Thomas S. Rankin

Professor of the Practice in the Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies


1317 W Pettigrew St, Durham, NC 27705


(919) 660-3613

A photographer, filmmaker, and folklorist, Tom Rankin
has been documenting and interpreting American
culture for nearly twenty years. His books include
Sacred Space: Photographs from the Mississippi
(1993), which received the Mississippi
Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Photography,
'Deaf Maggie Lee Sayre': Photographs of a River Life
(1995), Faulkner's World: The Photographs of
Martin J. Dain
(1997), and Local Heroes
Changing America: Indivisible


  • M.F.A. 1987, Georgia State University

  • M.A. 1983, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  • B.A. 1980, Tufts University

  • Other 1978, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA


  • Truths of the Matter: Traditions in Documentary Studies, Forthcoming 2012
    Rankin, T

  • A Place of Tender Images: Paul Kwilecki’s Four Decades of Photography of Decatur County, GA, Forthcoming, Fall 2012
    Rankin, T

  • Colors of Confinement: Color Photographs of Japanese American Incarceration in World War II,

  • In This Timeless Time, Fall 2011
    Jackson, B; Christian, D

  • Reality Radio: Telling True Stories in Sound, 2010
    Rankin, TS

  • Beyond Beauty: The Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University, 2009
    Rankin, T

  • Local Heroes Changing America: Indivisible,
    Rankin, T


2005 100 Most Important People in Photography, American Photo Magazine

1997 Visiting Artist-in-Residence, Ecole De La Nationale Photographie, Arles, France

1991 Mississippi Institute for Arts and Letters Photography Award

1988 Faculty Research Grant for Photographic survey of Highway 61 in Mississippi, Delta State University

1987 Jurors Cash Award, Contemporary Photography exhibit, Marietta-Cobb Fine Arts Center

1985 Historic Preservation Award, City of Biloxi, Biloxi, MS

1980 University Fellowship, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill