Requirements of the Minor

The Minor in Documentary Storymaking includes three required courses which rotate among the three collaborating campuses:

Doc 150: Introduction to Documentary Storymaking (typically offered in the fall semester)

This course is an introduction to digital documentary storymaking. It merges the critical study of documentary media with the hands-on construction of documentary stories. Working with tools of the documentary arts—video, still images, audio, writing—students will acquire the foundational skills of media production and effective storytelling while absorbing and analyzing rich examples of documentary storytelling over time and place. The course provides a survey of traditions and issues in documentary media and an introduction to documentary practices and methods. Students will study representative works from a variety of documentary approaches and learn to analyze the techniques of observation and representation at use in these pieces. Finally, students will become familiar with major theoretical constructions of documentary and be able to use these analytical tools to critique both historical and emergent documentary forms. Students will complete several small documentary projects to be gathered in an e-portfolio to be further developed in the capstone.

Doc 250: Rights and Responsibilities in Documentary  (Online course typically offered in the Spring semester)

This examines questions of how stories are represented, how documentary films represent truth, the nature of filmmakers’ ethical obligations toward their subjects, and how these questions inform documentary production. In this course, students will study a variety of approaches used in the act of truth-telling, examine legal and privacy issues, and explore the ethical and moral practices that surround documentary. Prerequesite: Doc 150 or permission of instructor.

Doc 370: Capstone in Documentary Storymaking (Typically offered in Spring)

This course challenges students to synthesize their course of study across the Documentary Storymaking Minor and solidify their learning in a collaborative documentary project. The course is required in order to complete the Documentary Storymaking minor. The Capstone is a workshop-based experience that guides students through the design, planning, field research, production, and completion of a substantial documentary media project that results in a public presentation of their most advanced work. Production will be informed and enhanced by class discussion of selected readings, screenings, relevant theories and practices in documentary. The course is open to Documentary Studies minors and other advanced students by permission of instructor.

Prerequisites: Doc 150, Doc 250, and the elective(s) in the specific production skills (e.g. film/video, photography, audio recording/editing, hypermedia authoring) necessary for the capstone project they wish to develop.

Additionally, students complete 2 electives (at least one emphasizing documentary production in any media type) on any of the collaborating campuses. A list of electives is published here just before registration begins of current course offerings.

To declare the minor or for further information, contact the program director at or program advisors on your home campus:

Professor Michael Kramp,

Professor Nandini Sikand,  

Professor Lora Taub,