Special Topics / General Interest



Documentary Development and Fundraising (Online)

One of the most vexing aspects of the documentary film development process is the creation of a compelling treatment that funders will find intriguing. An effective treatment will also provide the filmmaker with an invaluable road map that will guide them during production and post. In this course, students will work with the instructor and their fellow students to develop and refine their documentary ideas, develop a fundraising strategy, and write a comprehensive grant proposal that they can use to apply to the sources of funding identified in their fundraising strategy. (16 hours/All Levels)

 

Jonathan Skurnik is a documentary producer, director, and cinematographer who has worked in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and South and North America. His films have broadcast on European and American television, including PBS, and have screened at the Museum of Modern Art, the Lincoln Center, and at over two hundred film festivals around the world. Film awards include Best Documentary at the American Indian film festival, the Change Maker Award at the Media That Matters Film Festival, the Audience Award for Outstanding Achievement at Outfest, the Harry Chapin Media Award for films about poverty, and Best Documentary Award at the UrbanTV Film Festival.

Jonathan is chair of the steering committee of New Day Films, the only cooperatively run educational film distribution company in the U.S., and founder of the Workfare Media Initiative, the Youth and Gender Media Project, and the Cante Sica Foundation, audience outreach and engagement projects that provide educational experiences through facilitated screenings, discussions, and immersive digital resources. He leads workshops and master classes in theory and production for filmmakers in the U.S and China, and teaches at Chapman University and the New York Film Academy.




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ST236oSP19
Center for Documentary Studies
Virtual Classroom
Skurnik 4/25 - 6/13 Th 07:00 PM - 09:00 PM $300.00 View

Documenting Durham: Capturing Place Through Words and Images

Photo of Alaadin El Hamalawi by Liza Hoos, from the Spring 2016 Documenting Durham class

This course, co-taught by a nonfiction writer and a photojournalist, explores the art and craft of documenting place through words and images. Using the city of Durham as a practice ground, students will learn the skills essential to create both documentary writing and photography, as well as explore how these two genres can be used in concert to deepen a story. Given its rich history and current state of growth and change, Durham offers many opportunities for place-based storytelling that motivates thinking and reflection in others.

 

In addition to studying writing and photographs that effectively capture place and discussing the ethical aspects of gathering and working with stories that are not their own, students will learn the practical skills of both genres. They will learn how to report and conduct interviews as well as how to focus and structure written work. And they will learn essential elements of good visual storytelling, with an emphasis on portraiture and building a narrative through photo essays.


Throughout this weekend-long course, students will learn by doing, spending time in the field reporting, taking photos, and then sharing their experiences back in the classroom. They will immerse themselves in a corner of Durham, conducting interviews with people they encounter and collecting the variety of photos necessary to tell a story. As they work, students will receive feedback from their classmates and instructors. In the end, they will walk away with the beginnings of a documentary essay about place (in both photography and writing), as well as a broadened skill set for documentary work and an understanding of how to bring places to life in textured and nuanced ways. 
(16 hours/All Levels)


Christina Cooke is associate editor at the daily food-policy website Civil Eats and a Durham-based freelance writer who writes about people, place, and culture for venues including The New Yorker, The Atlantic, the New York Times, the Guardian, the Oxford American, Our State, and High Country News. Previously, she worked two years as a staff writer for the Chattanooga Times Free Press, and another year as the only full-time reporter for a weekly paper in Portland, Oregon. Cooke finds herself drawn to tell stories at the fringes of society, about people who are offbeat and unconventional, passionate and obsessed, and masters of their own, very specialized domains. She holds an MFA in creative nonfiction writing from Portland State University and is a graduate of the nonfiction writing program at the Salt Institute of Documentary Studies. Find out more and view writings at christinacooke.com.

Kate Medley is a documentarian telling stories about good causes, companies, and campaigns. Following a ten-year career in corporate communications as lead documentary storyteller for Whole Foods Market, during which time she spearheaded a journalistic approach to the company’s marketing of farmers and producers, Medley now leads a media agency in Durham, North Carolina. Through a longtime partnership with the Southern Foodways Alliance, she has created several documentary film projects exploring Southern culture through stories about food. Counter Histories, produced to mark the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, is a series of five films documenting lunch counter sit-ins across the south, and A Spoken Dish celebrates the diverse food culture across the region through a series of 85 video vignettes. Medley received her bachelor’s degree in photojournalism from the University of Montana and her Master’s in Southern Studies from the University of Mississippi. She has worked as a photojournalist for newspapers across the South, including the Charlotte Observer, the Chattanooga Times Free Press, and as a regular contributor for The New York Times.



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ST225SP19
Center for Documentary Studies
CDS Library
Cooke 7/13 - 7/14 Sa Su 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM $320.00 View

Independent Study
This permission-only course is designed for students to work with a mentor on one specific project, in any medium, in four two-hour sessions (or a mutually agreed-upon equivalent) over the course of four months. Dates and times arranged by the student and mentor. (Intermediate-Advanced/8 hours)

Please contact [email protected] to request permission for an independent study.

