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Thomas S Rankin, Professor of the Practice of Visual Arts and Documentary Studies and Director, MFAEDA

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).


  • MFA Georgia State University 1987
  • MA University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 1983
  • BA Tufts University 1980
  • Other School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA 1978

Contact Info:

Office Location:  1317 W Pettigrew St
Office Phone:   (919) 660-3613, (919) 660-3610
Email Address:   tom.rankin@duke.edu
Web Page:   http://cds.aas.duke.edu/

Teaching (Spring 2015):

  • Ami 205.01, Contemporary documentary films Synopsis
    White 107, 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
    Gross hall 105, W 01:40 PM-05:00 PM
  • Mfaeda 723.01, Critique iv Synopsis
    Blackwell 124, 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).