On December 2, join us at the Center for Documentary Studies for a talk by Peter H. Wood, Emeritus Professor of History at Duke University, exploring the history of trade and transportation in ancient America and a much-debated, missing piece of an archaeological puzzle.
Dugout Canoes on the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers: Recovering America’s Deep Past
Wednesday, December 2, 6 p.m.
Center for Documentary Studies Auditorium
1317 W. Pettigrew St., Durham, North Carolina
Nearly 1,000 years ago, trade goods flowed into the great site of Cahokia, on the Mississippi River near modern-day St. Louis. By land or water? Professor Wood’s current research suggests answers to this longstanding mystery. Perhaps because we have not intertwined several unduly separate fields—Native American history, archaeology, material culture history, and early French and Spanish narratives of American exploration—generations of scholars have overlooked one of the largest, most important, and most intriguing objects in Mississippian culture: the huge wooden “dugout” canoe.
Peter H. Wood spent his scholarly career at Duke, teaching Early American history, Native American history, and the history of documentary film; he received the Asher Distinguished Teaching Award of the American Historical Association in 2011. Wood is the author of Black Majority, Strange New Land: Africans in Colonial America, Near Andersonville: Winslow Homer’s Civil War, and the influential U.S. History survey text, Created Equal, now entering its fifth edition. He lives in Colorado with his wife, Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Elizabeth Fenn.
This December, a selection of Duke University undergraduate, MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts, and Graduate in Liberal Studies students, as well as several UNC–Chapel Hill journalism students, will present photographs from the semester with a pop-up exhibition at the Power Plant Gallery. Following a kickoff event on December 4, The Observer’s Frame will continue a two-week run through December 18.
The Observer’s Frame Opening Reception
Friday, December 4, 5–8 p.m. (exhibit will run through December 18)
Power Plant Gallery and Boiler Room
American Tobacco Campus, 320 Blackwell St., Durham, North Carolina
The Observer’s Frame explores the documentary tradition of photography, with student work drawn from three classes at Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies: Documentary Photography and the Southern Landscape taught by Tom Rankin, Color Photography taught by Alex Harris, and Documentary Photography: Capturing Transience by Susie Post-Rust.
The Power Plant Gallery is a joint initiative of the Center for Documentary Studies and the MFA|EDA.
The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, a program of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, is hiring a Marketing Director, who will be responsible for developing, planing, and implementing all marketing and public relations activities for the annual four-day festival, as well as coordinating and planning marketing and public relations efforts for all year-round Full Frame events and visibility.
This is a full-time position, with full Duke University benefits. Click here for a detailed job description and information on how to apply.
The 19th annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival will be April 7–10, 2016.
Noctambules: Queer Nightlife in Port-au-Prince, an exhibition of photographs by Haitian photographer Josué Azor, is coming to Duke’s campus. Part of a two-day symposium at Duke on performance, gender, and sexuality in Haiti, the exhibit opens October 29 in Friedl Hall on Duke’s East Campus and will run through the end of the semester. Noctambules is an ongoing project that documents queer nightlife and underground social spaces in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, as a testament to the existence and artful survival of gender and sexual nonconforming Haitians.
Noctambules: Queer Nightlife in Port-au-Prince Exhibit
October 29–December 11, 2015
Jameson Gallery, Friedl Hall
1316 Campus Dr., Durham, NC
Sponsored by Duke’s African and African American Studies Department, the FHI John Hope Franklin Afro-Diasporic Humanities Legacies series, the Forum for Scholars and Publics, the Program in Women’s Studies, the Haiti Lab, Romance Studies, and the Center for Documentary Studies.
Documentary 2015: Origins and Inventions—the inaugural documentary forum and 25th anniversary celebration of the Center for Documentary Studies—continued today with a host of panels exploring various mediums and inquiries of documentary arts.
The morning sessions began with True Stories: Facts and Fictions, a writing panel featuring Randall Kenan, Phillip Lopate, and C.D. Wright, moderated by Jill McCorkle. The festivities continued with a documentary photography panel, In Place: Hidden Stories of Our Lives, featuring Danny Wilcox Frazier, LaToya Ruby Frazier, and Sylvia Plachy, moderated by Deborah Willis. The afternoon, the forum went on to explore film and audio with two additional medium-based panels: Sources, Evidence, and Moving Images with filmmakers Lyric R. Cabral, Kevin Jerome Everson, and Bernardo Ruiz, moderated by Cynthia Hill, and Interactions and Impact: Possibilities for Learning, featuring audio and interactive producers Anayansi Diaz-Cortes, Al Letson, and Elaine McMillion Sheldon, moderated by CDS audio director John Biewen.
Scroll down to explore crowdsourced social media highlights from the second day of Documentary 2015: Origins and Inventions, and continue to follow along with the 25th anniversary celebration this evening and documentary education sessions Sunday morning using #DocForum2015 on Twitter and Instagram. Visit CDSFirst25.com/DocForum2015 for a full listing of events, presenter bios, and more.
This afternoon, festivities for Documentary 2015: Origins and Inventions—the inaugural national documentary forum and 25th anniversary celebration of the Center for Documentary Studies—began in Durham, North Carolina.
The forum kicked off with a welcome from current CDS director Wesley Hogan and CDS founding director Iris Tillman Hill, with an exploration of Documentary Then and Now, followed by: Created and Found, a documentary performance from John Malpede; Witness and the Documentary Imagination, a curated presentation from former CDS director Tom Rankin and Hong-An Truong; and a screening of the animated documentary Last Day of Freedom, with a filmmaker discussion moderated by Marco Williams. To end the evening, Duke University president Richard Brodhead engaged in a conversation with conflict photographer Peter van Agtmael—Photography, War, and the Human Condition—moderated by Tom Rankin.
Scroll down to explore crowdsourced social media highlights from the first day of Documentary 2015: Origins and Inventions, and continue to follow along with the festivities this weekend using #DocForum2015 on Twitter and Instagram. Visit CDSFirst25.com/DocForum2015 for a full listing of events, presenter bios, and more.
An opening event in late October launched the run of artist Jon Lowenstein‘s South Side exhibit at the Center for Documentary Studies, where it will be on view in the Juanita Kreps and Lyndhurst Galleries through February 27, 2016.
The exhibition includes black-and-white photographs, audio, video, writing, oral histories, and found ephemera from Lowenstein’s project of the same name, for which he won CDS’s prestigious Lange-Taylor Prize in 2014. The $10,000 award supports documentary work in the tradition of acclaimed photographer Dorothea Lange and writer and social scientist Paul Taylor and goes to documentary artists whose ongoing fieldwork projects rely on the interplay of words and images.
October 29, 2015–February 27, 2016
Thursday, October 29, 6–9 p.m.: Reception and Artist’s Talk
Center for Documentary Studies
1317 W. Pettigrew St., Durham, North Carolina
With South Side, Lowenstein hopes to create a lasting testimony to the Chicago neighborhood where he has lived and worked for eighteen years documenting life in opposition to the systematic, ongoing destruction of communities and examining “the legacy of segregation, the impact of vast wealth inequality, and how de-industrialization and globalization play out on the ground in Chicago.” Lowenstein has also been trying to own his place in the story he’s telling, how he came to stay in a place that “so many people ‘like me’ had long since abandoned,” where his presence and identity as a white man in a predominantly black neighborhood is often questioned.
Click here for more information on Jon Lowenstein and South Side, including a slideshow of images and a video.
Jon Lowenstein (@jonlowenstein, Twitter | Instagram), a professional photographer specializing in long-term and in-depth projects, is a member and owner of NOOR Images, based in Amsterdam. He has received many awards, grants, and fellowships from, among others, the Open Society Foundation, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Alicia Patterson Foundation, the USC Annenberg Institute for Justice and Journalism, the National Press Photographers Association, World Press Photo, Getty Images, and POYi. He is a Hasselblad Master and a 2014 TED Senior Fellow. His work has been seen in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Photo District News, The Daily Beast, Audubon Magazine, Verve, Scientific American, NBC News, and Orion.
The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University will host a 25th Anniversary celebration and national forum on November 20–22, 2015, in Durham, North Carolina. Documentary 2015: Origins and Inventions will bring together photographers, filmmakers, podcasters, writers, media professionals, educators, students/alumni, and supporters to view compelling documentary work and to examine central issues in the documentary field, recognizing deep traditions while training an eye on the future.
