Before receiving her academic degrees, Michelle Duncan trained as a classical pianist and opera singer and lived for a decade in Germany and The Netherlands. When she returned to school, she earned her BA (with honors) from Mills College and her MA and PhD in German Intellectual History from Cornell University. Combining literary theory with interdisciplinary scholarship in opera, media and performance studies, her work examines the cultural history of gender, race and ethnicity in 19th- and 20th-century Europe. She is the author of several essays on music and media and guest editor of a special issue of the Cambridge Opera Journal on opera and performance studies (2004). Currently, she is finishing a book called Dissonance and Drama: Sigmund Freud and Modernist Music. Duncan has received research awards from the Arnold Schoenberg Foundation, the Botstiber Institute, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Max Kade Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 2014 she was the Fulbright Freud Visiting Scholar of Psychoanalysis in Vienna. In addition to teaching at RISD, she has taught at Brandeis, Brown, MIT, the University of Vienna and Wheaton College. As a teacher and mentor for Upward Bound, she has also worked with first-generation college-bound students since 2007.
- Michelle Duncan
- Lecturer - History of Art & Visual Culture
- BA, Mills College
- MA, Cornell University
- PHD, Cornell University