Undergraduate Courses

Watch: “North Carolina’s School-to-Prison Pipeline” Student-Produced Video

This short documentary produced by undergraduates in the Fall 2013 Video for Social Change course taught at the Center for Documentary Studies is a vivid portrayal of the devastating effects of laws, policies, and practices that push youth out of school and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems. The documentary was produced in association with the new organization […]


Listen: Short Pieces from the Intro to Audio Documentary Class

Listen: Short Pieces from the Intro to Audio Documentary Class

Each undergrad and grad student in the fall 2013 Intro to Audio Documentary class, taught by Center for Documentary Studies audio director John Biewen, produced three audio pieces on a variety of themes. Some of the pieces tell stories that explore the role of sports in American society. Others were responses to past Third Coast ShortDocs challenges. Still others were on on a theme of […]


Spring 2014: Three New Undergraduate Classes in Documentary Studies

Spring 2014: Three New Undergraduate Classes in Documentary Studies

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 […]


Students in “The U.S./Mexico Border” Class Participate in Collaborative Mural Project

Students in "The U.S./Mexico Border" Class Participate in Collaborative Mural Project

Latino/a youth are partnering with Duke University undergraduates and instructors from several classes, including the “The U.S./Mexico Border” class at the Center for Documentary Studies, on a collaborative mural project (scroll down for slideshow) as part of Two-Way Bridges, an initiative that aims to expand the connections between Duke and the Durham Latino/a communities. The […]


Listen to “Hello, My Name Is…”, a Special Collection of CDS Student Audio Documentaries

Listen to "Hello, My Name Is...", a Special Collection of CDS Student Audio Documentaries

A collection of short pieces made by students in Center for Documentary Studies audio director John Biewen’s Spring 2013 Short Audio Documentary course is now available online on Public Radio Exchange (PRX). Hello, My Name Is…, the one-hour special hosted by Biewen, features eleven student stories on the topic of “names and the naming of stuff,” […]


Student Documentary Work on View Through August in “Beyond the Front Porch 2013″

Eight senior undergraduates completed the Certificate in Documentary Studies at Duke University this past spring, and presented their final projects to the public in an open house celebration at the Center for Documentary Studies: David Chou, Michaela Dwyer, Melanie Houston, Alice Kim, Haley Read, Hannah Scott, Sarah Van Name, and Katie Vo. An exhibit of their work—Beyond the Front […]


Student Action with Farmworkers Receives Service-Learning Award for Contributions to CDS Undergraduate Classes

Student Action with Farmworkers Receives Service-Learning Award for Contributions to CDS Undergraduate Classes

Student Action with Farmworkers (SAF) was honored this spring by Duke University’s Service-Learning Program with a Betsy Alden Outstanding Service-Learning Award, in recognition of SAF’s long commitment to supporting undergraduate courses at the Center for Documentary Studies. SAF was nominated for the Alden Award by Charlie Thompson, director of undergraduate education at CDS, and Christopher […]


Student-Produced Music Videos Spotlight Local Blues Artists

Student-Produced Music Videos Spotlight Local Blues Artists

The Music Maker Relief Foundation is a unique nonprofit organization in Hillsborough, North Carolina, “dedicated to helping the true pioneers and forgotten heroes of the Blues gain recognition and meet their day-to-day needs,” and to keeping the conversation about these artists alive. Check out Music Maker’s blog for a video series on local artists intended to […]


CDS Undergraduate Tabria Williford Presents Research to Duke President’s Council on Black Affairs

CDS Undergraduate Tabria Williford Presents Research to Duke President's Council on Black Affairs

Center for Documentary Studies student Tabria Williford was one of five Duke undergraduates recently selected to present her research work to Duke President’s Council on Black Affairs during their spring 2013 semester meeting. Williford’s documentary project, “Durham Food Bank and Urban Ministries: Documentary Photographs, 2011–2012″ was drawn from fieldwork she completed during her first two […]


“Hidden in Plain Sight”: Jack Anderson’s Nighttime Photos Explore Neglected Historical Sites in Durham

"Hidden in Plain Sight": Jack Anderson's Nighttime Photos Explore Neglected Historical Sites in Durham

Photographer MJ Sharp, a Center for Documentary Studies instructor, did an independent study with undergraduate student Jack Anderson that culminated in his exhibition of nighttime black-and-white photographs, Hidden in Plain Sight: Architectural Reminders of Durham’s Vital Past. Sharp explores the world at night in her work, as does Anderson. “We talk like two old crusty sailors […]


Audio Documentary Listening Party: Students to Present a Selection of Works, April 29

Audio Documentary Listening Party: Students to Present a Selection of Works, April 29

The general public is enthusiastically invited to this presentation in the new Power Plant building by undergraduate and graduate students in the Short Audio Documentary class taught by Center for Documentary Studies audio director John Biewen. The students will present a selection of works produced during the spring semester. The short audio documentaries will be […]


Certificate in Documentary Studies Project Presentations and Exhibit: “Beyond the Front Porch 2013″

