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60th SPE Annual Conference Description & Proposal Information


Society for Photographic Education   /   Deadline: 06/01/22

March 16-18, 2023
Sheraton Denver Downtown, Denver, CO

The world has radically transformed in the years since we last met in person, and many of us have had to fundamentally reformulate how we live, work, and learn. The trials of the COVID era have been an enormous challenge, but our members have adapted and grown to rise to the moment, developing myriad new approaches to artmaking, teaching, and scholarship.

We can at last gather together to celebrate the accomplishments and achievements that have sustained us, share the stories and strategies that have carried us through these trying times, and build the next era of the Society for Photographic Education. It is time to welcome each other back to SPE.

2023 marks the 60th anniversary of SPE as a crucial incubator for scholarship, community building, and professional development. The Board of Directors, along with Chapter and Caucus leaders, have diligently worked to sustain our vital mission, build upon our remarkable history, and plot a new course for our beloved organization. New initiatives include year-round virtual programming in addition to our Annual and Chapter conferences, the addition of High School Educators Grant awards, a fiscal partnership program to support member's non-profit projects, further development and growth of the International Caucus, and the return of our peer-reviewed journal Exposure.

We invite members and non-members to submit conference proposals that embrace the diversity of the photographic medium through immersive visual storytelling, interdisciplinary research, intersectional thinking, and experimental practice. We encourage proposals that push the boundaries of our traditional sessions and invite audience participation, including process workshops, teaching demonstrations, and writing seminars. We are eager to see works that expand, and re-define, our notions of photography.

Denver is the perfect place for our homecoming. The Mile-High City is known for its vibrant arts, culture, and food. Our conference will run concurrently with the Month Of Photography Denver, organized by the Colorado Photographic Arts Center. The Sheraton Denver Downtown is next to the exquisite 16th Street promenade designed by I.M. Pei. We will be close to the Denver Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museo de las Américas, and the River North Art District.

Call for Proposals:

SPE welcomes proposals from photographers, writers, educators, curators, historians, and professionals from other fields. Topics are not required to be theme based, and may include, but are not limited to, imagemaking, history, contemporary theory and criticism, multidisciplinary approaches, new technologies, effects of media and culture, educational issues, funding, and presentations of work in photography, film, video, performance, and installation.

Prospective speakers can submit one proposal for consideration, under one of these categories:
· Graduate Student: a 20-minute presentation on the artist's work, with a brief introduction to their graduate program.
· Imagemaker: a 40-minute presentation about the artist's work.
· Lecture: a 40-minute presentation on a historical topic, theoretical concern, or another artist's work.
· Panel: a 90-minute presentation by up to three panelists and a moderator.
· Teaching and Learning: a 40-minute presentation, workshop, or demo about pedagogical resources and strategies.

Exposure Journal:

SPE is proud to announce the rebirth of Exposure, our peer reviewed journal. Content for the new edition will be partially tied to the peer review process of conference proposal submissions. An esteemed guest editor will work with the Peer Review Committee of the SPE Annual Conference to select projects for publication and will curate additional content as well. If you would like your proposal considered, please choose the "Consider for publication" option in Slideroom during the submission process. Conference attendees will have the option to order a print copy of Exposure during the conference registration process. Copies will be distributed at the 2023 Conference in Denver.

How to Submit:

SPE conference proposal submissions are conducted using SlideRoom, an online review system. Applicants must register and submit all required proposal materials on the SlideRoom website using SPE's portal. Visit for details.

The 2023 Conference Proposal Call for Entry will be open from April 1 to June 1, 2022. Submission Deadline: June 1, 2022, 11:59 pm EDT

Visit for latest information.

Please direct any inquiries to Toni Roberts, SPE Administrative Director, at


Denver, Colorado


$10 submission fee


Current SPE membership is required for all participants of accepted proposals. All presenters, co-presenters, panelists, and moderators will have 10 days to join SPE or renew their membership once acceptance notifications are sent out.


Prepare to submit the following:

- Presentation Title
- 3000 character (about 500 words) abstract (precise summary of presentation content)
- Biographical summary for each intended presenter (max: 750 characters each)
- Upload media (max of 20 files) – this may include images, video, and audio


Special Award Details:

Applicants to the Imagemaker track will be considered for the SPE Imagemaker Award, a cash award granted to a first-time imagemaker presenter who demonstrates outstanding achievement as determined by the peer review committee.

The International Conference Grant is awarded to two of the highest-ranked international (non-US) proposal submissions selected to present at the conference. This prize includes a full conference fee waiver and complimentary one-year membership.

The High School Educators Grant is awarded to two of the highest-ranked submissions from members of the High School Educators Caucus. This prize includes a full conference fee waiver and complimentary one-year membership.

Evaluation Criteria

Selection Process:

All submissions are reviewed by a peer review panel recruited from Caucuses and Chapters on a rotating basis, as well as at-large, in a manner meant to ensure representation of all the major disciplines and demographics of SPE. The panel then forwards their choices for approval by the Conference Committee, then the Executive Committee. The selected presenters will be notified by September 1, 2022.

Contact Information

Toni Roberts


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