Fall 2016: Three New Undergraduate Classes in Documentary Studies

From left to right: Wesley Hogan, Bernie Herman, Charles Thompson, and Jaki Shelton Green

From left to right: Wesley Hogan, Bernie Herman, Charles Thompson, and Jaki Shelton Green

We are excited to announce three brand new undergraduate courses debuting this fall at the Center for Documentary Studies. Taught by CDS director Wesley Hogan and Bernie Herman of UNC-Chapel Hill, Charles Thompson, and Jaki Shelton Green, 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 365S / 765S | The Documentary Turn: Southern Cultures
Instructors: Wesley Hogan and Bernie Herman
Cross-Listings: VMS 365S, AMI 365S | Codes: ALP, CZ, EI, W

The Documentary Turn: Southern Cultures traces the convergence of traditional 20th-century documentary narrative (oral history, photography, film, and ethnography) with emergent 21st-century technologies (digital platforms, crowd-sourced communications, viral information) that expand and test definitions of documentary practice. The course looks for unexpected outcomes and future possibilities at the intersections of analog and digital practice. The course focus is on the cultures of the American South with an understanding of that region as mapped within a global imaginary. Project requirements during the course will include experimental documentary project that combines storytelling (visual/literary), performance (theater/dance/music) or investigative research (oral/archival).

DOCST 327S | Pilgrimage
Instructor: Charles Thompson
Cross-Listings: CULANTH 327S | Codes: CCI, EI, R, ALP, CZ

Pilgrimage examines 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. This course explores how people make meaning and give their lives significance through pilgrimage. Students will document a pilgrimage of their own, prepare for an upcoming pilgrimage, or interview those who have gone on pilgrimages.

Poet Jaki Shelton Green. Photo by Sam Roberts of the Times-News.

Poet Jaki Shelton Green. Photo by Sam Roberts of the Times-News.

DOCST 279S Documentary Poetry: Real Life Truths Outside and Inside the Poetic Narrative
Instructor: Jaki Shelton Green
Cr0ss-Listings: LIT 279S (ENG # To Be Announced) | Codes: ALP, EI, W

Investigates both written and oral poetry as a mode of documentary storytelling. During the course, students will engage with contemporary and historical poetry examining real-life, historical events. Course content investigates the relationship between history, documentary, and poetry. Students will write poems based on research with multiple forms of archival source material and the critical interpretation thereof.

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