Office: 459 Humanities
Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Dr. Jacob Bell is a historian of the Medieval globe, focusing on the lives and afterlives of enslaved peoples and other marginalized groups whose stories were equally as important in creating the cultural fabric of the Middle Ages as those of knights, kings, and popes.
His book project, Ambáttar: Decoding and Documenting Unfreedom, Mobility, and Women's Reproductive Labor in the Medieval North Atlantic, excavates the histories of trafficked women and children from across the Eurasian landmass who were imported into colonial projects in Iceland, Greenland, and the North Atlantic islands for both their sexual and reproductive labor. By bringing together documentary and archaeological evidence with recent scientific discoveries, this book demonstrates the fungibilities of freedom, social status, and cultural integration that marked the medieval experience in the far northern world.
Dr. Bell has published extensively on the complicated relationships between religious observance, magical practice, and sexuality in articles featured in Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History (2023), History Compass (2021), and The Medieval Globe (2023).
Prior to joining the faculty at Texas Tech, Dr. Bell received his BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2018), and his MA and PhD from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (2019; 2023).
At Tech, Dr. Bell teaches undergraduate surveys on Medieval European history and religious history, including upper-level courses on the cultural production of the Middle Ages and the Medieval Church. At the graduate level, he offers seminars in research methodologies and topical courses on various aspects of the medieval world (ca. 500-1500). He welcomes the opportunity to work with any student, undergraduate or graduate, who wants to learn more about this exciting millennium of history.