Lehman Brady

The Center for Documentary Studies coordinates a visiting joint chair professorship in Documentary Studies and American Studies at Duke and UNC–Chapel Hill, known as the Lehman Brady Chair. This collaborative, cross-campus arrangement affords significant opportunities for study, research, and participation in educational activities associated with distinguished writers, photographers, filmmakers, and other practitioners and scholars of the documentary arts. The Lehman Brady Professor teaches courses on both campuses and engages in lectures, film screenings, and other events for students and the general public.

The Lehman Brady Chair is supported by two endowment funds, one established at the Center for Documentary Studies by the Lyndhurst Foundation and the other established at Duke University by the bequest of Lehman Brady, an attorney from Durham, North Carolina, who died in 1995.

Associated Faculty, Staff and Artists

Wesley Hogan

Director, Center for Documentary Studies

Wesley Hogan is the director of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University and teaches the history of youth social movements, African American history, women’s history and oral history.

Charlie Thompson

Professor of the Practice of Cultural Anthropology and Documentary Studies

Charles D. Thompson, Jr. is Professor of the Practice of Cultural Anthropology and Documentary Studies at Duke University. A common thread through his work is a deep concern for people doing their all to have a voice in our agricultural systems.

Tom Rankin

Professor of the Practice/Director, MFAEDA

Tom Rankin is Professor of the Practice of Art and Documentary Studies at Duke University where he directs the MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts. For 15 years he was director of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke. Rankin is formerly Associate Professor of Art and Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi and Chair of the Art Department at Delta State University.

Randall Kenan

Board of Directors, Fall 2002-Spring 2003 Lehman Brady Professor

Randall Kenan is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at UNC–Chapel Hill. His first novel, A Visitation of Spirits, was published by Grove Press in 1989.

Bill C. Malone

2000 Lehman Brady Visiting Joint Chair Professor

Historian Bill C. Malone, a retired professor emeritus at Tulane University who is known for his groundbreaking cultural studies of Southern folk and country music, was the inaugural Lehman Brady Chair Professor.

Deborah Willis

Fall 2000-Spring 2001

Deborah Willis, an internationally acclaimed artist, historian of photography, and curator, won a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship in 2000, the same year she began her Lehman Brady Professorship.

John Cohen

Spring 2004 Lehman Brady Professor

The recent joint releases of powerHouse Books’ There Is No Eye: John Cohen Photographs and Smithsonian Folkways’ CD There Is No Eye: Music For Photographs, recordings of musicians photographed by John Cohen, bring together several threads of Cohen’s work over the past fifty yea

Allan Gurganus

Fall 2004-Spring 2005 Lehman Brady Professor

“Allan Gurganus writes without a safety net; no precautions are taken against pathos, bathos, authorial indignity.” So Henry Louis Gates Jr. observed in The Nation: “Gurganus locates the dangerous glamour in ordinariness. He can do anything he likes as a writer.”

Natasha Trethewey

Fall 2005-Spring 2006 Lehman Brady Professor

Natasha Trethewey is author of Native Guard (Houghton Mifflin, 2006), Bellocq's Ophelia (Graywolf, 2002), and Domestic Work (Graywolf, 2000).

Karen Michel

Fall 2006-Spring 2007 Lehman Brady Professor

Based in upstate New York, Karen Michel is an independent radio producer who got her start in media as a guest on Art Linkletter's Kids Say the Darndest Things.

David S. Cecelski

Fall 2001-Spring 2002, Fall 2003, Fall 2007 Lehman Brady Professor

Historian David S. Cecelski—whose writing and teaching stems from his passionate commitment to the places, people, and politics of eastern North Carolina—has written extensively on civil rights and North Carolina coastal history.

Brett Cook

Spring 2008 Lehman Brady Professor

Brett Cook creates objects, experiences, and feelings that defy classification in any single discipline. His work has been shown at museums and galleries since 1991, concurrent with a practice manifested in public projects since 1984.

Rayna Green

Fall 2008 Lehman Brady Professor

Rayna Green is a curator at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, where she also serves as director of the American Indian Program and as documentary historian for the American Food and Wine History Project. A folklorist with a Ph.D.

Alice Gerrard

Spring 2009 Lehman Brady Professor

Alice Gerrard has been documenting music through performance, writing/editing, and film throughout her forty-year career as a traditional musician.

Paul Hendrickson

Fall 2009 Lehman Brady

Paul Hendrickson’s most recent book, Sons of Mississippi (Alfred A.

Sam Stephenson

Fall 2012-Spring 2013 Lehman Brady Professor

Since 2002, writer Sam Stephenson has been the director of The Jazz Loft Project at CDS. He has been studying the life and work of photographer W. Eugene Smith since 1997, with much of the work based at CDS. His first book, Dream Street: W.

Marco Williams

Fall 2014-Spring 2015 Lehman Brady Person

Marco Williams is a filmmaker and a film educator whose directing credits include The Undocumented; Inside the New Black Panthers; Banished; Freedom Summer; I Sit Where I Want: The Legacy of Brown v.