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2021 SPE Annual Conference: Imagining Legacy: Archives, Collections, and Memoria

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Imagining Legacy: Archives, Collections, and Memoria

When March 18-21, 2021
Where Sheraton Denver Downtown, Denver, CO

Call for Proposals Now Open - Deadline August 15, 2020

SPE 2021 Annual Conference Coronavirus Update
SPE continues to carefully monitor the rapidly changing situation related to the spread of COVID-19. We understand that concerns for health, safety, and the impact on meeting attendance, among other issues, are affecting our members. Though there remains much uncertainty at this time, what we know without a doubt is this: SPE members are facing unprecedented challenges, and the need for exploring best practices, sharing lessons learned, and connecting with their peers will be greater than ever. That's why we are committed to hosting our annual conference in 2021, and we want you to be a part of it.

Depending on how the pandemic mitigation efforts progress over the next several months, there are two possible scenarios for our 2021 Conference:

IN-PERSON: If we are confident early enough in the planning process that gathering in large groups will be deemed safe according to public health guidelines, the conference will be held March 18-21, 2021 in Denver, Colorado at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel.

VIRTUAL: There's a real possibility we will need to transition to hosting a virtual or hybrid conference. If we do need to go virtual, we would adjust the conference dates to allow it to take place over an extended period of time, rather than condensed into four days. We would work with accepted proposals to build the schedule over that longer period of time.

We appreciate your patience as SPE continues to assess and monitor the situation.


A photograph is legacy, a lasting record of a subject, artist, event, culture, moment, or place. These legacies, like history, have often been defined through a colonialist, patriarchal lens that upholds normative narratives of whiteness, obscuring the legacies of others. How have our intersecting pasts shaped the contemporary moment? We live and make art in a time of strategic conflict over the truth—with the photograph as one the most publicly trusted instruments of truth-telling. At the same time, we find ourselves in an era of photographic ubiquity and abundance. What is our role as artists in cutting through the ubiquity to actively reshape the future? A political moment demands that we visit our past – in order to retell, reimagine, rewrite, and redefine more inclusive truths that will deeply affect our future as a global community.  This year, SPE is seeking presentations by artists, scholars, and researchers whose work investigates the world through the lens of legacy.

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