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Ingrid Bianca Byerly

Senior Lecturing Fellow Thompson Writing Program
Thompson Writing Program
Box 90025, Durham, NC 27708
Thompson Writing Program, Box 90025, Durham, NC 27708


Ingrid Bianca Byerly is the Director of the Humanitarian Challenges focus group in the Duke University Focus Program. She facilitates the Public Speaking and Advocacy courses in the Thompson Writing Program and the Sanford School of Public Policy, and teaches ethnomusicology courses in the Music and Cultural Anthropology departments. 

Dr. Byerly is a South African interdisciplinary scholar in the arts, humanities and social sciences. Her ethnomusicology seminars focus on the Politics of Music between cultures in conflict, and her Public Speaking courses focus on effective advocacy for humanitarian causes. Her advisory focus has been with Freshman students (preparing them for academic success in college), Research Design seminars (for students returning from global fieldwork programs) and the Senior Honors Thesis seminars (for students graduating with distinction). Her own research focus lies in the investigation of global social protest movements, especially through music revolutions. In the decade leading up to the end of Apartheid, she served as teacher and lecturer in cross-cultural communications throughout South Africa, and in that time, she combined her training in classical music with a fascination for the role of contemporary protest music in politics. Her doctoral dissertation explored the lives and works of musicians dedicating their art towards social change in South Africa while undergoing political transition and social transformation from Apartheid to Democracy. Dr. Byerly has also offered courses in study skills, protest literature, and intercultural communication in South Africa, England, Russia, South-East Asia, Europe, South America and the United States. 

Professor Byerly has travelled to over 50 countries, and served on the faculty of three Semester at Sea voyages. Her first voyage, in the Summer 2011, sailed around the Mediterranean Basin on the mv. Explorer. Her second, also on the mv. Explorer, sailed Round-the-World for the Spring 2014 semester. Her third voyage in the Fall of 2019, on the mv. World Odyssey, sailed from Northern Europe to the Baltics, Africa, and South America. She has also held the position of lecturer and Course Director for international students from over 45 countries at the annual Regent Courses in Oxford, England, for ten summer sessions. A fellow of Sigma Xi and the American Council of Learned Societies, her interests include filmmaking, for which she was awarded the Panasonic Individual Video-Maker Award in London for 'When Nations Meet', and the investigation of global revolutionary movements, for which she received the Charles Seeger Prize in Toronto, Canada from the Society for Ethnomusicology. In 2019 her essay dedicated to her former music teacher was recognized by American Mensa for the 'Distinguished Teacher Award.'

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Senior Lecturing Fellow Thompson Writing Program · 2018 - Present Thompson Writing Program, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences

Education, Training & Certifications

Duke University · 1996 Ph.D.