Gloria Bell

Assistant Professor 

Gloria Bell’s research and teaching examines visual culture focusing on Indigenous arts of the Americas, primarily from the nineteenth century through to contemporary manifestations. Currently, her research focuses on exhibition histories of First Nations, Métis and Inuit arts in the early twentieth century in Italy, Global Indigenous studies, decolonizing and anti-colonial methodologies, materiality studies, global histories of body art, and the importance of art as living history.

Bell's book project, “Eternal Sovereigns,” focuses on the relationships between Indigenous American cultural belongings, material sovereignties, and exhibition histories in Italy. Through an analysis of the artworks of Indigenous artists, statuary of Indigenous American delegations, children’s games, and missionary accounts, Bell’s research presents the mobility of Indigenous visual culture, and the global circulation of Indigenous artists and artworks in cosmopolitan spaces such as the Vatican. Dr. Bell is the principal investigator for the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Insight Development Grant (SSHRC) and Fonds québecois de la recherche sur la sociéte et la culture (FRQSC) New Researchers Award for the multi-media research project Eternal Sovereigns: Indigenous Artists, Activists and Travelers Reframing Rome.

WaterSong Beaded Moccasin Tops for the Walking With Our Sisters Exhibition (2013 - 2019)
Professor Bell received her MA from Carleton University (2010) and completed her PhD at the University of British Columbia (2018). Her research has been funded by numerous prestigious awards including Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships, Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships, and a Cordula and Gunter Paetzold Fellowship, University of British Columbia. Recently, she completed a Frances C. Allen and Newberry Consortium in American Indian Studies fellowship at the Newberry Library and a Terra Foundation for American Art fellowship in Giverny, France. She has also received grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and participated in the Otsego Institute for Native American Art History.

Bell has presented at conferences in the fields of art history and Indigenous studies across Turtle Island. She worked as the web editor for the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective and also as a curator and in collections management at the Indian Arts Research Center at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe. Bell has Métis and Celtic ancestry. She has published in the anthology Métis in Canada, journals such as Wicazo Sa Review and Journal of Global Catholicism contributes regularly to art publications including Canadian Art and First American Art Magazine.

Research Interests

  • Indigenous and settler colonial art histories
  • Animalia studies
  • Tattooing and body arts
  • Transnational Indigenous exchanges
  • Creative writing

Selected Journal Articles and Book Chapters

Competing Sovereignties: Indigeneity and the Visual Culture of Catholic Colonization at the 1925 Pontifical Missionary Exposition,” Journal of Global Catholicism, 3:2, (2019): 18-41.

“Voyageur Complications and Representations: Frances Anne Hopkins and the Métis Nation of Ontario,’’ Wicazo Sa Review, 28: 1, (2013): 100-118.

“Oscillating Identities: Re-presentations of Métis in the Great Lakes Area in the Nineteenth-Century,” Métis in Canada: History, Identity, Law and Politics, edited by Christopher Adams, Gregg Dahl and Ian Peach, 3-58. Calgary: University of Alberta Press, 2013.

Professor Bell welcomes inquiries for graduate supervision.

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