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First row: Andrew Cao, Angelica Moreno, Artivista Karlin; second row: Maxwell Simbuwa, Huiyin Zhou Five undergraduates have received 2024 John Hope Franklin Student Documentary Awards from the Center for Documentary Studies. Grants of up to $2,000 will support project-based documentary fieldwork and research over the summer. These awards are named for John Hope Franklin, the late professor emeritus of history at Duke, in recognition of his lifetime accomplishments and his dedication… read more about Students Receive Summer Funding for Documentary Projects From Minnesota to Zambia »

Duke faculty member Christopher W. Sims, a lauded photographer and artist, will be the next director of the Duke Center for Documentary Studies (CDS). Sims is associate professor of the practice in the Sanford School of Public Policy and in the Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies. He also teaches undergraduate courses at CDS and graduate courses in the MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts program, and is an instructor in the Duke-in-Berlin summer program. Through Fall 2023, Sims served as CDS’s… read more about Christopher Sims Named to Lead Center for Documentary Studies »

Clockwise from upper left, works by Anna Schilling, Clementine Biddle, Huiyin Zhou and Cate Knothe In the captivating Capstone seminar class collection, four distinct voices merge to explore themes of history, community, identity and memory through their artistic expressions. Anna Schilling’s project, titled “The Death of the Third Place,” addresses the erosion of communal gathering spots in contemporary society. Through her artwork, she advocates for the revitalization of these… read more about Four Distinct Voices From the Capstone Seminar in Documentary Studies »

Duke senior Staci Grimes is the winner of the 2024 Julia Harper Day Award for Documentary Studies. The sociology major, who will graduate with a Certificate in Documentary Studies, will receive a prize of $500. This award was created in 1992 in memory of Julia Harper Day, who was the Center for Documentary Studies’ first staff member as well as a photographer and writer. The annual award recognizes seniors who have demonstrated excellence in documentary studies and significantly… read more about Staci Grimes Receives Julia Harper Day Award for Documentary Studies »

As part of the 2024 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, the Center for Documentary Studies Filmmaker Award was presented to “Sugarcane,” directed by Julian Brave NoiseCat and Emily Kassie. The CDS Filmmaker Award recognizes documentary films that combine originality and creativity with firsthand experience in examining central issues of contemporary life and culture. In keeping with the center’s mission, the award was created to honor and support documentary artists whose works are potential catalysts for education and… read more about The 2024 CDS Filmmaker Award Goes to “Sugarcane” »

Twenty-four undergraduates from a wide range of majors at Duke will serve as fellows at the 26th annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, which takes place from Thursday, April 4 through Sunday, April 7 in downtown Durham. The Full Frame Fellows Program is aimed at educating, motivating and nurturing students. Along with screening films, fellows have the opportunity to network with filmmakers and seek advice that can apply to their own careers. These students will receive tickets to the opening night film and party,… read more about Two Dozen Duke Students Selected as Full Frame Fellows »

The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival is pleased to announce the complete lineup for the 26th annual festival, April 4–7, 2024. Full Frame will exhibit documentary features and shorts from around the world in a premier showcase of film screenings, discussions, and panels held in historic downtown Durham, N.C. This year’s festival will include 50 titles, 35 features and 15 short films from 22 countries. read more about 50 Movies, 22 Countries, Four Days: Full Frame Announces 2024 Documentary Film Schedule »

The Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) is offering a Summer 2024 funding opportunity for documentary fieldwork and research. Established in 1990, the John Hope Franklin Student Documentary Awards are named for the noted scholar John Hope Franklin, the late professor emeritus of history at Duke, in recognition of his lifetime accomplishments and his dedication to students and teaching. CDS makes awards of up to $2,000 available to undergraduates attending Triangle-area universities to help them conduct sustained work on… read more about 2024 John Hope Franklin Student Documentary Awards: Apply Now »

First row: Luis Gutiérrez Arias, Zaina Bseiso, Adrienne Keene, Jamie Robertson, Tamara Santibañez; second row: Tommy Franklin, Renata Cherlise, Dessane Lopez Cassell, Rodrigo Reyes, Nikoli Attai, Crystal Z Campbell Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies announces the cohort chosen to participate in the 2024 DocX Development Lab–Otherwise Histories, Otherwise Futures, co-created by Stephanie Owens and Nyssa Chow. This lab supports artists and researchers whose archival… read more about Meet the Documentary Artists and Scholars Selected as DocX Development Lab Fellows »

