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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. This year’s Julia Harper Day Award goes to Portland, Maine, native James Robinson, an environmental sciences & policy major graduating with a… read more about Recent Duke Graduate James Robinson Wins 2020 Julia Harper Day Award »

  The Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) is proud to recognize sixteen undergraduates from the 2019–2020 academic year—fifteen from Duke University, one from UNC–Chapel Hill—who graduated or will graduate with a Certificate in Documentary Studies. Working in one or more documentary mediums—photography, filmmaking, writing, audio, performance, among others—students complete a program of study involving community-based research and fieldwork. Certificate students completed their final documentary projects in… read more about CDS Celebrates Certificate in Documentary Studies Graduates »

Congratulations to the following student award winners from Duke University units in 2020.   African & African American Studies   John Hope Franklin Award for Academic Excellence: Elizabeth DuBard Grantland Karla FC Holloway Award for University Service: Beza Gebremariam Mary McLeod Bethune Writing Award: Jenna Clayborn Walter C. Burford Award for Community Service: Kayla Lynn Corredera-Wells   Art, Art History & Visual Studies… read more about Student Honors and Laurels for 2020 »

Kim says she learned most of what she uses today in her career by leaving school for almost a year before coming back to graduate. She received a psychology degree, but halfway through college, she left and spent most of her time at the Center for Advanced Hindsight, a behavioral science lab at Duke.  Read more.  read more about Duke/CDS Certificate in Doc Studies Alum Elizabeth Kim (’17), a Behavioral Scientist, Profiled in “Seventeen” Story About STEM Careers »

Today the National Endowment for the Humanities announced a grant of $350,000 to the Oxford American, a nonprofit arts organization primarily known for the publication of the Oxford American magazine. The Oxford American is published in partnership with the University of Central Arkansas. Read more. read more about Producer of CDS Podcast "Scene on Radio," John Biewen, to Executive Produce "Points South" Podcast from the "Oxford American" »

Please join us in congratulating the 2020 South Arts State Fellowship recipients. Each of these artists were selected by a national panel of jurors to receive their respective state fellowships, including an award of $5,000.  Read more. read more about National Panel Selects 2018–19 CDS Post-MFA Fellow Sherrill Roland for Prestigious 2020 South Arts State Fellowship  »

UPDATE, June 2021: Marie Cochran has been reappointed the Lehman Brady Visiting Joint Chair Professor for the 2021–22 academic year. In Fall 2021, she will again teach Black Spaces Matter: Race, Place, and Resilience at CDS/Duke and UNC; the course is open to undergraduate and graduate students. As part of her 2020–21 professorship, she held a virtual event, Black Diaspora: Reclaiming Our Voice, Celebrating Our Vision. The Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) at Duke… read more about CDS Names Artist Marie Cochran as 2020–21 Lehman Brady Professor »

A new exhibit in the Divinity School underscores that sometimes the most powerful messages of peace come from the people most involved in fighting wars. The Center for Reconciliation at Duke Divinity School, in collaboration with the Center for Documentary Studies, the Human Rights Center, the History Department, and the Graduate Liberal Studies Program, all at Duke University, is hosting an exhibit titled “Waging Peace in Vietnam: US Soldiers and Veterans Who Opposed the War.” The exhibit website provides additional… read more about Setting the Record Straight About Vietnam Protest Movements »

John Cohen (center) onstage at Owen Theatre, Mars Hill, North Carolina, 2004. Photograph by Tom Rankin. Tom Rankin, Professor of the Practice of Art and Documentary and Director of the MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts program at Duke, remembers “a singular documentary artist.” When John Cohen died on September 16 at his home in Putnam Valley, New York, we lost a part of our collective soundtrack, our visual chronicle of the new and the old, the avant-… read more about The Lonesome Sound of John Cohen's Passing »

Next summer, 30 middle- and high-school teachers from across the US will spend three weeks at Duke learning how to better teach the civil rights movement by exploring it in more depth and revealing more about the critical figures than is often covered. The residency is produced by Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies and its two partners, the SNCC Legacy Project and Teaching for Change. Participants will receive a bottom-up history of the civil rights movement along with resources to teach it at a far broader and deeper… read more about More Than Just 9 Words: How Duke Is Improving Civil Rights Movement Education »

The Center for Documentary Studies is pleased to introduce the 2019–2020 Lewis Hine Documentary Fellows, all of whom will be working with community-based organizations in New York City; scroll down for more information on Mariana Calvo, Alex Cunningham, Katie King, and Azzan Quick. Founded on the spirit, values, and actions of social documentary photographer Lewis Hine, CDS’s Lewis Hine Documentary Fellows Program connects documentary artists with community organizations to generate… read more about CDS Announces 2019–2020 Lewis Hine Documentary Fellows »

Participants at the first NEH-funded summer institute in 2018 toured the Pauli Murray Center for History and Social Justice in Durham, North Carolina. NOTE: Due to safety concerns related to COVID-19, and in accordance with the NEH and Duke University, the institute originally scheduled for July 2020 has been rescheduled and will be held online July 6–23, 2021. Applications are due March 1, 2021; institute information and application instructions are posted on… read more about "The Civil Rights Movement: Grassroots Perspectives (1940—1980)" Summer Institute Receives NEH Grant »

