In 2021, the Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) will embark on a new collaboration with three Charlotte, North Carolina–based partners to gather, preserve, and share local histories—stories, documents, visual imagery, and memories—about the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities in Mecklenburg County. CDS, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Johnson C. Smith University, and the Levine Museum of the New South will map out and implement the three-year “Living Archive” project, made possible with a $250,000 planning grant from The Duke Endowment.

Deirdre Haj, director of the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival since January 2010, is stepping down from her position, effective March 15, 2021. Full Frame is a program of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.

Full Frame Documentary Film Festival Director Deirdre Haj, who will step down in March 2021

The Center for Documentary Studies is proud to recognize five students in its continuing education program, CDS Courses, who will receive their Certificates in Documentary Arts and present their final projects in an online event on December 4, 2020: Marjee Chmiel, Paul Hilbink, LeRhonda S. Manigault-Bryant, Vann Thomas Powell, and Valerie Zink. Filmmaker Randy Benson, a longtime CDS Courses instructor, worked with these artists in a Final Project Seminar as they completed their certificate program of study and substantial documentary work.

Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) director Wesley Hogan has announced that she will be stepping away from her position as the organization’s director, effective June 30, 2021.

A photo of Wesley Hogan, a white woman with gray hair.

Randall Kenan, former Lehman Brady Visiting Joint Chair Professor of Documentary and American Studies at Duke and UNC as well as a member of the Board of Directors of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke since 2005, died suddenly and unexpectedly in late August. Randall and I were close friends for many years, and it’s a true struggle to find the appropriate combination of words to express all he meant to so many of us, to the place and time we inhabit, to the world of fiction and nonfiction, to the ongoing work of telling what needs to be told.

A photo featuring Randall Kenan, left, and Tom Rankin, right.

Recent Duke graduate James Robinson (Trinity ’20), who received a Certificate in Documentary Studies from CDS, has been named a finalist in the

Aerial view of land on the Louisiana coast gradually disappearing due to rising water

As director of the Center for Documentary Studies (CDS), I am committed to transforming this historically white institution into an antiracist organization. In response to the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Rayshard Brooks—and the police lynching of George Floyd and the last several weeks of national reckoning—we are holding up a mirror, engaging in an internal reckoning.

A portrait of CDS Director Wesley Hogan sitting on the porch of Lyndhurst House

Discounted Remote Learning Courses Open to Undergraduates from Any University or College

The Center for Documentary Studies is offering undergraduate credit courses as part of Duke University’s Summer School Session II offerings, providing an opportunity for students to engage with some of our most popular courses. Summer Session II runs from June 29 to August 9, 2020. A large number of additional courses cross-listed with DOCST are also available for registration; see below.

A close-up photo of a microphone.

Welcome to the Virtual Celebration and Graduate Presentation for the Certificate in Documentary Arts, earned at the Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) at Duke University. Typically an in-person event, this is a moment to celebrate the brilliance and perseverance of our graduates as they head into the world as documentary change agents with all knowledge of the power and fervor of their voices in the world.

A screenshot of the class Zoom call featuring Anthony Patterson, Rosa Tobin, and Randy Benson.

Artist Sherrill Roland, a Post-MFA Fellow in the Documentary Arts at the Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) in 2018–19, was awarded the 2020 Southern Prize by South Arts on May 18. Winning a South Arts State Fellowship put Roland in competition for the prestigious $25,000 prize, which includes a residency at the Hambidge Center.

A diptych featuring a photo of Sherrill Roland on the left and a photo from the Jumpsuit Project DC walk on the right.