Garrett Albert Duncan

Garrett Albert Duncan

Associate Professor of African and African-American Studies​, Education, American Culture Studies (By Courtesy), and Urban Studies (By Courtesy)

contact info:

mailing address:

  • Washington University
    CB 1183
    One Brookings Drive
    St. Louis, MO 63130-4899

​Professor Duncan’s research focuses broadly on race, culture, education and society.

Garrett Albert Duncan is Associate Professor of Education in Arts & Sciences.  In addition, he holds an appointment in African & African-American Studies and courtesy appointments in American Culture Studies and Urban Studies, all in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis.

Professor Duncan’s research focuses broadly on race, culture, education, and society. Along these lines, he has published extensively on black youth, identity, language, and ethics in peer-reviewed journals, edited books, encyclopedias, and other reference books.  In addition, he has presented his scholarship at major universities throughout the United States and in Western and Eastern Europe and in the Middle East. 

Professor Duncan’s larger program of research, “Schooling as a Moral Enterprise,” examines the moral and political contexts of the education of black students in urban and suburban schools in post-civil rights era North America. This project is largely concerned with questions of race, citizenship and democracy in the contexts of post-industrialism and globalization and how these forces fuel the expansion of the U.S. prison-industrial complex.   

Professor Duncan’s research served as the basis of the 2014 Distinguished National Educator Lecture, “From ‘Beyond Love’ to Ubuntu: Rethinking Race, Time, and Educational Justice,” that he delivered at the National Summit for Courageous Conversation in New Orleans, Louisiana on October 27, 2014.

In addition to teaching classes that align with his research, methodological, and writing interests, Professor Duncan teaches foundations courses in education – sociology, politics, and philosophies of education classes.  His work experience includes eight years teaching science classes in public secondary schools in Pomona, California, two years teaching ethics at the top-rated high school in Missouri, and a brief stint teaching GED courses to incarcerated male teenagers at the Fred C. Nelles School for Boys, California Youth Authority.

Professor Duncan has either written for or commented in JET Magazine, Time Magazine the Christian Science MonitorBloomberg News, the United Kingdom/ Australian-based The Conversation, the Swiss-based Le Temps, the Canadian-based Globe and Mail and Le Devoir, the Spanish-based El País, the high school (Palo Alto High School, Palo Alto, CA) student-based magazine Verde, the high school (Marquette High School, Chesterfield, MO) student-based newspaper The Messenger, and the Chilean-based El Mercurio; he has also appeared on or provided interviews for Good Morning America (ABC), CBS, theAssociated Press, Al Jazeera English Television, National Public Radio (The Takeaway, Here & Now), the British Broadcast Corporation (World Service RadioLondon), Australian Broadcasting Corporation (The World Today), St. Louis Public Radio, KPFK-FM (Background Briefing with Ian Masters – Los Angeles Public Radio and The Scholars’ Circle) and Arise News (London TV), to name just a few popular and news media outlets.

Professor Duncan served on the Executive Board and as Treasurer of the Association for Moral Education (2004-2008), as the 2008-2009 Vice President for Division G: Social Context of Education of the American Educational Research Association and serves on numerous editorial boards. He also served as the 2008-2009 Acting Chair of the Department of Education and Director of the Program in African & African-American Studies from 2009 -2012, both in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis.

    Selected Publications

    • Duncan, G. (2014, August 13).  “Michael Brown, Missouri, and the nature of unrest,” The Conversation.
    • Duncan, G. (2013). Time and injustice: Reconceptualizing race and school violence in the wake of Sandy Hook.  Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy. 10(2), 118-121.
    • Duncan, G. (2011).  Fostering cultures of achievement in urban schools:  Toward the abolition of the school to prison pipeline.  In S. Hartnett (Ed.), Challenging the prison-industrial complex: Activism, arts, and educational alternatives. Urbana-Champaign, IL:  University of Illinois Press.
    • Duncan, G. & Jackson, R. (2010).  Making a way out of no way:  Black male students at City High. In J.L. DeVitis & L. Irwin-DeVitis (Eds.), Adolescent Education: A Reader. New York:  Peter Lang Publishing.
    • Muhammad, C.G., Smith, M.J. & Duncan, G. (2008).  From Boys to Men and Girls to Women: Gender Differences in the Education of African American Students.  A theme issue of The Negro Educational Review, 59(3-4).
    • Duncan, G. (2007). From plantations to penitentiaries: Race making and new century schools. In Without fear...claiming safe communities without sacrificing ourselves: A reader (pp. 26-37). Los Angeles, CA: The Southern California Library for Social Studies Research.
    • Duncan, G. & Wolfe, G. (2007). The education of black children living in poverty: A systemic analysis. In B. A. Arrighi & D. J. Maume (Eds.), Children and poverty today (pp. 126-145). Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers.
    • O'Garro Joseph, G. & Duncan, G. (2007). Language, literacy, and love: The denial and restoration of coevalness in an urban elementary classroom. In C. Clark & M. Blackburn (Eds.), Literacy research for political action and social change (pp. 200-219). New York: Peter Lang.
    • Duncan, G. (2006). Discourse, cultural imperialism, and black culture and language research in the United States. In Shi-xu (Ed.), Discourses as cultural struggle (pp. 155-168). Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.
    • Duncan, G. (2005). Schooling as a moral enterprise: Rethinking educational justice 50 years after Brown. In D. Byrne (Ed.), Brown v. Board of Education: Its impact on public education 1954-2004 (pp. 195-212). New York: Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund.
    • Duncan, G. (2005). Critical race ethnography in education: Narrative, inequality, and the problem of epistemology . Race Ethnicity and Education, 8 (1), 95-116.
    • Duncan, G. (2005). Black youth, identity, and ethics. Educational Theory, 55 (1), 3-22.
    • Duncan, G. & Jackson, R. (2004). The language we cry in: Black language practice at a post-desegregated urban high school. GSE Perspectives on Urban Education, 3 (1).
    • Duncan, G. (2002). Beyond love: A critical race ethnography of the schooling of adolescent black males. Equity and Excellence in Education, 35 (2), 131-143.
    • Duncan, G. (2000). Urban pedagogies and the celling of adolescents of color. Social Justice, 27 (3), 29-42.
    • Duncan, G. (2000). Race and human rights violations in the United States : Considerations for human rights and moral educators. Journal of Moral Education, 29 (2), 183-201