More Information, Including Ticket Sales: cdsfirst25.org/docforum2015
In addition to panel discussions, presented work, screenings, and special events throughout the weekend, a special CDS 25th Anniversary celebration on Saturday, November 21, will honor photographer John Cohen, poet Natasha Trethewey, filmmaker Samuel D. Pollard, and NPR producers and hosts The Kitchen Sisters.
Join us for this celebration of and open conversation around documentary today, and follow the hashtag #DocForum2015 on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for more Documentary 2015: Origins and Inventions happenings.
Documentary 2015: Origins and Inventions is made possible by the generous support of the Reva and David Logan Foundation.
Freelance photographer Nadia Sablin was chosen by renowned curator and historian Sandra S. Phillips to win the seventh biennial Center for Documentary Studies/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography for her color series Aunties. The images document, as Sablin writes, “the lives of my aunts who live in Northwest Russia. Alevtina and Ludmila are in their seventies but carry on the traditional Russian way of life, chopping wood for heating the house, bringing water from the well, planting potatoes, and making their own clothes.”
“In these photographs, I record the stories of their lives, and explore the childhood memories I have of them,” Sablin writes of her aunts, who over the seven years of Sablin’s ongoing project began to collaborate with her in reinterpreting her memories and in creating new ones. These images combine observation and invention, biography and autobiography, and are thoughtful meditations on aging and belonging. Sablin’s quiet and lyrical photographs capture the small details and daily rituals of her aunts’ surprisingly colorful and dreamlike days, taking us not only to another country but another time. Alevtina and Ludmila seem both old and young in these images, as if time itself was as seamless and cyclical as their routines—sewing curtains, making quilts, tatting lace, planting seeds, weeding their garden—and as full of the same subtle mysteries.
First Book Prize judge Sandra S. Phillips, senior curator of photography at SFMOMA, described Sabin’s photographs as “wonderful and sophisticated. . . . The two sisters seem to exist in a privileged reality, one closer to the warm smell of strawberries in summer.”
Sablin receives a grant of $3,000, inclusion in a website devoted to presenting the work of the prizewinners, and publication of a book of photography; Phillips will write the introduction to the photobook, forthcoming in November 2015 from Duke University Press in association with CDS Books of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. Sabin will also have a solo exhibition in Duke’s new Rubenstein Library Photography Gallery, and the photographs will then be placed in the library’s Archive of Documentary Arts.
Aunties: The Seven Summers of Alevtina and Ludmila
November 7, 2015–February 27, 2016
Thursday, November 12, 2015: Reception, Artist’s Talk, and Book Signing with Nadia Sablin: reception at 5:30, talk at 6:30 followed by book signing.
Rubenstein Library Photography Gallery, Duke University
Nadia Sablin, a native of Russia, is a freelance photographer based in Brooklyn, New York, whose work has been featured in such publications as the New York Times, the Guardian, the Moscow Times, Slate, and American Photo, among others. Her photographs have been seen in solo and group exhibitions across the U.S. Go to her website for more information.
Left: M.C. Taylor of Hiss Golden Messenger. Right: A photo taken by William Gedney in Leatherwood, Kentucky, 1972.
The Duke University Forum for Scholars and Publics invites you to join in a musical and photographic lunchtime conversation. M.C. Taylor, leader of the band Hiss Golden Messenger, and Jim Findlay, stage director and designer, will be joined by photographer and William Gedney scholar Margaret Sartor in a conversation moderated by Tom Rankin, director of Duke’s MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts, about the upcoming Heart Like a Levee, Taylor and Findlay’s Duke Performances-sponsored project which draws from Gedney’s 1972 collection of Eastern Kentucky photographs, housed at Duke University’s Archive of Documentary Arts.
Talking Music: Hiss Golden Messenger and William Gedney
Wednesday, November 11, 12–1:15 pm
Forum for Scholars and Publics
Duke University West Campus, Old Chemistry Building 011
415 Chapel Drive, Durham, North Carolina
The conversation will explore Gedney’s influence and Taylor and Findlay’s collaboration. Heart Like a Levee premieres at Reynolds Industries Theater on Friday, November 13 and Saturday, November 14.
Part of an on-going series, Talking Music: Conversations with Scholars, Writes, Archivists, and Artists, co-sponsored by Duke Performances and the Forum for Scholars and Publics.
Made possible, in part, with an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, and support from the Archive of Documentary Arts at David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Duke University.