Faculty of Social & Historical Sciences


Professor Jonathan Bell

Academic position: Professor of US History and Head of Department

Department: Americas

Email: jonathan.bell@ucl.ac.uk

Website: Prof. Jonathan Bell


Prof. Bell is Professor of US History and Head of Department at the Institute of the Americas at UCL, a post he's held since 2014. Prior to that Prof. Bell spent fourteen years in the Department of History at the University of Reading. Prof. Bell is the author or editor of several books on US political history and is now working on a book on the impact of the public-private health and welfare systems on LGBTQ health and rights in the US since the 1960s. 

Research Projects:

Prof. Bells current book project project explores how the development of a valorised private sector in health care financing interacted with a parsimonious welfare system to shape how sexual minorities saw themselves – and each other – as political subjects in the 1970s and 1980s United States. Considering sexual minority rights together with the crisis in health care access, Prof. Bell examines the interactions of LGBTQ rights with state and private health politics. His book stakes a new claim to the importance of the sexual rights question in understanding the broad direction of political economy in the transition from welfare liberalism to free market fundamentalism.


Prof. Bell explorse US health care politics in both of his Master's modules: 

  • AMER0019 From Skid Row to Obamacare: The Politics of Social Welfare in the United States since 1900
  • AMER0043 Challenging the Straight State: Regulation, Repression, and Resistance in US Sexual Politics

Prof. Bell is also planning a new 30-credit final year undergraduate module with attached dissertation on queer histories in the US that will include health care issues impacting LGBTQ communities.