Dr Don Duncan

PG, MA, MSc, PhD

Contact Details

Assistant Professor
Discipline of Journalism and Media
Arts Millennium Building
T: +353 (0)91 49 4096
E: don.duncan@universityofgalway.ie


Dr Don Duncan is an academic with backgrounds in Global Media and Journalism who lectures in Global Media and Journalism (above the bar) in the School of English, Media and Creative Arts. He joined Ollscoil na Gaillimhe/University of Galway in 2023 from Queen's University Belfast.  

As a Global Media professional, he works as a consultant across Africa, the Middle East, and Asia with BBC Media Action and Thomson Reuters Foundation devising and delivering communications strategies in areas such as public health; child welfare; LGBTQ visibility; migration and trafficking; public messaging, and branding. He also delivering training, mentorship and management to diverse media projects and broadcasters, globally.

As a journalist and documentarian, Dr Duncan has significant international correspondence experience from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Afghanistan, the Emirates, east Asia, North America and across Europe for clients including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, Foreign PolicyLe Monde Diplomatique, BBC, NPR, RTÉ, among others.

As a filmmaker, he has written and directed films - in English and in French - that have been screened at some 30 festivals internationally and has picked up a half dozen prizes. He has also been an active member of an 8mm and 16mm film collective, shooting, developing and editing in analogue formats.

He has written and performed experimental spoken-word/live documentary hybrids to an international audiences at the HearSay International Audio Festival and through the Irish language at the Liú Lúnasa fringe festival in Belfast.
Dr Duncan's research interests centre around areas of innovation or potential innovation, such as creative media, animation, immersive techniques and how these can be used to help with understand and address current challenges such as climate change, marginalisation, and social injustice. He is also interested in voice and vocal power in media outputs; media and accessibility (minority communities, language communities, neurodiversity); as well as language and the media, with a particular interest in the Irish language. 

He has published in a variety of peer-reviewed journals and is the co-editor of an anthology of Irish writing: Opulent Syntax (2023). Since 2019, he has been the Principle Investigator of an ongoing communications campaign, a factual animation project called "Ulster Gaeilge: It's Yours Too", which explores ways to represent and articulate various experiences of discovering, engaging with, and internalising the Irish language among Protestants and Unionists in East Belfast. This project is run in conjunction with the East Belfast NGO 'Turas' and its founder Linda Ervine, and has received funding from Foras na Gaeilge, the Northern Ireland Executive, Urban Villages, and the Community Relations Committee.

In 2021, Dr Duncan led a practice-based project exploring political disenfranchisement and youth voice in Northern Ireland in relation to climate change. The practice-as-research project - "Civil Rights, Climate Wrongs" - involved master's students as co-investigators, exploring how animation can be used to express specific emotions and political states in the context of youth and climate change in Northern Ireland. Funded by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commissions (NIHRC).

He teaches practice-based subjects (such as journalism, documentary craft, podcasting, and experimental media practice) as well as theory-based subjects in the areas of: politics and power; language & identity; minorities, minority rights and visibility; environment and ecology; folklore; and migration. He has a particular interest in inter-disciplinary teaching, such as "Public CoLab", a co-taught practice focussed module he has run) with the School of Architecture at Queen's University Belfast. Dr Duncan is also interested in Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL), such as "Expressing a Youth Perspective on Climate Damage" - a live, factual magazine TV show his MA students produced in collaboration MA students at Columbia University (New York).

Dr Duncan holds a PhD  in Media from the University of East Anglia; master's degrees in politics and journalism from Columbia University in New York; and a bachelor's degree in literature from Trinity College Dublin. In 2016, he graduated with an MA in Film Directing from INSAS, the Belgian state film school. He holds a PGCHET diploma from Queen's University Belfast. He speaks fluent French and Gaeilge as well as intermediate Portuguese and beginners Arabic.


Research Interests

Practice-based research in media (journalism, documentary, podcasting, fiction, animation, experimental hybrid formats) exploring how media practice can intersect with language and multilingualism; folklore and oral history; marginalised identity; voice and agency.

Factual animation, sound, sound design and non-verbal media components as vectors of meaning making.

Peer Reviewed Journals

  Year Publication
(2022) 'LGBTQ Visibility, Media and Sexuality in Ireland, by Páraic Kerrigan'
Duncan, Don (2022) 'LGBTQ Visibility, Media and Sexuality in Ireland, by Páraic Kerrigan'. Alphaville, 24 (1):185-189 [DOI] [Details]
(2022) 'Making silence speak through repetition: reconstruction and re-enactment as a means to materialise erased history and sometimes correct it'
Duncan, Don (2022) 'Making silence speak through repetition: reconstruction and re-enactment as a means to materialise erased history and sometimes correct it'. Hakara: A Bilingual Journal of Creative Expression, 17 (1):54-65 [Details]
(2021) 'Remote Supervision of Group Practice Projects During a Lockdown: A Pedagogical and Experiential Perspective'
Duncan, Don (2021) 'Remote Supervision of Group Practice Projects During a Lockdown: A Pedagogical and Experiential Perspective'. Journal of Media Education, 12 (2):48-56 [Details]

Book Chapters

  Year Publication
(2022) 'Lab techniques: editorial remixes'
Duncan, Don (2022) 'Lab techniques: editorial remixes' In: The Lab Book: Situated Practices in Media Studies. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. [Details]

Edited Books

  Year Publication
(2023) Opulent Syntax: Irish Speculative Fiction.
Duncan, Don and Ring, Dave (Ed.). (2023) Opulent Syntax: Irish Speculative Fiction Opulent Syntax: Irish Speculative Fiction. Washington D.C: Neon Hemlock. [Details]

Conference Contributions

  Year Publication
(2021) OUTing the Past: the International Festival of LGBT History 2021,
Duncan, Don (2021) Sound Excavations: Exploring Audio's Unique Power to Excavate and Reconstruct Erased, Lost and Hidden LGBT Pasts. [Oral Presentation], OUTing the Past: the International Festival of LGBT History 2021, Online , 09-SEP-21. [Details]
(2021) Beyond Conference,
Duncan, Don (2021) On the use of animation as a tool to create representation of a small and rapidly growing population of Protestant, Unionist and Loyalist (PUL) learners and speakers of the Irish language in East Belfast. [Poster Presentation], Beyond Conference, Belfast , 20-OCT-21. [Details]


  Year Publication
(2020) Excavating hidden and forgotten pasts with sound.
Duncan, Don (2020) Excavating hidden and forgotten pasts with sound. London: The Conversation Article [Details]

Fiction, Creative Prose

  Year Publication
(2019) Flowers Bloom in Barren Places.
Duncan, Don (2019) Flowers Bloom in Barren Places. Drogheda: The Corridor Fiction, Creative Prose [Details]
(2019) Derry 2084: A Burial.
Duncan, Don (2019) Derry 2084: A Burial. Dublin: Channel Fiction, Creative Prose [Details]

Honours and Awards

  Year Title Awarding Body
2024 Gradaim Aitheantais Gaeilge do Bhaill Foirne | Special Irish Recognition Awards for Staff Members Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge (Ollscoil na Gaillimhe | University of Galway)
2023 Fredrik and Catherine Eaton Fellowship University of New Brunswick (Canada)
2012 Kathryn Davis Fellowship for Peace Middlebury College (VT)
2008 Pulitzer Center Travel Grant (Afghanistan) Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
2008 Fellowship, The Nation Investigative Fund Type Investigations (formerly: The Nation Institute)
2007 Pulitzer Center Travel Grant (Lebanon) The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
2007 Bollinger Presidential Fellow Columbia University University in the City of New York
2021 Queen's University Teaching Award Queen's University Belfast

Professional Associations

  Association Function From / To
Higher Education Authority (HEA) Fellow /
National Union of Journalist (NUJ) Member /


  Year Institution Qualification Subject
2022 University of East Anglia PhD Film & Media Studies
2019 Queen's University Belfast Post Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Teaching (PGCHET) Education
2015 INSAS (Institut supérieur des arts du spectacle et des techniques de diffusion et de communication), Brussels MA Film Directing
2008 Columbia University in the City of New York MA Politics
2007 Columbia University in the City of New York MSc Journalism
2002 Trinity College Dublin BA English Studies
2000 Université de Paris VII - Denis Diderot Erasmus year abroad French language and literature