Job title: Lecturer in History of Art

Role: Currently on sabbatical until January 2024


Office address: O.45 Higgit Gallery

Research outputs: Dr Michelle Foot on Edinburgh Research Explorer

On sabbatical

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

Michelle joined the History of Art department in August 2016. Her forthcoming book, Modern Spiritualism and Scottish Art: Scots, Spirits and Séances, 1860-1940, will be published with Bloomsbury Academic in autumn 2023. Her next research project explores the role of occultism in the Celtic Revival of the late nineteenth-century and will result in a second monograph. She has presented her research at both national and international conferences and has been invited to give public lectures on numerous occasions. Michelle was awarded a PhD from the University of Aberdeen in 2016. She is a 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 Association for Art History and Scottish Society for Art History.

Michelle's teaching responsibilities include:

  • Contributing lectures to the Pre-Honours History of Art 2 programme
  • Europe 1900: Nationalism and Decadence at the Fin-de-Siècle – MA (Hons)
  • Romantics, Rebels and Revivalists: Scottish Art 1850-1927 – MA (Hons)
  • Impressionism, Decadence, Rhythm: Artists in France and Britain 1870-1914 – MA (Hons)
  • Art and Occultism in the Long Nineteenth Century – MSc
  • Contributing seminars to the postgraduate Research, Theories and Methods course
  • Supervising undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations


Michelle is delighted to have received nominations in the Edinburgh University Students' Association (EUSA) Teaching Awards:

'Best Overall Teacher' (2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20, 2020-21, 2021-22, 2022-23)

'Supervisor of the Year' (2021-22, 2022-23)

'Personal Tutor of the Year' (2020-21)

'Outstanding Course' for Art and Occultism in the Long Nineteenth Century (2020-21)

'Best Course category' for Romantics, Rebels and Revivalists (2018-19, 2019-20)

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

New book! Modern Spiritualism and Scottish Art: Scots, Spirits and Seances, 1860-1940


PhD Supervision Topics

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