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Thomas S. Rankin, Professor of the Practice and Director of Center for Documentary Studies and Director of Graduate Studies of the Master of Fine Arts in Experimental & Documentary Arts

Thomas S. RankinSpecialization:

    Photography, Filmaking & Folklore

Research Interests:

A photographer, filmmaker, and folklorist, Tom Rankin has been documenting and interpreting American culture for nearly twenty years. His books include Sacred Space: Photographs from the Mississippi Delta (1993), which received the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Photography, 'Deaf Maggie Lee Sayre': Photographs of a River Life(1995), Faulkner's World: The Photographs of Martin J. Dain (1997), and Local Heroes Changing America: Indivisible (2000).


  • M.F.A. Georgia State University 1987
  • M.A. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 1983
  • B.A. Tufts University 1980
  • Other School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA 1978

Contact Info:

Office Location:  1317 W Pettigrew St, Durham, NC 27705
Email Address:   tsr2@duke.edu
Web Page:   http://cds.aas.duke.edu/

Teaching (Fall 2015):

  • Artsvis 216.01, Doc photo/south culture Synopsis
    Bridges 201, Th 03:05 PM-05:35 PM
  • Mfaeda 720.01, Critique i Synopsis
    Art 102, W 01:40 PM-05:00 PM
  • Mfaeda 722.01, Critique iii Synopsis
    Crowell 106, W 01:40 PM-05:00 PM

Recent Publications   (More Publications)

  1. Tom Rankin. A Place of Tender Images: Paul Kwilecki's Four Decades of Photography of Decatur County, GA. (2012).
  2. Tom Rankin. Truths of the Matter: Traditions in Documentary Studies. (2012).
  3.  Colors of Confinement: Color Photographs of Japanese AmericanIncarceration in World War II.  edited by Tom Rankin with Iris Tillman Hill(2012).
  4.  In This Timeless Time.  edited by Tom Rankin, with Iris Tillman Hill(2011).
  5. Tom Rankin. "The Cruel Radiance of the Obvious." Southern Cultures  (2011).