Joyce M Bell

Associate Professor, Don A. Martindale Endowed Chair

Accepting PhD Students


Personal profile

Personal profile

Joyce M. Bell is a historical sociologist whose primary work examines the impact of the Black Power Movement on the professions in the United States. She received her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Minnesota 2007 after earning an undergraduate degree in sociology and Spanish at the University of St. Thomas. She held posts at the University of Georgia and University of Pittsburgh before returning to join the sociology faculty at the University of Minnesota as an Associate Professor where she also holds the Don A. Martindale Endowed chair. Dr. Bell is the recipient of the Distinguished Early Career Award from the American Sociological Association's Section on Racial & Ethnic Minorites and held a fellowship at Harvard University's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study during the 2015-2016 academic year.

Dr. Bell’s first book, The Black Power Movement and American Social Work (Columbia University Press, 2014) details the impact of the Black Power Movement on the profession of social work. Relying on extensive archival research and oral history interviews, the book presents the case that the rise of black professional associational life from 1966-1976 is a direct outcome of the Black Power Movement that requires both a rethinking of how the movement has been characterized in extant historical and social science treatments and a reworking of the theoretical and conceptual tools that sociologists have used for studying radical movements.

Dr. Bell has also done research on the role of diversity discourse in institutions, higher education policy, and in the law. Her work has been published in the American Sociological Review, Critical Sociology, and the Journal of Race & Public Policy. She has presented her work in diverse venues including the annual meetings of theAmerican Sociological Association, Social Science History Association, Association for the Study of AfricanAmerican Life and History and the National Council for Black Studies. She was honored by the Pittsburgh New Courier with one of their “40 Under 40” awards honoring young African American leaders and professionals and received a National TRiO Achievers award in 2011 for outstanding achievement in the academy as a TRiO alumna.

Dr. Bell is also an expert in the area of faculty training, curriculum development and transformation, and higher education policy related to issues of diversity.


  • race relations
  • black power movement
  • social movements
  • diversity
  • black professionals
  • professions
  • critical race theory

Fingerprint The Fingerprint is created by mining the titles and abstracts of the person's research outputs and projects/funding awards to create an index of weighted terms from discipline-specific thesauri.

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Research Output 2007 2017

The Right to Be Racist in College: Racist Speech, White Institutional Space, and the First Amendment

Moore, W. L. & Bell, J. M. Apr 1 2017 In : Law and Policy. 39, 2, p. 99-120 22 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citations

Introduction to the special issue on black movements

Bell, J. M. Jan 1 2016 In : Sociological Focus. 49, 1, p. 1-10 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

The Black Power Influence on American Schools of Social Work

Bell, J. 2015 In : Critical and Radical Social Work. 3, 2, p. 295-304 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

The Black Power Movement and American Social Work

Bell, J. 2014 New York: Columbia University Press. 256 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

social work
professional association
oral history
popular culture

The importance of a race-critical perspective in the classroom

Bell, J. M. Jan 1 2014 Teaching Race and Anti-Racism in Contemporary America: Adding Context to Colorblindness. Springer Netherlands, p. 25-34 10 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter



Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study Fellowship

Joyce M Bell (Recipient), 2015

Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively

Section on Racial and Ethnic Minorities Distinguished Early Career Award

Joyce M Bell (Recipient), 2016

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)