) Lightning round artist presentation - for single bodies of work (15 minutes) Deadline and Submission Guidelines Proposal submissions are due by May 1st at 11:59pm, AKST. Please submit your proposals through our submission form link available below.  Please have the following prepared prior to submitting: Proposed presentation style, title of presentation, and name(s) of presenters Equipment needs for your presentation (power, projector, darkroom, studio space, computer lab, etc) Biography of each presenter, Image-based or image-maker presentations must include no more than 10 images Up to 500 words dedicated to your proposal concept.  CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT YOUR PROPOSAL Any questions? Want to help sponsor our upcoming event? Please contact Conference Chair J. Jason Lazarus at

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SPE Southcentral Conference 2019

- Lubbock, Texas   |   October 10 - October 12, 2019

WITH AS MANY... points to the overlap and convergence of the many communities contemporary photographers foster, support. advocate for, and collaborate with through their photographic work.  PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE.... presents immeasurable opportunities for defining ourselves and the places we come from and we are interested in catalyzing a conversation between photographers who: •    use their work to engage local communities•    give voice to underserved communities•    link communities together for a shared cause•    represent communities on their own terms•    build new communities through artistic collaboration MANY POSSIBLE... Proposals can be for individual presentations, collaborations, workshops and panels from member photographers, writers, educators, curators, historians, professionals, and students. Topics are not required to be theme-based, and may include but are not limited to; image-making, history, contemporary theory and criticism, multidisciplinary approaches and new technologies, and presentations of work in photography, film, video, performance and installation. 

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2019 SPESE: Double-sided

This Conference is About Photography Books

Graduate Hotel, Richmond - Richmond, VA   |   October 17 - October 20, 2019

With the rise of self publishing, installation, performance, and expanded approaches to the photo book, SPESE 2019 invites you to Richmond, VA where VCUarts and the Departments of Art & Art History at William & Mary and the University of Richmond will explore Photography off the wall – disseminated and transmitted by gatekeepers and DIY'ers, through actual and virtual networked communities. Topics of exploration  include the nature of research and image circulation; collectives and special collections; working with designers, writers and text; the book as object and event, and most importantly, empowering our students to move the conversation around Photography Books forward for the next generation of artists, educators, consumers and producers.CALL FOR PROPOSALS: You are invited to submit proposals for artist talks, lectures, or panels (45 min block) or creative, technical or pedagogical workshops (90-120 min. block).  Please limit your proposals to 300 words.  Please submit with a CV and up to ten images, and compress all info into a single PDF.  Submit to with "SPESE Conference Proposal" in the subject line.  DEADLINE June 1, 2019

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Communities, Collaborations and Collectives

Saint Kate - Milwaukee, Wisconsin   |   October 24 - October 27, 2019

Ours is a time of increasing political, cultural, and economic division.  While the impulse to turn inward and interact with only those of like minds is strong, the creative class has every opportunity to resist that urge by bridging divides, building community, and bringing visibility to voices and efforts that are working to strengthen our shared visions for the future.  Creative collaborations and artist collectives help to provide effective and sustainable models for building sound structures that serve to unify our regional, national, and global populations of varying needs and perspectives. This year's theme is an opportunity to think beyond the needs of the individual maker, gesture, or venue, in an effort to promote shared agency in utilizing the photographic medium as a tool for unifying group interests, bringing voice to underrepresented communities, and communicating the experiences of those on all sides of the divide.

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Photography: Mentorship and Legacy

Rhode Island School of Design - Providence, RI   |   October 26 - October 27, 2019

Each photographer carries with them the photographers who have gone before - those who were our mentors and educators, and those we never met but who taught us nonetheless. In many ways, these are the first important steps towards building support and community for ourselves. The 2019 SPE Northeast Chapter Conference will focus on photography's rich tradition of mentorship and legacy, and the ways in which we as educators continue that tradition in our classrooms. We welcome proposals from all photographers, but are particularly excited to see combined proposals from educators and their former students, and other creative takes on the theme. Call for presentation proposals will be posted this week - keep your eyes peeled!

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All-Inclusive: Photography for Social Justice

2019 Joint West/Southwest Chapter Conference

Santa Clara University - Santa Clara, CA   |   November 01 - November 03, 2019

Come learn from and connect with other individuals working with critical issues in social justice. This conference is co-hosted by the West and Southwest Chapters of SPE and the Department of Art and Art History at Santa Clara University, located in the heart of Silicon Valley, minutes from the San Jose Airport and less than an hour from the old stomping grounds of Group f/64, which includes Carmel, San Francisco, and Oakland.     We will explore how photography is used to challenge injustice, pursue social equality, and advance human rights through creative skills in order to inspire social movements, to witness, to resist oppression, to pose the difficult questions, and to stimulate debate and awareness about critical social issues. CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Proposals are due May 1, 2019. Registration fees, paid directly to SPE: Regular, Senior, Sustaining member: $75 early, $90 regular Adjunct/part-time: $40 early, $55 regular Student: $20 early, $25 regular Non-member: $190 Student non-member: $60 Conference Chair: Renee BillingsleaConference Co-Chair: Lamia Khorshid West Chapter Chair: Amanda DahlgrenSouthwest Chapter Chair: Abbey Hepner For questions or comments about the conference, please email:

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