About

The Visible Evidence community is a collection of scholars and practitioners engaged in research and debates on historical and contemporary documentary practice and nonfiction media culture.

Visible Evidence began as a conference at Duke University in 1993. Subsequent editions have been held on five continents, most recently in Istanbul, Turkey (2010), New York City, USA (2011), Canberra, Australia (2012), Stockholm, Sweden (2013), New Delhi, India (2014), Toronto, Canada (2015), Bozeman, USA (2016), and Buenos Aires, Argentina (2017).

Work presented at conferences focuses on the role of film, video and other media as record, witness, and voice of social reality, exploring a wide range of cultural, political, social, historical, ethnographic, aesthetic, and pedagogical questions and perspectives from fields such as film studies, communication studies, anthropology, architecture, art history, ethnic studies, queer studies, history, journalism, law, medicine, political science, geography, sociology, urban studies and gender studies.

In addition to the conference and this website, an associated series of books was established at the University of Minnesota Press in 1997. Twenty- eight volumes were published between 1997 and 2014. The series offers a forum for the in-depth consideration of the representation of the real, with books that engage issues bearing upon questions of cultural and historical representation, and that forward the work of challenging prevailing notions of the documentary tradition and of nonfiction culture more generally. More information on the future of the book series to come.

Visible Evidence Listserv

Click here to subscribe to or search the archives of the Visible Evidence Listserv.

Graduate Documentary Programs

Many universities offer programs in the study of documentary.¬† We’ve compiled a list here. If you have a program you would like us to add, please contact us.