Alex Harris is a founder of The Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) at Duke where he also launched DoubleTake Magazine. He is a Professor of the Practice of Public Policy and Documentary Studies at Duke. At CDS, he is the creative director of the Lewis Hine Documentary Fellows Program. Harris has photographed extensively in the American South, New Mexico, Alaska, and Cuba, and has published and exhibited widely about these places.
His work is represented in major collections including The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, The High Museum of Art in Atlanta, and The North Carolina Museum of Art. His awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship in Photography, a Rockefeller Foundation Humanities Fellowship, and a Lyndhurst Prize.
As a photographer and editor, Harris has published fifteen books including River of Traps a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in general non-fiction. His most recent book, Why We Are Here, a collaboration with evolutionary biologist E.O. Wilson, was published in 2012 by Liveright/Norton. In 2015, Harris won the Robert B. Cox award for excellence in undergraduate teaching in the social sciences at Duke.