Become a fellow at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival! This opportunity is open to all Duke undergraduates and takes place April 4-7, 2024, in Durham, NC. The Full Frame Fellows Program is aimed at educating, motivating and nurturing students. Along with screening films, fellows have the opportunity to network with documentary filmmakers and seek advice that can apply to their own careers. In 2019, approximately 180 participants from 20 schools took part in the Fellows Program. Selected students will receive a… read more about Full Frame Fellows 2024: Apply Now »

A growing number of Duke faculty are engaging with documentary studies, broadly conceived. To support the expansion of scholarly and artistic communities across campus, Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) invited grant applications from faculty to 1) seed new research undertakings and 2) develop new or redesigned undergraduate courses. The selected proposals will enable CDS to incorporate new approaches and perspectives into its scholarly activities and enrich the offerings available to undergraduates. All… read more about Documentary Studies Grants Awarded to Faculty for Research and Course Development  »

While Durham itself has changed a good bit in the last five years, the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival will be recognizable and familiar when it returns to downtown for in-person screenings April 4-7 for the first time since 2019. It will be fun, accessible and welcoming, a reflection of the city it calls home, said Emily Foster, who is co-directing the festival this year with Full Frame colleague Sadie Tillery. “The festival may be internationally recognized, but remains unpretentious. There’s no red carpets, just a… read more about Celebrating the Return of Full Frame Film Festival to In-Person Programming  »

The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University and the Department of American Studies at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill invite applications for the 2024-2026 Lehman Brady Visiting Joint Chair Professorship. The professorship, open as to rank, provides an innovative artist, writer, documentarian or scholar a two-year position. The first year is not fully residential, but involves a series of week-long visits to engage with faculty, students and community groups, as appropriate, to present on work-in-… read more about Request for Proposals: Lehman Brady Visiting Professor in Documentary Studies and American Studies at Duke University and UNC–Chapel Hill »

Henschel leads an editing workshop. (John West/Trinity Communications) Lauren Henschel is flipping the script on traditional evaluation methods. As co-leader of an interdisciplinary Trinity initiative that gives students in certain courses the option to create a video project for their final as opposed to a written paper, she’s introducing students to new skills as directors, interviewers and producers. An Associate in Research in the Gender Sexuality and Feminist Studies… read more about A Movie Script Ending: Bringing Film Into the Classroom »

Yasaman Baghban is an Iranian-born experimental and documentary filmmaker who received her MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts (EDA) from Duke last year. She was recently selected to join the Center for Documentary Studies as a part-time instructor in Spring 2024. We asked Baghban a few questions about her course, Capstone Seminar in Documentary Studies, and her creative work. How are you approaching your class at CDS? What will your students do? I started with a questionnaire for the students. This asked about… read more about CDS Instructor Spotlight: Yasaman Baghban »

Three part-time instructors have been selected to join the Center for Documentary Studies as instructors of undergraduate courses in Spring 2024. Shiraz Ahmed Shiraz Ahmed is a journalist and documentary filmmaker who is completing the MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts program at Duke. He has worked as a business and local news reporter in Detroit, Memphis and Houston, covering technology, social services and activism. He also volunteers as a creative and personal writing coach for high school and college students… read more about Three New Instructors Augment Undergraduate Education in Documentary Studies »

Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) is currently supporting three Ph.D. student fellows who are pursuing research related to documentary studies. As part of the fellowship, each student will give a presentation on an aspect of their dissertation research that relates to documentary studies. Registration is requested so that the organizers can distribute a work-in-progress paper or film prior to the event. Everyone is welcome to attend. Snacks will be provided for these discussion-based seminars (except on March 4,… read more about Join Us for First Mondays at CDS: Spring 2024 Work-in-Progress Seminars »

Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies is now accepting applications for our DocX Development Lab–Otherwise Histories, Otherwise Futures – a week-long convening of documentary artists, scholars and nontraditional/independent researchers. About the Lab “While not accepting could be termed resistance, our interest and proposition … are, more crucially, with re-existence, understood as the redefining and resignifying of life in conditions of… read more about Applications Open for DocX Development Lab–Otherwise Histories, Otherwise Futures »

The Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) invites grant applications from regular-rank Duke faculty to seed new research undertakings related to documentary studies, broadly conceived. As a growing number of faculty engage with documentary studies, CDS wishes to incorporate new approaches and perspectives into its scholarly activities. Areas of focus might include videography and documentary film, photography, podcasting and other modes of audio documentary, oral history, experimental media, and other digital… read more about Research Seed Grants in Documentary Studies: Fall 2023 RFP »

The Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) invites grant applications from regular-rank Duke faculty to support the development of new undergraduate courses, or the redesign of existing undergraduate courses, framed around documentary studies, broadly conceived. Areas of focus might include videography and documentary film, photography, podcasting and other modes of audio documentary, oral history, more experimental media, and other digital practices. As a growing number of faculty engage with documentary studies, CDS wishes… read more about Course Development Grants in Documentary Studies: Fall 2023 RFP »

In 2013, the SNCC Legacy Project and Duke University formed a partnership to create a digital archive that chronicles the struggles for voting rights and develop programs that contribute to a more inclusive democracy. This week, the Mellon Foundation, which supports the archive, showcases how it is bringing the history of the civil rights movement to a new generation. read more about Mellon Foundation Highlights SNCC Civil Rights Digital Archive Housed at Duke »

Three Ph.D. students from two departments have been awarded research fellowships by Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies, following a request for proposals in July. 2023-2024 Center for Documentary Studies Ph.D. Fellows Academic Year Jobie Hill, Ph.D. in History Pharsalia Plantation Co-Stewardship Project Spring Semester Jessica Doyle, Ph.D. in Romance Studies Extractions: Ecomedia Events in the Amazon Sam Hunnicutt, Ph.D. in Romance Studies Indigenous Revision: Media Technologies and Representation in Late-20th… read more about New Documentary Studies Fellowships Support Dissertation Research and Related Projects »

It is with great sadness that we share that Full Frame founder and award-winning filmmaker Nancy Buirski has died. We have lost a visionary artist and a champion for both the festival and the documentary community at large. In founding Full Frame, Buirski established a singular celebration for filmmakers and audiences in Durham, North Carolina. The immeasurable impact of her extraordinary talent and steadfast determination will never be forgotten. read more about Nancy Buirski, Founder of Full Frame, Has Passed Away »

What comes to mind when you hear: “We held a funeral for a glacier?” And how does that make you feel? Sad? Confused? Perhaps wondering if a “dead” glacier is nothing more than a puddle of water? The idea of holding funerals for glaciers and the ecological grief that accompanies their death is what Kulsoom Rizavi and Jacob Whatley are exploring in a project they call “A Funeral for Ice.” By definition, a glacier is ice that moves under its own weight. When it no longer can do so because it has become too thin, it no… read more about Documenting the Death of a Glacier, and a Community’s Pain »

The Center for Documentary Studies has funds to support a small number of Ph.D. student fellows for the fall and spring of 2023-2024 to pursue research related to documentary studies. Eligibility Duke Ph.D. students in any humanities or social science program, whose research engages with documentary studies, broadly conceived Terms Students may apply for either a two-semester or one-semester fellowship. Each two-semester fellowship pays a $28,950 stipend, at $3,216.67 per month from September through May, replacing… read more about Documentary Studies Ph.D. Fellowships: RFP 2023-24 »

The Julia Harper Day Award was created by the Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) in 1992 in memory of the young woman who was CDS’s first staff member, a writer and photographer of real accomplishment. This $500 award goes to a graduating Duke University senior who has demonstrated excellence in documentary studies and contributed significantly to CDS programs. The 2023 Julia Harper Day Award went to Josephine Vonk, a psychology major who graduated with a… read more about Duke Senior Josephine Vonk Wins 2023 Julia Harper Day Award »

The Certificate in Documentary Studies program attracts undergraduates to the Center for Documentary Studies from across the arts and sciences. At a celebratory event on April 30, 2023 (2–6 p.m.), in the Center for Documentary Studies auditorium, the following eleven students in the Spring 2023 Documentary Capstone Seminar will receive their certificates and present their final projects, completed under the guidance of Chris Sims with Hareth Yousef in the… read more about CDS Celebrates Certificate in Documentary Studies Spring 2023 Capstone Graduates »