Dean Duncan is a native of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He specializes in the relationship between film and its sister arts, the documentary idea, and literature and film for children and families.
Duncan received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in film production from Brigham Young University in 1987. His MA in film criticism came from the University of Southern California in 1992, after which he completed his PhD in 1999, at the University of Glasgow, in Scotland.
Since 1992, Duncan has been a faculty member of BYU's Theatre and Media Arts Department, where he teaches introductory film and humanities courses, major core classes, and a number of advanced elective classes. He also takes the time to advise the Women in Film club on campus. In 2008 he was awarded BYU's prestigious three-year Alcuin research fellowship. A few years later he had the opportunity to deliver the keynote address at one of the April 2013 convocations of the College of Fine Arts and Communications.
In 2015, Duncan's book Evolution of the Language of Childhood: Books and Films on the Nature of Children was published by MacFarland Books. The same year, The Film Review Database, a project Duncan worked on in collaboration with the Harold B. Lee Library when live. The database includes over 2,000 reviews, organized alphabetically under about 300 subject headings for use by families, film scholars and students alike.
Dean and his wife, Sharon Anderson, are the parents of six children.