James Bell

Job title:

Lecturer in Contemporary Art Theory


Associate Director GENDER.ED


ECA Main Building, E.27b

Office hours:

Tuesday, 2—4pm


Dr James Bell (he/him) is an artist and researcher specialising in queer and trans art, activism, culture, and social histories.

James has a background in education and production in artist-led and contemporary arts organisations. He has working knowledge of and interests in arts education, exhibition making, access and equities, social justice, and social practice in contemporary art. Graduating with a BA (Hons) Time Based Art and an MFA from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, Dundee (2011), James was a committee member of artist-led spaces Generator, Dundee (2011—12), and Rhubaba, Edinburgh (2013—15). He was the Producer (Learning) at Collective, Edinburgh (2013—17), researching, developing and delivering the contemporary art organisation’s learning programme; served on the Board of Baltic Street Adventure Playground, Glasgow (2015—18); and was a youth worker at LGBT Youth Scotland (2021). He has also taught onto the MLitt Curatorial Practice (Contemporary Art) at Glasgow School of Art.


James is the Course Organiser for Art in Context 1, and teaches on Art in Context and Visual Cultures courses across all years of the BA (Hons) Fine Art programme.


In research and practice, James explores contemporary art and queer cultures, with a focus on the archival, educational, and historiographic turns in contemporary art. He specialises in critical race, feminist, queer, and trans writing on art, archives, moving image, and performance. 

James has presented at international and interdisciplinary conferences, and his writing has been published in contemporary arts magazine MAP. He organised a queer film club at Northumbria University, and a World AIDS Day screening in collaboration with Palermo Pride and Visual AIDS, whilst Visiting Researcher at the University of Palermo in 2019. As an artist, James has developed performances and writing which explore queerness and working-class identity, having shown at Cooper Gallery, Dundee, and Rhubaba, Edinburgh.

PhD Supervision Topics

  • Queer and trans contemporary art histories
  • LGBTQIA, feminist, and queer archives in contemporary art
  • Queer historiography in contemporary art
  • Queer education and pedagogy in contemporary art and art history
  • Arts education, social practice, and social justice in contemporary art

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