The Center for Documentary Studies

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The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University teaches, engages in, and presents documentary work grounded in collaborative partnerships and extended fieldwork that uses photography, film/video, audio, and narrative writing to capture and convey contemporary memory, life, and culture. CDS values documentary work that balances community goals with individual artistic expression. CDS promotes documentary work that cultivates progressive change by amplifying voices, advancing human dignity, engendering respect among individuals, breaking down barriers to understanding, and illuminating social injustices. CDS conducts its work for local, regional, national, and international audiences.


Caption: Craig Griffieon of Ankeny, Iowa, Credit: Elena Rue
5 Pieces

A series of five one-hour programs following five farm families through a year of their work and their lives. The farms are in New England, the South, the Midwest, the high desert West, and northern California. The programs are hosted by John Biewen of CDS but mostly narrated by members of the families themselves.

Caption: Scene on Radio logo , Credit: Mara Guevarra
6 Pieces

A podcast from CDS, hosted by John Biewen.


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A musical portrait that explores the Jazz great's overlooked Southern roots.

Bought by WTJU, WNCU, KFAI Minneapolis, 90.5 WSNC, WAMC Northeast Public Radio and more

  • Added: Nov 19, 2007
  • Length: 08:05
  • Purchases: 6
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A collection of student pieces from CDS "audio camp," 2003 - 2007.

Bought by WFAE, WRVO Public Media, KRCU Public Radio, KRCB 104.9, WGBH Radio Boston and more

  • Added: Nov 07, 2007
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 48
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A short doc exploring the curious legacy of a "racial cleansing" in a small Kentucky town.

Bought by WRPI, KFAI Minneapolis, and SALTcast Podcast

  • Added: May 14, 2007
  • Length: 13:27
  • Purchases: 3