Feature article in January 2007 AIRblast

The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University

By John Biewen, Jennifer Deer, and Tennessee Watson 

The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke UniversityThe three featured members below all teach at Duke's Center for Documentary Studies, but have managed to develop a broad range of pursuits both in and outside of the university. We think this is pretty cool, given that our AIRblast spotlights are intended not only to keep you updated about what other indie producers are up to, but also to draw attention to the diversity and range of talent within the AIR membership.

John Biewen is Audio Program Director at the Center for Documentary Studies. A longtime reporter and producer for American RadioWorks, NPR and Minnesota Public Radio, Biewen is leading CDS into radio documentary-making with the creation of CDS Sounds. CDS Sounds will make documentaries for national audiences, often (but not always) on today's South. Biewen teaches audio documentary courses to Duke undergraduates and to regular grownups in CDS' summer audio institutes.

Jennifer Deer is currently a graduate student at Duke University. She teaches at the Center for Documentary Studies and does web-based audio work for clients such as Duke University News and The Nasher Museum. Her work for radio has aired on NPR's Day to Day and on Weekend America. In 2001 she helped to create ArtVoice, a weekly arts magazine on WABE in Atlanta, which she also hosted. Jennifer is the co-curator of the audio documentary podcast Big Shed.

Tennessee Watson coordinates the Youth Noise Network (YNN), the center's teen radio project. When not conspiring with the YNN producers, Tennessee is producer Karen Michel's assistant and partner in crime. Karen is the Lehman Brady Fellow at the Center for Documentary Studies. This spring Tennessee is co-instructing a course entitled "Social Activism and Its Motivations: Who Cares and Why?" Even with her hands in a bit of everything, Tennessee's New Year's resolution is to produce more of her own work.