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Linda A. Bell papers

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Linda A Bell:

A Guide to Her Papers at Georgia State University Library

Georgia State University
Georgia State University Library
Special Collections and Archives
100 Decatur St., SE
Atlanta, GA 30303-3202
Fax: 404-413-2881

Profile Description

Creation: EAD version 1.0 finding aid created in XMetaL 4.5 by Amanda Brown, November 2006.
Language: English

Collection Summary

Repository: Georgia State University Library, Special Collections and Archives, Atlanta
Creator:Bell, Linda A.
Title:Linda A. Bell papers
Dates: 1962-2004
Quantity: 18 linear ft. (in 37 boxes)
Abstract:Linda A. Bell, born in 1940, grew up in the Daytona, Florida area. Bell taught at Georgia State University from 1968 to 2004. The Linda A. Bell papers span Bell’s 34-year career at Georgia State University as a professor of Philosophy and Women’s Studies and document her teaching, administrative and research work.
Identification: W063

Organization of the Papers

Organized into 8 series:
I. Personal
II. Georgia State University (GSU) -- Professional
III. GSU -- Women's Studies
IV. Professional Associations and Programs
V. Research and Writings
VI. Subject Files
VII. Audio-Visual
VIII. Artifacts and Textiles
Oversize items in this collection are housed separately. The collection's approximately 49 books have been catalogued and added to the Women's Collection: books. Catalog records for the books are available through the University Library's online catalog.

Scope and Content of the Papers

The Linda A. Bell papers document Bell’s 34-year career at Georgia State University as a professor of Philosophy and Women’s Studies. Correspondence, reports, minutes, clippings and other printed materials detail Bell’s professional life at GSU from 1968-2004, including her involvement with various campus organizations and committees, teachings in the Philosophy Department, promotion and tenure, professional correspondence, and significant events around the campus during this time (Series II). The papers also document Bell’s central role in establishing the Women’s Studies program at GSU (Series III).

The papers include extensive correspondence and program files relating to Bell’s activities in numerous professional organizations (IV), highlighting her involvement with academic, philosophical and women’s associations such as the American Association of University Professors, the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy and the Women’s Studies Group of the University Center of Georgia. In addition to information about Bell’s professional career, there is a small amount of material relating to her personal life that includes information on her graduate and post-doctorate studies, personal correspondence and clippings (Series I).

Materials relating to Bell's research and writings (Series V) form a significant part of the papers. These files contain drafts, research notes and correspondence relating to her numerous papers, articles, and book chapters. Notably, the papers outline the development and creative process of Bell’s five published manuscripts, Visions of Women, Sartre’s Ethics of Authenticity, Rethinking Ethics in the Midst of Violence, Overcoming Racism and Sexism, and Beyond the Margins: Reflections of a Feminist Philosopher.

Various files on philosophy and women’s topics are arranged alphabetically as subject files (Series VI). Audio-visual materials (Series VII) contain photographs and interviews recorded on audio cassettes. Two feminist t-shirts are grouped in textiles (Series VIII).

Biography of Linda A. Bell

Linda A. Bell, born in 1940, grew up in the Daytona, Florida area. Majoring in mathematics, Bell graduated from Emory University in 1962. She went on to Northwestern University, earning her M.A. in Philosophy in 1966, and she earned a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Emory University in 1973.

Bell began teaching in Georgia State University’s Philosophy Department in 1968 as a part-time instructor, becoming full-time in 1970, an Assistant Professor in 1973, an Associate Professor in 1978, and a full Professor in 1986. Bell worked to offer feminist philosophy classes and other women-centric courses at GSU as part of a larger goal to introduce a Women’s Studies program at the university. This goal was realized in 1984 when GSU established the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Women's Studies, a program Bell co-chaired from 1984-1989. In 1998, Bell became the director of the Women’s Studies Institute at GSU where she remained until her retirement in 2004. As well as advocating for the creation of a Women’s Studies program at GSU, Bell was vocal during the development of University and Board of Regent policies, and participated in numerous committees and campus organizations, including the University Senate and the Executive Committee of the College of Arts and Sciences.

In addition to her service at Georgia State University, Bell served in numerous official capacities on committees, task forces, and associations pertaining to collegiate academia, philosophy and women's studies, including the American Association of University Professors, the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy and the Women’s Studies Group of the University Center of Georgia. She participated as an advisor to several socio-political commissions and endeavors such as the Georgia Commission on Family Values and Initiative on Sexual and Intimate Violence. Bell has written an extensive number of articles, papers and essays, as well as book chapters on philosophical and women’s topics. She published five books over the course of her career: Visions of Women (Humana Press, 1983), Sartre’s Ethics of Authenticity (University of Alabama Press, 1989), Rethinking Ethics in the Midst of Violence (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 1993), Overcoming Racism and Sexism (Rowman & Littlefield, 1995), and Beyond the Margins: Reflections of a Feminist Philosopher (State University of New York Press, 2003). Bell retired from GSU in 2004.

Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the Georgia State University Library online catalog (GIL). Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

Bell, Linda A.--Archives
American Association of University Professors.
American Philosophical Association.
Georgia State University--Faculty
Georgia State University--Women's Studies Institute.
National Women's Studies Association.
Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy.
Philosophy-- Study and teaching.
Women's studies.


Restrictions on Access.

Unrestricted access.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including on the Worldwide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holder of the copyright. Persons wishing to quote from this collection should consult the reference archivist to determine copyright holders for information in this collection. Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original. All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

Administrative Information


[item], [folder title], [series title], Linda A. Bell papers, W063, Archives for Research on Women and Gender. Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University, Atlanta.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Linda A. Bell, 2004.

Processing Information

Processed by Amanda Brown, 2006.

Related Material

Related materials in this repository: The Diane L. Fowlkes papers (W018).

Separated Material

Separated material: During processing, printed material, including newsletters, pamphlets, and magazines, were separated to the Women's Printed Collections. See List of Separated Material following Detailed Description of the Collection.

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