Watch: Instructors Describe Undergraduate Classes in Documentary Studies

Composer, singer, and violinist Jenny Scheinman (right) talks with Lisa McCarty (left), curator of the Archive of Documentary Arts and professor of new course Activating the Archive. McCarty assisted Scheinman with her commissioned Duke Performances piece–the creation of an original work inspired by the Depression-era films of North Carolina filmmaker H. Lee Waters–through use of materials housed in the Archive of Documentary Arts.

Composer, singer, and violinist Jenny Scheinman (right) talks with Lisa McCarty (left), curator of the Archive of Documentary Arts and professor of the new course Activating the Archive. McCarty assisted Scheinman with her commissioned Duke Performances piece this spring through use of materials housed in the Archive of Documentary Arts.

Enjoy these videos describing three new Fall 2015 undergraduate courses at the Center for Documentary Studies. Taught by Archive of Documentary Art Curator Lisa McCarty, professor of cultural anthropology and documentarian Charles Thompson, and CDS Undergraduate Education Director Christopher Sims, 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 316S / 716S Activating the Archive
Instructor: Lisa McCarty
M 3:05 p.m.­–5:35 p.m. (room TBA)
Introduces methods of archival research and investigates its use as a tool for activism within documentary practice. Uses Duke’s Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript library to gain practical experience to effectively locate, retrieve, handle, document, and analyze primary source materials. Students produce original written and multimedia documentary projects that rethink notions of history, identity, memory, and loss. Explores individual and open source archives, as well as works by contemporary artists and documentarians who mediate archival materials and structures. Emphasizes the archive as a site of discovery and construction. Cross list: ARTSVIS 316S, VMS 314S

 

DOCST 327S Pilgrimage
Instructor: Charles Thompson
W 3:05 p.m.­–5:30 p.m. (CDS, Bridges 201)
Documentary and anthropological approaches to understanding. Different cultures, religions, histories, and levels of privilege make their way somewhere to pay tribute, give offerings, encircle a site, crawl on their knees, kiss a wall, touch a statue, or simply raise their hands in acknowledgement of finishing a goal, be it a walk on a trail or a prayerful walk to a religious icon; be it to commemorate, celebrate, mark a rite of passage, or to do penance. Explores how people make meaning and give their lives significance through pilgrimage. Students document a pilgrimage of their own, prepare for an upcoming pilgrimage, or interview those who have gone on pilgrimages. Cross list: CULANTH 327S

 

DOCST 354S / 754S Web Design and Communication: Artists, Documentarians, Art Historians, and Entrepreneurs
Instructor: Christopher Sims

Tu 3:05 p.m.–5:35 p.m. (CDS, Bridges 104)
Professional practices course for students in creative fields without a computer science background: for artists and documentarians to create robust web-based portfolios; for art historians to showcase curatorial and scholarly projects; for entrepreneurs to demonstrate ideas, concepts, and products to the public. Develop customized, individual websites using CMS platforms. Hone and workshop artistic/curatorial/product statements. Develop teaching philosophies, exhibition imagery, and video documentation of artistic, curatorial, or product talks. Publish a blog magazine on arts and innovation topics. Guest speakers visit the course on a regular basis to review the students’ work. Cross list: ISIS 354S, ARTSVIS 364S, VMS 364S

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