Undergraduate Courses

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 […]


LGBT Lives: Telling Stories—New Undergrad Course in Spring 2013

LGBT Lives: Telling Stories—New Undergrad Course in Spring 2013

The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University is pleased to offer a unique new undergraduate course in spring 2013 that will be taught by award-winning journalist and author Steven Petrow. LGBT Lives: Telling Stories will explore the intersection of documentary writing and community service, with a focus on LGBT families in North Carolina. Students, whether […]


Reception for Three New Exhibits Celebrating Student Action With Farmworkers History, Thursday, September 20

Reception for Three New Exhibits Celebrating Student Action With Farmworkers History, Thursday, September 20

Three new exhibitions at Duke University Libraries explore the human experience of farmworkers and the history of a nonprofit organization,  Student Action with Farmworkers (SAF), dedicated to improving their lives; the exhibits will be on view through December 9, 2012.  An opening reception will feature Latin American food and speakers reflecting on SAF’s evolution and the transformative power of […]


Watch: Students Produce “Forward Together, Not One Step Back,” a Voter Advocacy Video

Watch: Students Produce "Forward Together, Not One Step Back," a Voter Advocacy Video

Duke University undergraduates in this past spring’s Documentary Studies: Video for Social Change course produced a short video in association with Democracy NC highlighting the growing nationwide trend of potentially restrictive voting laws. (The nonpartisan Brennan Center for Justice estimates that the new laws “could make it significantly harder for as many as five million eligible Americans to […]


Documentary Studies Students Unveil Video and Photography Projects, Friday, April 27

Documentary Studies Students Unveil Video and Photography Projects, Friday, April 27

  In two separate events, both free and open to the public, documentary studies undergraduate students from Duke and UNC–Chapel Hill will present individual and class projects.  Democracy Under Assault: Voting Rights in North Carolina, a short documentary produced by Duke and UNC–Chapel Hill students in the documentary studies class Video for Social Change, will screen […]


Watch: CDS Students Produce Video Series on Farmworker Conditions and Child Labor

Watch: CDS Students Produce Video Series on Farmworker Conditions and Child Labor

Undergraduates in CDS Artist in Residence Bruce Orenstein’s  Documentary Studies: Video for Social Change class have produced a series of advocacy videos touching on the conditions of farmworkers in North Carolina and child labor in the agricultural industry. The course is being taught in collaboration with Student Action with Farmworkers (SAF); SAF,  NC Children in […]


“The Wonders of Watts” Website Launched

"The Wonders of Watts" Website Launched

Students from the Center for Documentary Studies spent fall semester 2011 documenting life at the George Watts Elementary School in Durham. As part of the CDS class, Digital Documentary Photo: Capturing Transience, taught by Susie Post-Rust, each Duke or UNC-Chapel Hill undergraduate focused on one subject, choosing a person, a class, or an idea—the nutrition program […]


CDS Instructor Kelly Alexander, Longtime Food Writer, Discusses Her Hit Class: Our Culinary Cultures

CDS Instructor Kelly Alexander, Longtime Food Writer, Discusses Her Hit Class: Our Culinary Cultures

According to her students, CDS instructor Kelly Alexander is a special teacher; student evaluations have landed her in the top 5 percent of undergraduate instructors at Duke. A documentary studies class she teaches, Our Culinary Cultures, has been a hit from the beginning. Here, she answers some questions about the origins of the course, what […]


Popular Documentary Studies Class, The South in Black and White, Hosts Speaker Series Starting on Tuesday, February 28

Popular Documentary Studies Class, The South in Black and White, Hosts Speaker Series Starting on Tuesday, February 28

An impressive series of guest lecturers will speak at the historic American Tobacco Campus as part of The South in Black and White, a documentary studies class at Duke University taught by acclaimed author and CDS senior research scholar Tim Tyson and co-instructor Mary Williams. The course focuses on the call and response between black and white cultures in the American South, using […]


Interview with Lorenzo Martelli, Juror’s Pick, 2011 Daylight/CDS Photo Awards Work-in-Process Prize

Interview with Lorenzo Martelli, Juror’s Pick, 2011 Daylight/CDS Photo Awards Work-in-Process Prize

Interview with Lorenzo Martelli Juror’s Pick (Stacey Clarkson), Daylight/CDS Photo Awards Work-in-Process Prize “‘I am not my home,’ he kept telling me over and over, but one day he decided to let me in,’ explains Lorenzo Martelli regarding his endeavor to portray the private, melancholy world of Charlie, a disinherited Milanese count. Intimate and respectful, […]


Interview with Shane Lavalette, Juror’s Pick, 2011 Daylight/CDS Photo Awards Work-in-Process Prize

Interview with Shane Lavalette, Juror’s Pick, 2011 Daylight/CDS Photo Awards Work-in-Process Prize

Interview with Shane Lavalette Juror’s Pick (Whitney Johnson), Daylight/CDS Photo Awards Work-in-Process Prize What captivates you most about the South? The musical history of the South is so rich and complex, it made for a natural point of departure for this body of work. I’m captivated by the stories passed down in song, and how […]


CDS Undergraduate Class Debuts Photos and Multimedia Slideshows of Elementary-School Life, Monday, December 12

CDS Undergraduate Class Debuts Photos and Multimedia Slideshows of Elementary-School Life, Monday, December 12

Students from the Center for Documentary Studies who spent the fall semester documenting life at the George Watts Elementary School in Durham will display their multimedia slideshows and photos on Monday, December 12. The event is free and open to the public. Students will be on hand to talk about their experiences at the school, […]