Lehman Brady Visiting Joint Chair Professorship

We are currently accepting proposals for the next Lehman Brady Visiting Joint Chair Professor.

Marie Cochran, Lehman Brady Professor
Marie Cochran taught a course titled “Black Spaces Matter.”

The Center for Documentary Studies coordinates the Lehman Brady Visiting Joint Chair Professorship, a professorship in documentary studies and American studies at Duke University and the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill.

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 Visiting Joint Chair Professorship 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.

Previous Lehman Brady Professors

Biographical information is from the time of selection, in most cases.

Fall 2020–Spring 2022

Marie T. Cochran is a self-described cultural pollinator. She is the founder of the Affrilachian Artist Project, which celebrates the intersection of cultures in Appalachia and nurtures a network of individuals and organizations committed to the sustainability of a diverse network throughout the 13 states of the region. During the span of her residence at CDS, which took place during the global pandemic, Cochran taught a course titled “Black Spaces Matter: Race, Place, Community and Resilience.”

Spring 2019

Myron Dewey (1972–2021) was based at the Center for Documentary Studies. He was a filmmaker, journalist, digital storyteller and the founder of Digital Smoke Signals, a media production company that aims to give a platform to indigenous voices in media.

Spring 2018

Cristy Road Carrera is a Cuban-American artist, writer and musician who grew up in Miami. Through visual art, storytelling and punk rock music, Road Carrera strives to “testify [to] the beauty of the imperfect….”

Fall 2014–Spring 2015

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. Board of Education; MLK Boulevard: The Concrete Dream; Two Towns of Jasper; Making Peace: Rebuilding Our Communities; The Pursuit of Happiness: With Arianna Huffington; Without a Pass; In Search of Our Fathers; and From Harlem to Harvard.

Fall 2012–Spring 2013

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

Fall 2009

Paul Hendrickson’s most recent book, Sons of Mississippi (Alfred A. Knopf, 2003), a study of the legacy of racism in the families of seven Mississippi sheriffs of the 1960s, won the National Book Critics Circle Award in general nonfiction and the Heartland Prize presented annually by the Chicago Tribune.

Spring 2009

Alice Gerrard has been documenting music through performance, writing/editing and film throughout her 40-year career as a traditional musician. Her most notable accomplishments as a documentarian include The Old-Time Herald, a periodical for which she served as founding editor-in-chief from 1987 until 2003, and her film Sprout Wings and Fly.

Fall 2008

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.

Spring 2008

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.

Fall 2007

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.

Fall 2006–Spring 2007

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.

Fall 2005–Spring 2006

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

Fall 2004–Spring 2005

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.”

Spring 2004

The 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 50 years.

Fall 2003

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.

Fall 2002–Spring 2003

Randall Kenan was a member of the Center for Documentary Studies Board of Directors from 2005 until his death in 2020.

Fall 2001–Spring 2002

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.

2000

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.