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ST300SP19
Center for Documentary Studies
CDS Auditorium
Walton TBD TBD TBD $500.00 View

Intensive Introduction to Documentary Studies: Ethics and Practice


This intensive, weeklong class is designed for distance students who are pursuing the Certificate in Documentary Arts and fulfills their introductory course requirement, but it is also ideal for any student wishing to get a grasp of the basic history and principles of documentary work. This course will feature a variety of guest speakers, including photographers, filmmakers, writers, and audio producers. We emphasize not only methodologies but also philosophies and ethics of fieldwork in different settings. Students will explore examples of fieldwork and at the final meeting will present project proposals of their own. These proposals may be the beginning of long-term documentary initiatives or simply a means to help decide on the direction of a future project. (38 hours)

Michelle Lanier is the newly appointed director of the N.C. Division of State Historic Sites and Properties. She was formerly the acting director of North Carolina’s African American Heritage Commission and Curator of Multicultural Initiatives with North Carolina’s State Historic Sites. She has been an instructor at CDS since 2000. She uses her background as an oral historian and folklorist to connect communities around personal narratives and cultural expression. She has traveled to Panama and Ghana to document African Diaspora funerary traditions, and her ethnographic work in a South Carolina Gullah community led to her role as a liaison to the Gullah-Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor. Growing up in a family that includes veterans of five American wars has inspired her current work, training students to collect veterans’ narratives.

Joy Salyers is a folklorist and a professional adviser on ethical and effective practice for individuals, organizations, and projects. She helps clients place an honest and compassionate assessment of themselves into the context of the systems within which they work. Salyers is also a writer, performer, and lecturer. She serves on advisory groups for several current documentary projects, and has taught in CDS’s Continuing Education program for more than a decade. See www.joysalyers.com.

Additional information:
The enrollment fee includes dinner the first night. Students are responsible for all other meals, housing, and transportation.

Section A
Taught by Michelle Lanier
Sunday, June 9: 5 p.m.–9 p.m.
Monday–Thursday, June 9–13: 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
Friday, June 14: 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

Section B
Taught by Joy Salyers
Sunday, August 4: 5 p.m.–9 p.m.
Monday–Thursday, August 5–8: 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
Friday, August 9: 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

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ST515SU19A
Center for Documentary Studies
Room 201
Lanier 6/9 - 6/14 Mo Tu We Th Fr Su 05:00 PM - 09:00 PM $525.00 View
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ST515SU19B
Center for Documentary Studies
Room 201
Lanier 8/4 - 8/9 Mo Tu We Th Fr Su 05:00 PM - 09:00 PM $525.00 View

Introductory Seminar in Documentary Studies: Ethics and Practice


This course is designed for students in the Certificate in Documentary Arts program or those who plan to enroll. The documentary arts—including photography, video, audio, and writing—encompass many genres and numerous means of interacting with the world and its people. Instruction will focus on methodologies as well as philosophies and ethics of fieldwork in different settings. Students will explore examples of documentary work and will present project ideas of their own in the final session. (20 hours/All Levels)

Joy Salyers
is a folklorist and a professional adviser on ethical and effective practice for individuals, organizations, and projects. She helps clients place an honest and compassionate assessment of themselves into the context of the systems within which they work. Salyers is also a writer, performer, and lecturer. She serves on advisory groups for several current documentary projects, and has taught in CDS’s Continuing Education program for more than a decade. See joysalyers.com.

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ST101PSP19
Center for Documentary Studies
CDS Library
Salyers 4/11 - 5/30 Th 06:15 PM - 08:45 PM $290.00 View

The South in Black and White



Through the lens of documentary traditions in the American South, this course will engage in a call and response between black and white cultures in a region where democracy has been envisioned and embattled with global consequences. The course will cover history and culture as documented in spirituals, gospel, blues, and rock and roll; civil rights photography; southern literature; and historical and autobiographical writing. Readings will include work by historians such as W.E.B. Du Bois, C. Vann Woodward, John Hope Franklin, as well as the literary achievements of Richard Wright, Zora Neal Hurston, and Ernest Gaines along with white counterparts William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, and Lillian Smith, among others. Classes will include lectures, music, poetry, film clips, discussion, and visitors. See a promotional video for the class here. (38 hours)

Timothy B. Tyson
, author of Blood Done Sign My Name and other award-winning books, is a senior research scholar at CDS and Visiting Professor of American Christianity and Southern Culture in the Divinity School at Duke. Blood Done Sign My Name, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and winner of the Christopher Award and the North Caroliniana Book Award, was the 2005 selection of the Carolina Summer Reading Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, assigned to all new undergraduate students. Tyson’s previous book, Radio Free Dixie: Robert F. Williams and the Roots of Black Power (UNC Press, 1999) won the James Rawley Prize and was co-winner of the Frederick Jackson Turner Prize, both from the Organization of American Historians. He also co-edited, with David S. Cecelski, Democracy Betrayed: The Wilmington Race Riot of 1898 and Its Legacy (UNC Press, 1998), which won the 1999 Outstanding Book Award from the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights in North America. Tyson was a John Hope Franklin Senior Fellow at the National Humanities Center in 2004–05. He is a North Carolina native and a graduate of Duke (M.A. ’91, Ph.D. ’94). 

Mary Williams is a performer and scholar of African American musical traditions and has performed all over the United States as well as in Paris. Williams has co-instructed "The South in Black and White" and taught other community-based courses for more than seven years. Working in feature films and documentary theater, she is a frequent collaborator with fellow CDS instructors Tim Tyson and Mike Wiley. She is currently working on a Mahalia Jackson stage play.

Michael Betts is a student in the MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts program at Duke University (’20) and a graduate assistant working on the DocX lab’s experimental site, CDS Shortwave.


Additional Information:
This 15-week hybrid course follows the Duke academic calendar and will combine continuing education students with Duke undergraduates. Continuing education students are required to complete all assigned coursework.

Continuing education students are required to take the final exam, the date is December 11, from 7:00 to 10:00pm. 

There will no class on Tuesday October 8. 

 



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ST169FA19
Center for Documentary Studies
Full Frame Theater
Tyson 8/27 - 12/3 Tu 06:30 PM - 09:30 PM $160.00 View