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Past SPE Annual Conferences

Southeast Chapter | Conferences

SPE Southeast Chapter includes:
Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia

Chair Zane Logan
Vice Chair/Secretary Josh White
Treasurer Emily Gomez
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Past Conferences

2020 Southeast Conference

- Online, Online   |   October 17 - October 17, 2020

The SPESE Chapter is seeking proposals for the October 17th, 2020 online chapter conference. The Southeast Chapter welcomes proposals from photographers, writers, educators, curators, historians and professionals from any field.

This year's conference will focus on intersectionality in the South, including but not limited to issues of race, class, gender, sexual identity, and photography's history of upholding problematic stereotypes and Southern identity. The conference will highlight artists whose work examines issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the American South.

Proposed presentations may include but are not limited to individual image-makers, panel discussions, lectures, short workshops, and demonstrations that can be delivered online during our live conference weekend. We also welcome regional graduate program presentations and student presentations. Presentations are limited to a maximum of 45 minutes.

To submit a proposal, complete the Google form by September, 25th 2020: 

 Each proposal must include:
• Name(s) of presenter(s) or panelists
• Presenter or lead presenter contact information including email address and phone number
• A biography of each presenter (150 words maximum)
• Title of Presentation
• A brief description of the proposed lecture, panel, workshop, demonstration, or presentation. (250 words maximum)
• 5 images if applicable for proposal (jpeg 1000px longest dimension). Please name images lastname_firstname_01.jpg, etc.

If you have questions please contact Zane Logan at We look forward to reviewing your application and remember the application deadline is Friday, September 25.

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2019 SPESE: Double-sided

This Conference is About Photography Books

Graduate Hotel, Richmond - Richmond, Virginia   |   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.

Background image by Keynote Speaker: Carmen Winant, "My Birth, 2018." Found images, tape. Installation view of Being: New Photography 2018 at The Museum of Modern Art, New York"

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The Fierce Urgency of Now

Penland School of Crafts - Bakersville, North Carolina   |   September 28 - September 30, 2018

2018 SPE Southeast Chapter Retreat at Penland School of Crafts
Friday, September 28 - Sunday, September 30

CONFERENCE COMMITTEE: Wendy Babcox (USF), Joshua White (ASU), with support and encouragement from Zane Logan (SE Regional President) and Emily Gomez (SE Treasurer)

We are excited to announce the 2018 SPESE Regional Retreat, which will take place at Penland School of Crafts, on September 28-30. Set in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, Penland offers the perfect environment to retreat, reflect and retool. In his iconic "I Have a Dream" speech, Martin Luther King Jr. referred to what he called "the fierce urgency of now". Fifty years later, we embrace this phrase as the title and theme for our regional chapter retreat at what is widely understood to be a very urgent moment. Hosted and sponsored by the University of South Florida in Tampa, THE FIERCE URGENCY OF NOW, will feature a diverse array of accomplished speakers whose work addresses the present moment. 

Penland will also showcase their new photography studios, which were opened to the public for the first time this summer. The retreat will also offer an array of creative workshops and a portfolio throwdown.

Penland's facility offers accommodations on their renowned picturesque campus in addition to on-site dining in their legendary dining room.


Payment for rooms must be made to Penland at check in. Meal packages are also available to Retreat participants and can be purchased on this site while registering for the conference. REGISTRATION ENDS 9.16.18


If you have any questions, please contact:

We look forward to seeing you all in the mountains at Penland School of Crafts!

 Conference registration is non-transferable and cancellation requests must be received in writing to by September 14, 2018. Cancellations are subject to a $25 processing fee. Cancellations after September 14, 2018 are non-refundable. The cancellation policy applies to all circumstances (including, but not limited to, severe weather, natural disaster, flight cancellations, illness, personal/family emergency, etc.)

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2017 Southeast Chapter Retreat

Photographic Education Think Tank 20/20: Building A Photography Curriculum for the Future

Penland School of Crafts - Bakersville, North Carolina   |   September 29 - October 01, 2017

2017 SPE Southeast Chapter Retreat at Penland School of Crafts
Friday, September 29 - Sunday, October 1

Photography programs have had drastic changes in the past twenty years, from the inclusion of more conceptual praxis, diversified practices, and technological changes; the programs of today looks radically different from its predecessors. How can we teach students with eyes to the future? How do you teach technology and practices that don't exist yet? This conference is geared towards all photographic educators and students considering entering the field of teaching. Bring lots of ideas, and a spirit of learning!

This SPE Regional Retreat will address these questions in the format of a think tank, facilitated by Integrative Teaching International, which run think tanks addressing art foundations education in higher education. They are sharing their format and will be facilitating our conversations alongside SPE members.

This retreat style conference will be held at Penland School of Crafts. It is a remote area, one hour northeast of Asheville, North Carolina, and 2.5 hours northwest of Charlotte. All meals will be provided for approximately $90 for the weekend (this includes Friday - dinner (includes 2 beers), Saturday - breakfast, lunch, dinner, and Sunday - brunch). Due to its remote location, we do recommend bringing snacks or libations you might need for the weekend. While we cannot make meal accommodations for every restriction there are vegetarian options available at every meal and a large salad bar.

There are many types of housing available at all price points. If you do not indicate a roommate, for those options with shared rooms, one will be assigned to you. Housing will be assigned in late September and be charged through Penland Conference Services. For those interested in hotel lodging, the closest is the Richmond Inn, Bed & Breakfast in Spruce Pine, NC - a fifteen minute drive from the campus.

*You must complete a housing, meal, and breakout group preference form prior to September 15.


