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2019 SPE Annual Conference: The Myths of Photography and the American Dream / Major support by The Joy Family Legacy Foundation

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Welcome to First Exposures, a new SPE initiative funded in part by SPE's Future Focus Campaign and showcasing worthy content from historic Exposures articles re-contextualized for today's readers. Curated initially by board member and noted scholar Liz Wells with Exposure's editor Stacey McCarroll Cutshaw, this content should provide a cultural time travel experience and lots of substance for classroom and collegial discussion.

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"Postmodernism and Pedagogy: Reassessing the Integration of Theory and Practice in Undergraduate Photography Curricula"

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When the staff at Exposure proposed to republish online my article "Postmodernism and Pedagogy: Reassessing the Integration of Theory and Practice in Undergraduate Photography Curricula" as part of SPE's First Exposures initiative, I was of course pleased and honored. I was also a little apprehensive. "Postmodernism and Pedagogy," like all critical writing, is a product of its era, and thus some of its concerns may seem remote, its tone somewhat fractious.

"Of Mother Nature and Marlboro Men: An Inquiry Into the Cultural Meanings of Landscape Photography"

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It's 1985.
The movements for equality and civil rights in the United States for African Americans, Latinos, and women had achieved much in 20 years but a backlash was growing as traditional white male economic power was being eroded by globalization. It had been 16 years since the Stonewall riots but government leaders and the medical establishment were doing their own stonewalling as gay men died by the thousands from a deadly virus with no treatment in sight. Earth Day was only 15 years young but the Reagan administration was rolling back environmental regulation and using Executive Privilege to bypass Congress and cede control of public lands to connected commercial and industrial interests.

"Art/Document/History: The NEA Photography Surveys and 1970s America"

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As an American Studies scholar, I'm interested in photographs that-in some fashion or another-seek to speak with authority: photographs that assert that their representation of a place, a person, or a time is particularly worthy of our attention. I am interested in how such photographs come to be made, how they circulate, and how they are received by their audiences.

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