Duncan, Hugh Dalziel. | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center
Hugh Dalziel Duncan was born on October 6, 1909 in Bo’ness, Scotland. He earned a B.A. in Philosophy from Drake University (1931), an M.A. in English Language and Literature from the University of Chicago (1933), and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Chicago (1937-1941, 1946-1948).
In April 1942, Duncan joined the Army as a private. After basic training he was sent to Officer’s Training Corps at Fort Benning, Georgia, and was commissioned second lieutenant in November 1942. He was assigned to serve in Newport News, Virginia, where he organized the gathering of economic, political, and general Army intelligence from returning personnel, prisoners of war, the Merchant Marine, and civilians returning from overseas. He left the Army in 1946 as a captain.
Duncan began his teaching career as a visiting professor of sociology at Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota. He then taught at sociology at Rice University (1962-1963) and the Illinois Institute of Technology (1963-1964). He began teacing at Southern Illinois University in 1964 as a visiting professor of sociology before becoming a professor in both the sociology and English departments in 1965. As a member of the rare and almost extinct group of “independent scholars,” he wrote and published without a professional tie to an academic institution. His varied interests included: Philosophy, Sociology, English, Architecture, and Middle West culture. Employment at Southern Illinois University gave him the flexibility to pursue these diverse scholarly interests. Duncan died in 1970.