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Watch: Instructors Describe Undergraduate Classes in Documentary Studies

Tom Rankin's "Music and Documentary Expression" course will allow students to explore whatever facet of music they want.

Tom Rankin’s “Music and Documentary Expression” course will explore the practice, culture, politics, and place of music in everyday life.

Enjoy these videos describing three Fall 2014 undergraduate courses at the Center for Documentary Studies, two of them brand-new. Taught by MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts director Tom Rankin, MFA | EDA graduate and documentary artist Eric Barstow, and acclaimed filmmaker Marco Williams, the 2014-15 Lehman Brady Visiting Professor, 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.

DOCST 290S.01/790S.01 Documenting Personal Narrative
Instructor: Marco Williams
T 3:05 p.m.—5:35 p.m. (CDS, Bridges 113)
This new class explores the relationship between the personal and the communal through first person narrative in documentary film. Students will review and analyze the use of first person narrative in other media and genres, including literature, painting, photography, and theater. Knowledge gained through this analysis will serve as the basis of a personal video essay students produce throughout the course. In these projects, students will call upon subject matter that has a core basis in their lives (family history, social identity and positionality, political beliefs, etc.) and apply an internal and external reflexive analysis, producing a documentary video that links the personal to the communal by both presenting and questioning personal perspective. Crew collaboration, production exercises, tech seminars, lectures, screenings, and writing workshops will take place on a weekly basis. This special topics course is taught by visiting NYU professor and documentary filmmaker Marco Williams.


DOCST 290S.02/790S.02  Music and Documentary Expression
Instructor: Rankin
T 12 p.m.– 2:30 p.m. (CDS, Bridges 113)
A new field-based course exploring the practice, culture, politics, and place of music in everyday life. Emphasis on interdisciplinary works about music and documentary, all intended to contribute to original documentary expression in a range of chosen mediums—photography, video, audio, and writing.  Also covers the role that various fieldwork and documentary styles play in the representation of musicians and music communities. Cross-list: MUSIC 290S



DOCST 460S/760S Multimedia Documentary
Instructor: Barstow
Th 3:05 p.m.–5:35 p.m. (CDS, Bridges 104)

Edit and shape fieldwork material into a Web-based multimedia presentation. Learn current technologies and techniques for multimedia publications. Examine unique storytelling strategies for on-line presentations and compare this medium to traditional venues for documentary work such as exhibitions, books, and broadcast. Cross list: ARTSVIS 460S, I&E 460S, VMS 460S

This course, which is also taught regularly by Elena Rue and Christopher Sims, is now cross-listed as I&E 460S beginning this semester and is a gateway course for Duke’s new undergraduate Innovation & Entrepreneurship Certificate.

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