Jason Buel, a third-year CRDM student, has recently passed his preliminary exams and is now ABD.
His dissertation is tentatively titled “This is What Documentary Looks Like: Digital Documentaries and Social Activism.” It focuses on three clusters of questions: 1) How do technological structures shape what it is possible for documentary to do based on the production of visual expressions of “reality”? How do documentaries spark, shape, and act alongside social movements, and how are the inherent politics of documentaries-as-productions-of-truth shaped by technological structures?; 2) How do social movements and activists make use of digital documentary as a set of tools for witnessing, building community, and producing political change?; and 3) In what ways do current trends in digital documentary require a rethinking of the history of documentary (and other nonfiction modes of image production)? To what extent can such a reexamination shed further light on the questions above?
His committee is chaired by Dr. Devin Orgeron (English), and joined by Drs. Chris Ingraham (Communication), Andrew Johnston (English), Steve Wiley (Communication), and Wesley Hogan (Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies).