News

  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 »

 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 »