The Documentary Essay: Exploration, Research, and the Peripatetic Tradition in Documentary Writing


Writing workshop course exploring the intersection of documentary fieldwork methods and the exploratory traditions and practices of the essay. Grounded in the recognition that the documentary essay engages the world first, seeking knowledge and understanding, gathers the material of art by direct experience, and turns more outward than inward. Out-of-class exploration emphasized: on foot in the tradition of the flâneur; through careful exploration of the special collections of Duke University; and by pursuing a common subject as a class. Wide readings in documentary essays, workshop discussion of student work, and the eventual goal of publication in the new CDS student documentary magazine.
Curriculum Codes
  • R
  • W
  • ALP
Cross-Listed As
  • DOCST 275S
Typically Offered