Muhlenberg College Fall 2019



All Doc Research students write 3 essays.  This includes two 3-6-page essays that focus on a key course concept: location.  In both essays, you’ll explore in depth the concept of location as it relates to two different documentarians and their work. The first essay focuses on Elizabeth Barrett and her film, Stranger with a Camera. The second essay focuses on Marco Williams and his film, Banished. Both films deal with place in a geographic sense, but in a more complicated way, they deal with the social location of the filmmakers.

In your third and final essay, you’ll write an 8-10 page paper comparing and contrasting the work of two documentarians, using the key course concept of location as well as other central concepts in documentary analysis. More details about the assignment will be addressed in a future post on this course site.

Please note that all essays are given graduated values so that of the 40%, the first essay is worth 10%, the second is worth 30% and the final essay, building on your finely-honed writing skills, is worth 60%. This framework is intended to account for your development as a writer as the course progresses.

Documentary making

There are two documentary projects in this course: a short 30 second documentary due Sunday, November 17, 11:59 p.m. and a longer, 3-4 minute piece due during finals week (with a rough cut due in class on December 3).  Both are produced using image and audio in a cloud-based editing platform called WeVideo. Both projects will explore our semester’s theme of place / placelessness. You’ll learn the techniques and skills necessary for these projects in your Documentary Labs, taught by Tony Dalton. No prior media editing experience is necessary to be successful at these projects.

Domain of One's Own

There’s another layer of documentary work happening in this course, and that is the work of documenting your own thinking and learning. Each student will develop their own web space for a variety of blog posts throughout the semester about your documentary work.  

Domain of One’s Own is an initiative of the Digital Learning Team (DLT) that allows Muhlenberg students, faculty and staff to register their own domain name and associate it with a hosted web space, for free, while at Muhlenberg (and for up to a year after graduation). With your own domain and web space, you will have the opportunity, support, and flexibility to imagine and build a meaningful digital identity and presence.  While your first introduction to Domains is in Doc Research, as Media and Communication students, you will have opportunity throughout your major–and in other courses–to continue to build, break (yes, seriously!), and rebuild your digital presence. It is yours to develop for your academic, professional and personal use.  

This site provides various resources for getting started and more advanced help:  We will work on your Domains in class together. Just as their are peer writing tutors in the writing center, there are also Digital Learning Assistants. They are located in the library on B level, in B-06 (aka The Hive). For inspiration, and to see what others are doing with their domains, check out the community portal here: