Tom Rankin is former director of the Center for Documentary Studies, professor of the practice of art and documentary studies, and director of the MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts at Duke University. A photographer, filmmaker, and folklorist, Rankin has been documenting and interpreting American culture for more than twenty years. Formerly associate professor of art and Southern studies at the University of Mississippi and chair of the Art Department at Delta State University, he was educated at Tufts University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Georgia State University.
A native of Kentucky, he has curated a number of exhibitions and published numerous articles and reviews on photography and Southern culture. His photographs have been published widely in numerous magazines, journals, and books, and he has exhibited throughout the country. His books include Sacred Space: Photographs from the Mississippi Delta (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 (2000).