Job title: Teaching Fellow, History of Art


Office address: Room 2.21, The Fire Station

Contact time: Tuesdays 12 - 2pm

Research outputs: Dr Michelle Foot on Edinburgh Research Explorer

Dr Michelle Foot is Teaching Fellow of Nineteenth Century Art, specialising in British and European art in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Her research interests include Spiritualism, Scottish art and the Celtic Revival.

Michelle was awarded a PhD from the University of Aberdeen in 2016 for her thesis on 'Modern Spiritualism and Scottish Art between 1860 and 1940'. She is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. She is also an associate of the Scottish Centre for Victorian and Neo-Victorian Studies and a member of the Visionary Artists Visionary Objects International Research Network.

Michelle's teaching responsibilities include:

  • Lecturing on the sub-honours History of Art 2 programme
  • Europe 1900: Nationalism and Decadence at the Fin-de-Siècle – MA (Hons)
  • Romantics, Rebels and Revivalists: From Highland Glen to Scotland's Shrine, Scottish Art 1850-1927 – MA (Hons)
  • Impressionism, Decadence, Rhythm: Artists in France and Britain 1870-1914 – MA (Hons)
  • Impressionism and the Third Republic: Culture, Politics and Social Change, 1865-1900 – MSc
  • Contributing seminars on the postgraduate Research, Theories and Methods course
  • Supervising undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations


Nominated for 'Best Overall Teacher' category in Edinburgh University Students' Association Teaching Awards (2018-19)

Nominated for 'Best Course' category for Romantics, Rebels and Revivalists in Edinburgh University Students' Association Teaching Awards (2018-19)

Nominated for 'Best Overall Teacher' category in Edinburgh University Students' Association Teaching Awards (2017-18)

Nominated for 'Best Implementer of Student Feedback' category in Edinburgh University Students' Association Teaching Awards (2017-18)

Michelle's research interests include European and British nineteenth-century art, Scottish art, national identity, Modern Spiritualism and the Celtic Revival.



[Forthcoming] M. Foot, 'A Portrayal of Life Beyond Death: Helen Duncan's Spirit Guide and His Portrait', Death in Scotland: Chapters from the Twelfth to the Twenty-First Centuries, eds. H. Grainger & P.C. Jupp (Peter Lang, 2019). Chapter.

[Forthcoming] M. Foot, Modern Spiritualism and Scottish Art, 1860-1940 (Bloomsbury, 2020). Monograph.


Conference Papers & Public Talks

• Conference organiser: 'Victorian Renewals', British Association of Victorian Studies annual conference, Dundee. August 2019.

• Session co-convener with Dr Lucy Weir: Occult Performances and Reflections: The Everyday Occult in Visual Culture, Association for Art History annual conference, Brighton. April 2019.

• Research seminar paper: The Celtic Revival and Modern Spiritualism: Fairies, Witches and Haunted Landscapes. Student-nominated speaker for History of Art Research Seminar; Invited speaker for School of Celtic and Scottish Studies Research Seminar, University of Edinburgh. February 2019.

• Conference paper: Painting the Vision Splendid: Depicting the Truths of Modern Spiritualism, International Society for Religion, Literature and Culture biennial conference, University of Uppsala, Sweden. September 2018.

• Public lecture: Modern Spiritualism and Scottish Art. Invited speaker for the Friends & Members lecture at the National Galleries of Scotland. May 2018.

• Session co-convener: Seeing and Hearing the Beyond: Art, Music and Mysticism in the Long Nineteenth Century, Association for Art History annual conference, Courtauld Institute of Art and King’s College London. April 2018.

• Conference paper: Dawn of Peace: A Vision for Spiritualism. Invited Speaker for Visionary Artists Visionary Objects Research Network, University of Manchester. February 2018. 

• Conference paper: The Witch as a Spirit-Medium in Scotland’s Celtic Revival. 'Cultural Mythologies Around 1900' conference organised by the European Revivals Research Project, National Galleries of Scotland. December 2017.

• Conference paper: Painting with the Spirits: Modern Spiritualism in Scotland and its Visual Culture. Invited speaker for 'The Occult in and Beyond Victorian Scotland' symposium, Scottish Centre for Victorian Studies, University of Stirling. October 2017.

• Public lecture: The Artist and The Paintings: John Duncan’s 'Ivory, Apes & Peacocks' and 'Anima Celtica'. Pitmedden House, Aberdeenshire, National Trust for Scotland. May 2017.

PhD Supervision Topics

  • European and British nineteenth-century art
  • Scottish art
  • National identity
  • Modern Spiritualism
  • Celtic Revival