Delhi-based photographer Chandan Gomes will be in residence at Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) September 24–28, 2019. Public events with Gomes will be at the Rubenstein Arts Center. The residency is part of a programming and curricular initiative, "Imaginary Landscapes: Teacher-Students-Artists,” by Center for Documentary Studies undergraduate education director Christopher Sims and Literacy Through Photography director Katie Hyde and is funded by the Duke India Initiative. Sims and Hyde… read more about CDS Artist’s Residency with Photographer Chandan Gomes »

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. This year’s Julia Harper Day Award goes to Hangzhou (China), native Sini Nina Chen, a public policy major graduating with a… read more about Recent Duke Graduate Sini Nina Chen Wins 2019 Julia Harper Day Award »

  On April 10 and 11 , 2019, in Washington, D.C., the Center for Documentary Studies Post-MFA Fellow in the Documentary Arts, Sherrill Roland, will perform his acclaimed interactive art piece, The Jumpsuit Project, at events presented by Georgetown University’s Maria & Alberto de la Cruz Art Gallery and the school’s Prisons and Justice Initiative. There will be performance events at the gallery open to the public, as well as a six-mile walk, part of which is open to the… read more about CDS Post-MFA Fellow Sherrill Roland's #jumpsuitprojectDC »

Note: Myron Dewey (1972–2021) was Lehman Brady Visiting Joint Chair Professor at Duke University and the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill in Spring 2019; he was based at Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies. In “Remembering Myron Dewey,” CDS undergraduate education director Chris Sims remarks, “Myron posed questions of his students and colleagues that asked us to re-think fundamental assumptions about our relationships to land, education, and to creation itself.”… read more about Spring 2019: CDS Names Indigenous Filmmaker Myron Lehman Brady Visiting Professor »

The Center for Documentary Studies is pleased to introduce the 2018-2019 Lewis Hine Documentary Fellows, all of whom will be working with community-based organizations in New York City; scroll down for more information on Elliott Golden, Liv Linn, Annabel Manning, and Chandler Phillips. Founded on the spirit, values, and actions of social documentary photographer Lewis Hine, CDS’s Lewis Hine Documentary Fellows Program connects the talents of young documentarians with community organizations to… read more about CDS Announces 2018–2019 Lewis Hine Documentary Fellows »

Artist Sherrill Roland has been awarded the Center for Documentary Studies’ (CDS) 2018–19 Post-MFA Fellowship in the Documentary Arts, and will be in residence at CDS for ten months, beginning September 1, 2018. The fellowship is part of CDS's Documentary Diversity Project, a three-year pilot program whose goal is to build pathways for more people of color to engage with the documentary arts, to support their achievements, and to promote their work. Other participants in the… read more about CDS Selects Sherrill Roland for Post-MFA Fellowship in the Documentary Arts »

The Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) has been fortunate to have artist/documentarian Tamika Galanis in its orbit for some time now—as an MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts student (2014–16) and graduate assistant at CDS during her last year in the program, as the CDS exhibitions assistant in 2016–17, and as its inaugural Post-MFA Fellow in the Documentary Arts in 2017–18. The fellowship is part of CDS’s Documentary Diversity Project, a three-year pilot that builds… read more about Tamika Galanis Will Keep Hacking the Narrative After Her Post-MFA Fellowship at CDS »

Following a nomination by the Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) at Duke University, Jeainny Kim, who graduated in May 2018 with a degree in visual arts and a Certificate in Documentary Studies from CDS, has been awarded the Louis Sudler Prize in the Creative and Performing Arts—an annual prize at fourteen major universities. The prize is awarded to the graduating senior at each university who has demonstrated the most distinguished record of excellence in performance or… read more about Jeainny Kim Wins 2018 Louis Sudler Prize in the Creative and Performing Arts at Duke University »

Image: Evan Bell at Duke Chapel for her Faith in Color exhibition 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 2018 Julia Harper… read more about Duke Senior Evan Nicole Bell Wins CDS's Julia Harper Day Award »

The Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) at Duke University is pleased to announce that CDS senior research scholar Timothy B. Tyson has won the 2018 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award for The Blood of Emmett Till (Simon & Schuster, 2017). Tyson’s book, which was longlisted for the National Book Award, reexamines the 1955 lynching in Mississippi of fourteen-year-old Emmett Till and that event’s seismic impact on the civil rights movement. Each year the… read more about CDS Scholar Tim Tyson Wins Robert F. Kennedy Book Award for "The Blood of Emmett Till" »

Scene on Radio: Seeing White producer John Biewen. Photograph by Kathryn Banas. The Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) is pleased to announce that a series on its Scene on Radio podcast, produced by CDS audio director John Biewen, has been nominated for a 2018 Peabody Award. The podcast aims to explore human experience and the society we’re making for ourselves in America. In the Peabody-nominated Season 2 series Seeing White, Biewen… read more about Peabody Award Nominee: CDS Podcast’s "Seeing White" Series »

Throughout 2017, the Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) contributed to the Oxford American’s then-new online publication series, The By and By, as part of the magazine’s 25th anniversary celebration. CDS will continue as a regular contributor to the series in 2018. Every Thursday, February through December, the OA website will feature a rotating lineup of stories contributed by CDS and new works by Leesa Cross-Smith, William Boyle, Meghan Plummer,… read more about CDS Renews Partnership with the "Oxford American" for Online Publication Series »