A. Myrick Freeman Professor of Social Sciences
Sociology And Anthropology
315 Adams Hall
Current teaching schedule available on the public course finder.
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Bowdoin College, 7000 College Station
Brunswick, ME 04011-8470
The first A. Myrick Freeman Professor of Social Sciences, Susan E. Bell joined the Bowdoin faculty in 1983. Her specialty is the sociology of health and illness, in which she investigates the experience of illness, women's health, and visual and performative representations of the politics of cancer, medicine, and women's bodies. Currently, she is exploring the global flow of biomedical knowledge and spatial permeability by listening to and analyzing stories constructed in interactions between immigrant patient populations and staff in a U.S. hospital outpatient clinic.
Susan E. Bell and Anne E. Figert, eds., Reimagining (Bio)Medicalization, Pharmaceuticals and Genetics: Old Critiques and New Engagements Routledge, 2015
Susan E. Bell, "Disrupting Scholarship." Pp. 119-140 in Anita Garey, Rosanna Hertz and Margaret Nelson, eds., Open to Disruption: Time and Craft in the Practice of Slow Sociology Vanderbilt University Press, 2014 PDF»
Susan E. Bell, “Seeing Narratives.” Pp. 142-158 in Molly Andrews, Corrine Squire and Maria Tamboukou, eds., Doing Narrative Research, second edition. London: Sage Publications, Ltd., 2013 PDF»
Susan E. Bell and Anne E. Figert, "Medicalization and Pharmaceuticalization at the Intersections: Looking Backward, Sideways and Forward." Social Science and Medicine, 75 (5): 775-783, 2012. PDF»
Mary Ellen Bell and Susan E. Bell, "What to Do with All this 'Stuff': Memory, Family, and Material Objects." Storytelling, Self, Society, 8(2): 63 - 84, 2012. PDF»
click image to enlarge
Embodied Knowledge and the Transformation of Women's Health Politics, Temple University Press, 2009
DES Daughters information, resources, and reviews site»
“Claiming justice: knowing mental illness in the public art of Anna Schuleit’s ‘Habeas Corpus’ and ‘Bloom’,” special number of health 15:3, 2011 (published online Feb. 18, 2011) PDF»
Guest Editor with Alan Radley, “Another Way of Knowing: Art, Disease, and Illness Experience,” special number of health, 15:3, 2011
“Gender and the medicalization of health care,” with Anne E. Figert. Pp. 107-122 in Ellen Kuhlmann and Ellen Annandale, eds. Palgrave Handbook of Gender and Healthcare, Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. PDF»
“Visual methods for collecting and analyzing data.” Pp. 513-535 in Ivy Lynn Bourgeault, Raymond DeVries, and Robert Dingwall, eds., The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Methods in Health Research. Sage Publications, 2010. PDF»
"Artworks, collective experience, and claims for social justice: the case of women living with breast cancer," with Alan Radley. Sociology of Health & Illness 29(3):366-390, 2007
Abstract | Full Text HTML
click image to enlarge
"Becoming a mother after DES: Intensive mothering in spite of it all." Pp. 233-252 in Anna De Fina, Deborah Schiffrin, and Michael Bamberg, eds. Discourse and Identity. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006.
"Vaginal politics: Tensions and possibilities in The Vagina Monologues," with Susan M. Reverby, Women's Studies International Forum, 28:430-444, 2005. Click here for a link to V-Day, a global movement to stop violence against women and girls.
SummaryPlus | Full Text + Links | PDF»
"Sexual synthetics: Women, science, and microbicides," in Monica Casper, ed., Synthetic Planet: Chemical Politics and the Hazards of Modern Life, Routledge, 2003
"Experiencing illness in/and narrative," in Chloe Bird, Peter Conrad, Allen Fremont, and Sol Levine, eds., Handbook of Medical Sociology, fifth edition, Prentice-Hall, 2000
"Narratives and lives: Women's health politics and the diagnosis of cancer for DES daughters," Narrative Inquiry 9(2):347-389, 1999
"Birth control," with Lauren Wise (Bowdoin class of '96) and with the assistance of Judith Norsigian and Susannah Cooper-Doyle, in Boston Women's Health Book Collective, eds., Our Bodies, Ourselves for the New Century, Simon and Schuster, 1998
"Gendered medical science: Producing a drug for women." Feminist Studies, 21(3):469-500, 1995.
"Translating science to the people: Updating The New Our Bodies, Ourselves." Women's Studies International Forum, 17(1): 9-18, 1994.
Tattoo, Martha Hall, 1998.
Photograph by Dennis Griggs. Courtesy of Alan Hall.
From the collections of the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections and Archives, Bowdoin College
click image to enlarge
Ethel-Jane Westfeldt Bunting Fellowship, “Permeable Hospitals, Transnational Communities: A Global Hospital Ethnography in Maine,” School for Advanced Research, Santa Fe, NM Summer 2013
Scholars Award, “Permeable Spaces and the Global Flow of Biomedical Knowledge,” National Science Foundation (Science, Technology, and Society Program), August 2012-July 2013