For this conference we will break into four separate think tanks and develop curriculum models with different foci. Over the conference, these groups will be charged with developing ideas, assignments, or curriculum in the following areas: programs within a larger liberal arts curriculum, programs within an art school, integrating service learning and experiential learning into curriculum, and teaching for the technology of the future. Sunday, each group will present a synopsis of their discussion at brunch.

Four breakout groups:

Service Learning & Community Education will examine the integration of service learning into programs and community involvement in experiential learning. This is for anyone interested in this area, and is not specific to any institution or organization.

Integrating New Technologies will investigate new technologies and tackle the question of how to teach for technology that doesn't yet exist. This breakout group does not focus on specific institutional or organizational curriculum.

Art School or BFA Programs is for educators wishing to discuss the unique needs of larger photography programs within art schools.

Photography in the Liberal Arts Curriculum will address the needs of photography or art programs within a larger liberal arts institution.


Friday, September 29

3:00-6:00pm: Registration

6:00pm: Dinner BBQ + Brews

7:30pm: Introduction and Honored Educator

Saturday, September 30

8:00-9:00am: Breakfast

9:30am-12:00pm: Breakout Groups

12:00-1:30pm: Lunch

2:00-5:30pm: Breakout Groups

6:00-7:30pm: Dinner

7:30pm----? Bonfire (BYOB)

Sunday, October 1

8:00-8:45am: Breakfast

9:00am-12:00pm: Presentations by Breakout Groups & Closing

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2016 SPE Southeast Regional Conference

Eye South Symposium

Columbus State University - Columbus , Georgia   |   October 14 - October 16, 2016

2016 SPE Southeast Regional conference in Columbus, Georgia, October 14th – 16th.

Conference will be held in collaboration with Eye South Symposium, the Do Good Fund, Aint-Bad Magazine and Atlanta Celebrates Photography. Conference will explore key themes in contemporary photography and will be comprised of panel discussions, lectures, exhibitions and portfolio reviews.

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Plays Well With Others

The Collaborative Process in Photography

The One Building - Greenville, South Carolina   |   November 06 - November 08, 2015

We are excited to announce the 2015 SPESE conference title and theme, Collaboration: Plays Well with Others. The conference will highlight artists whose work is developed in the spirit of collaboration.

Photography is all around us, and it is frequently referred to as the most prolific and democratic visual medium. While photographs have always communicated the realities of the world, they have also been about helping the photographer communicate their personal interests about a place, a situation, or their fellow human beings. In the 21st century, photography is no longer a solitary practice. Instead, it is a medium that encourages discourse with other artists, writers, and communities in an effort to share and facilitate ideas. This year’s conference lectures, presentations, workshops and demos will address photographers working with other photographers and other members of the visual arts community. We will explore the sharing of photographic ideas and images and how this collaborative practice functions in contemporary society and impacts its communities.

We are looking forward to seeing you in Greenville, SC!

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If You Build It...

October 9-12, 2014, Greenville, NC

List of Uptown Greenville Restaurants - Jenkins Fine Art Center, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina   |   October 09 - October 12, 2014

The creative process of making photographs will be explored through lectures, panels, and workshops featuring the talents and wisdom of accomplished regional and national artists, academics, and collectors. A gallery tour of Greenville will feature two world-class photographic exhibitions: "Image:Constructed::Constructed:Image", and "Magnum Opus" a selection from the Allen Thomas Jr. Photography Collection.

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"Mad Hatters to Pixel Pushers"

UNC Charlotte Center City - Charlotte, North Carolina   |   October 18 - October 20, 2013

The 2013 SPESE Conference, sponsored by The Light Factory and The UNCC College of Arts & Architecture, featured over the course of four days, diverse lectures, as well as, experiential workshops presented by a host of regionally and nationally acclaimed photographic artists that explored not only the origin of our shared photographic history but also its future. Keynote artist Dan Estabrook launched the conference with an eager group of participants in his Salt Printing Workshop. Humble, yet larger than life artist and professor Phil Moody of Winthrop University, was recognized as the 2013 SPESE Honored Educator. Featured presenters also included S. Gayle Stevens and David Emitt Adams. Notable and accomplished regional artists presented their work at the conference through lecture, exhibitions, workshops, and panel discussion. The traditional Saturday night conference party featured live music, dance, a print raffle, and a marathon silk screening of the conference t-shirt by UNC Charlotte's Printmaking Club and Art of Light Photography Club. Sunday morning events concluded the conference with a Portfolio Throwdown where prominent curators, professors, and practicing artists reviewed student portfolios throughout the morning while artists from Flaming Chicken Studio organized a wet plate collodion photo shoot on the back lawn. (Summary by Aspen Hochhalter) Conferenc Chairs: Aspen Hochhalter, Laurie Schorr

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"The End of the World"

Hilton Daytona Beach Resort / Ocean Walk Village - Daytona Beach, Florida   |   November 09 - November 11, 2012

The conference was hosted by the University of Central Florida and Daytona State College, and chaired by Steven Benson.

The primary location for the conference was the Hilton Daytona Beach Resort/Ocean Walk Village on the ocean with additional activities at the Southeast Museum of Photography, which was hosting it's first Southeast Regional Triennial of Photography.

The theme of the conference explored "The End of the World", taking the lead from the theories surrounding the Mayan calendar. Human beings certainly have the capacity to contribute to this outcome as individuals and as societies. It was an opportunity to examine how we interact with each other and the planet not only the destructive aspects of the equation, but the positive efforts made every day to avert disaster.

Keynote: Nancy Burson Featured Speakers: Lori Nix and Donna Ferrato

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