Documentary Research

COM 231 Explores the American tradition of social documentary, focusing on milestone projects, including the work of James Agee and Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, William Carlos Williams, and Robert Coles.  Oral, visual, and textual modes of production are examined. Special focus is given to new digital forms of representation and their impact on production, distribution, and consumption. Framing this investigation are the ethical issues that emerge when rendering and representing individuals’ lives.  Students are introduced to the fundamental skills of investigative research, interviewing, gathering and interpreting information, and using print and electronic archives and research, and produce their own multi-media documentary projects.