News

 Photo: A mural in Lagos, Nigeria. Photograph by Katie Fernelius. Congratulations to three members of the Center for Documentary Studies family: Tamika Galanis’s short film When the Lionfish Came was selected for the 2018 International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR), held this year from January 24–February 2. Galanis is a Post-MFA Fellow with CDS’s Documentary Diversity Project, and graduated from Duke’s MFA in Experimental and Documentary Studies program in 2016… read more about CDS Artists in the News »

Stills from the first series of critical oral history sessions in the summer of 2016, made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation With a grant of $225,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University (CDS) and other Duke partners will build on their multi-year collaboration with the SNCC Legacy Project (SLP) to re-examine the history of voting rights, and… read more about With NEH Grant, CDS and SNCC Continue to Share the Grassroots Lessons of the Civil Rights Movement »

NOTE: The Documentary Diversity Project was a three-year pilot program that was active 2017–2020. As part of a strategic priority to diversify the documentary field, the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University (CDS) has launched a three-year pilot program made possible in part by a grant from the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust. The goal of the Documentary Diversity Project (DDP) is to build pathways for more people of… read more about CDS's Documentary Diversity Project Will Increase Opportunities for Underrepresented Nonfiction Storytellers »

Honorable Mention Awarded to Mario Panzetti The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University has awarded the twenty-fifth Dorothea Lange–Paul Taylor Prize to American writer and journalist Katherine Yungmee Kim. The $10,000 prize is intended to support the advancement of an ongoing fieldwork project that fully exploits the relationship of words and images in the powerful, persuasive representation of a subject. Kim submitted the winning proposal, … read more about Katherine Yungmee Kim Wins 2017 Lange-Taylor Prize »

2016-2017 Lewis Hine Documentary Fellow and CDS alumni Lauren Henschel has received funding to continue her fellowship project through 2018. Henschel's Hine Fellow project was a digital photography course at the Red Hook Community Justice Center in Brooklyn, NY which used photography as a medium to understand identity, community and the world around us. The class was taught to 11 South Brooklyn youth and culminated in a book and an exhibition of student photography at… read more about Hine Fellow Lauren Henschel Receives Funding to Extend Fellowship Project »

Center for Documentary Studies director Wesley Hogan: Southern writer Clyde Edgerton once wrote that it’s almost impossible “to write about race in America without bombast, outrage, or satire.” How else, he asked, can one “confront a system of structural inequality that has savagely circumscribed lives for generations?” This is true for filmmakers as well. But with her two-part film, CALL:RESPONSE, Katina Parker courageously engaged her audience to… read more about Filmmaker Katina Parker’s CALL:RESPONSE Explores Police Aggression Against People of Color »

The Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) is delighted to announce that director of undergraduate education and lecturing fellow Christopher Sims has received a 2017 Graham Foundation Grant to support the publication of a book of photographs, Theater of War: The Pretend Villages of Iraq and Afghanistan. The Graham Foundation makes their grants to diverse projects and programs that advance new scholarship, fuel creative experimentation and critical dialogue, and expand… read more about Christopher Sims Receives Graham Foundation Publication Grant »

What can the immediate past teach us about voting rights, self-determination, and democracy today? A new website created by the SNCC Legacy Project and Duke University explores how the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)—the only youth-led national civil rights group—organized a grassroots movement in the 1960s that empowered Black communities and transformed the nation. Told from the perspectives of the activists themselves, the SNCC Digital Gateway: Learn… read more about In-Depth Look at SNCC’s Past Offers Lessons for Activists Today Primary »

The CDS Documentary Essay Prize honors the best in documentary photography and writing in alternating years: one year, photos; one year, writing. The focus is on current or recently completed work from a long-term project. The 2017 prize competition was awarded in writing. The winning essay, “The Wrong Place,” was submitted by Carrie Laben, a freelance writer based in Astoria, New York. In her essay, Laben uses her knowledge of birds and personal experiences as a birdwatcher to… read more about Carrie Laben Wins the 2017 CDS Documentary Essay Prize for Writing »

The Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) is the main beneficiary of a $1 million gift to Duke University from CDS cofounder and renowned historian William H. Chafe and longtime educator and social activist Lorna Chafe. CDS receives $700,000 for oral history work; $300,00 will support human rights projects at Duke. “Bill Chafe has given to Duke decade after decade through his exemplary and creative scholarship, his special gifts as a teacher and mentor, and his multiple roles as an… read more about William and Lorna Chafe Give $1 Million to Duke University for Social Justice and Human Rights Work »

The Julia Harper Day Award was created by the Center for Documentary Studies in 1992 in memory of the young woman who was the 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 the CDS programs. This year’s Julia Harper Day Award goes to Sharpsburg, Georgia, native Christopher White, a visual and media studies major… read more about Christopher White Wins 2017 Julia Harper Day Award »

Lewis W. Hine A staff member for the National Child Labor Committee from 1906 to 1918, Lewis W. Hine traveled the United States, camera in hand, to document children at work in sweatshops, in slums, in factories, and on farms. Over a thirty-year period, Hine's photographs were used to advocate for legislation against the exploitation of children and, in 1938, were instrumental in convincing Congress to include child labor reforms in the Fair Labor Standards Act. One of contemporary… read more about Lewis Hine Documentary Fellows Program »