Spring 2014: Three New Undergraduate Classes in Documentary Studies

Mike Wiley performing "Dar He: The Story of Emmett Till"

Mike Wiley performing “Dar He: The Story of Emmett Till”

We are excited to announce three brand new undergraduate courses debuting this spring at the Center for Documentary Studies. Taught by CDS director Wesley Hogan, writer in residence Duncan Murrell, and visiting artist Mike Wiley, the classes highlight a diverse range of documentary inquiry. Read descriptions of the courses and watch preview videos below. Learn more about undergraduate education at CDS here. Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things: Documenting Women in the American South (On ACES: Activism, Women, and Danger) DOCST 362S; cross list: HISTORY 354S, WOMENST 306S Wednesday: 1:25-3:55 p.m. (CDS, Bridges 113) Instructor: Wesley Hogan Using oral history, archival research methods, and cultural production, students will explore methods for documenting and creating narratives of women’s social activism, in the process immersing themselves in the dangerous and contentious history of women’s activism in the American South. With CDS director Wesley Hogan, students will explore historical and contemporary women’s activism, including campaigns to end racial profiling and mass incarceration, prevent environmental destruction, improve public education, advocate for undocumented workers, create safe spaces for GLBTQ youth, and champion reproductive justice. A final project (written or multimedia) will consist of a documentary exploration of one specific type of southern girls’ or women’s activism. Documentary Publishing DOCST 352S; cross list: PJMS 352S, VMS 352S, ARTSVIS 352S Monday: 10:05 a.m.–12:35 p.m. (CDS, Bridges 104) Instructor: Duncan Murrell This publishing course with CDS writer-in-residence Duncan Murrell will lead to the publication of a digital documentary magazine conceived, created, edited, designed, and built by students in accordance with professional standards and practices. The course will be grounded in the cultural, technical, and aesthetic history of documentary periodicals, from sixteenth-century Venetian avvisi through the eighteenth-century English gentlemen’s magazines through the mid twentieth-century “Golden Age” of American magazines to the current age of the digital documentary publication, and will include speakers and advisors from the publishing industry and the Center for Documentary Studies and wide readings in the international history of periodicals and documentary. Acting Out Black History DOCST 290S.03; cross list: THEATRST 290S, AAAS 290S Thursday: 6:15 –8:45 p.m. (CDS, Bridges 007) Instructor: Mike Wiley In this innovative course, students will explore a powerful, experimental form of storytelling that complicates the relationships between documentary, narrative, past, and present. Working with visiting professor Mike Wiley, the acclaimed actor, playwright, and director of documentary plays, students will conduct oral histories and archival research of African American life, including film footage, photographs, newspapers, letters, and other sources to produce the raw material of documentary narratives. Students will then transform this historical oral and archival research into a documentary theater performance. This course will illuminate both historical events and contemporary issues to show how art and scholarship can document and change the world. Professor Wiley’s current project is the research and production of a one-person play about James Baldwin, one of America’s greatest writers and a crucial voice of the civil rights movement. Note: This is not an acting class.

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