Certificate in Documentary Studies Project Presentations and Exhibit: "Beyond the Front Porch 2013"

Eight graduating seniors who are completing the Certificate in Documentary Studies at Duke University will present their final projects to the public in an open house celebration at the Center for Documentary Studies: David Chou, Michaela Dwyer, Melanie Houston, Alice Kim, Haley Read, Hannah Scott, Sarah Van Name, and Katie Vo. An exhibit of the students’ work, […]


CDS Undergraduates Create Videos for National Farmworker Awareness Week 2013

CDS Undergraduates Create Videos for National Farmworker Awareness Week 2013

Working in collaboration with Student Action with Farmworkers (SAF) and other farmworker organizations nationwide, ten undergraduate students at CDS have created a series of short videos to be used as part of the media campaign for the 14th annual National Farmworker Awareness Week, to be held March 24-31, 2013. The students are enrolled in DOCST 332S “Farmworkers […]


Interview with Photographer Harlan Erskine

Interview with Photographer Harlan Erskine

CDS undergraduate student Charles Jo conducted this interview as part of the “Multimedia Documentary” class in the fall of 2012   Although your projects vary considerably in style, theme, and subject matter, it seems that a somber, almost ominous, tone pervades them all. Would you agree? If so, what attracts you to photographing these types […]


Interview with Photographer Donna Wan

Interview with Photographer Donna Wan

CDS undergraduate student Courtney McDaniel conducted this interview as part of the “Multimedia Documentary” class in the fall of 2012.   Your project In the Landscape does not include an artist statement. Can you elaborate on your choice of location and composition? There is an artist statement for this project.  However, at the time that […]


Interview with Photographer Kerry Mansfield

Interview with Photographer Kerry Mansfield

CDS undergraduate student Danielle Duhl conducted this interview as part of the “Multimedia Documentary” class in the fall of 2012. You speak a lot about the sense of space in your photographs. What draws you to the topics of spaces, and more specifically, the spaces that lie between? I’ve never been one to photograph people (self portrait […]


Interview with Photographer Samantha VanDeman

Interview with Photographer Samantha VanDeman

CDS undergraduate student Kara Wilson conducted this interview as part of the “Multimedia Documentary” class in the fall of 2012.   What was your motivation for creating a portfolio with a hotel theme? Did you have a particular traveling experience that led to the desire to create a portfolio on hotels? Before I started photographing […]


Interview with Photographer Santiago Vanegas

Interview with Photographer Santiago Vanegas

CDS undergraduate student Ryan Schott conducted this interview as part of the “Multimedia Documentary” class in the fall of 2012.   What were some difficulties of taking photographs in Antarctica? Difficulties beyond the obvious cold weather, staying dry, not dying in 80+ mph wind and 50ft+ waves, sea sickness…. One constant difficulty was its overwhelming […]


Interview with Photographer Dimitri Mellos

Interview with Photographer Dimitri Mellos

CDS undergraduate student Jackson Conway conducted this interview as part of the “Multimedia Documentary” class in the fall of 2012.   What does your process of finding suitable material to photograph consist of as a street photographer? Well, as far as I am concerned the essence of photography (and even more so street photography) is […]


Interview with Photographer Charlotte Niel

Interview with Photographer Charlotte Niel

CDS undergraduate student Devon Edwards conducted this interview as part of the “Multimedia Documentary” class in the fall of 2012.   Your project Body Options deals with women’s issues of image and beauty. Can you explain why you made the choice to do this project? As a woman, I have always been concerned about how the media […]


Interview with Photographer Isa Leshko

Interview with Photographer Isa Leshko

CDS undergraduate student Jesse Dembo conducted this interview as part of the “Multimedia Documentary” class in the fall of 2012.   In your artist statement on Elderly Animals you state that you “began this series shortly after [you] had spent a year in New Jersey helping to take care of [y]our mom who has Alzheimer’s […]


Interview with Photographer Brandon Thibodeaux

Interview with Photographer Brandon Thibodeaux

CDS undergraduate student Mariesha McAdoo conducted this interview as part of the “Multimedia Documentary” class in the fall of 2012.   When you travelled to the Mississippi Delta in summer of 2009, was When Morning Comes a preconceived project or did the collection develop spontaneously over the duration of the trip? My first trip to […]


Interview with Photographer Alejandro Cartagena

Interview with Photographer Alejandro Cartagena

CDS undergraduate student Stella Belonwu conducted this interview as part of the “Multimedia Documentary” class in the fall of 2012.   What inspired your latest project Car Poolers? What was your process? Many things inspired this project but it was especially interested in continuing an exploration of issues or unintended consequences stemming out of the […]


Interview with Photographer Alyssa Miserendino

Interview with Photographer Alyssa Miserendino

CDS undergraduate student Ray Song conducted this interview as part of the “Multimedia Documentary” class in the fall of 2012. Can you describe how your project Our World InsideOut draws from your own childhood experiences? Our World Insideout (OWI) came about from my undergraduate thesis actually, InsideOut. At the time, my father had disappeared and […]