Art History Lecture: "Reviewing 'Race' in the Roman World: Images of Aethiopians as Case Study" by Sinclair Bell


Location: 106 O'Shaughnessy Hall (View on map )

Reviewing Race In Roman World Aethiopian Talk Poster

The Department of Art, Art History, and Design presents a lecture by Sinclair Bell, a professor of art history at Northern Illinois University.

Sinclair Wynn Bell is an American classical archaeologist and art historian. He is a Professor of Art History at Northern Illinois University where he teaches courses in Greek, Etruscan, and Roman art history, architecture, and archaeology, as well as museum studies. His research focuses on the art and archaeology of the Etruscans; sport and spectacle in the Roman imperial period, especially the Roman circus; and slavery in ancient Rome, especially the visual representation of slaves, freedmen, and foreigners in Roman art.

Bell earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Classical Studies and History from Wake Forest University, where he was a student of Allen Mandelbaum. He completed his graduate work in Classical Art and Archaeology at the University of Oxford, the University of Edinburgh, and the University of Cologne. During his graduate work, Bell was the recipient of a Postgraduate Fellowship from the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (2001-2) to study with Prof. Henner von Hesberg at the Archaeological Institute at the University of Cologne, as well as a Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Pre-Doctoral Rome Prize Fellowship in Ancient Studies at the American Academy in Rome (2002-3).

Bell joined the Art History department faculty at Northern Illinois University as an Assistant Professor in 2008, was promoted to Associate Professor in 2012, and to Professor in 2020. During the 2010–11 academic year, Bell was named a “Research Ambassador” to the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst.

Bell has co-edited numerous volumes, including a book with Teresa Ramsby on freed slaves in ancient Rome titled Free at Last! The Impact of Freed Slaves on the Roman Empire and with Alexandra Carpino A Companion to the Etruscans. Bell was selected for a three-year term as the Editor of the journal the Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome.

He has received numerous postdoctoral grants and fellowships in support of his research, including a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Roman Archaeology at the University of Manitoba (2007-8), the Howard Fellowship from the George A. and Eliza Gardner Howard Foundation (2013), the Richard D. Cohen Fellowship from the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University (2019), and a Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities (2021). He also appeared as a presenter in a documentary on the Smithsonian Channel, "Rome's Chariot Superstar" which was based in part on his dissertation research.