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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
Office Phone:   (919) 660-3613
Email Address:   tsr2@duke.edu
Web Page:   http://cds.aas.duke.edu/

Teaching (Spring 2016):

  • Ami 205.01, Contemporary documentary films Synopsis
    East duke 209, Tu 01:40 PM-05:10 PM
  • Mfaeda 703.01, Exper and doc arts Synopsis
    Bridges 113, W 08:30 AM-11:30 AM
  • Mfaeda 721.01, Critique ii Synopsis
    Physics 047, W 01:40 PM-05:00 PM
  • Mfaeda 723.01, Critique iv Synopsis
    Physics 047, W 01:40 PM-05:00 PM

Recent Publications   (More Publications)

  1. T Rankin. Beyond Beauty: The Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University. The Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, (February, 2014).
  2. TS Rankin. Reality Radio: Telling True Stories in Sound.  edited by T Rankin and IT Hill and J Biewen and A Dilworth(February, 2014).
  3. B Jackson and D Christian. In This Timeless Time.  edited by IT Hill and TS RankinUniversity of North Carolina Press, (February, 2014).
  4. T Rankin. "Photography’s Lure."   (February, 2014). (Atlanta Celebrates Photography, Michael Carlos Museum, Emory University)
  5. T Rankin. "Rendering Local Community: Stories of Indivisible." Anchorage Museum of History and Art  (February, 2014). (Anchorage Museum of History and Art, Anchorage, AK)