Jeffrey Bell

President's Award for Excellence in Research

Keith “Skip” CostaFor the second time in his 29-year Southeastern career, Professor of Philosophy Jeffrey Bell has been named the President’s Excellence Winner in Research.

“Since I won the award in 2010, my research trajectory has accelerated, and I have achieved, as a result, a level of international recognition that reflects well on the support Southeastern affords its faculty,” he said.

Within the past 10 years, Bell’s research has begun to have a substantial influence on philosophy. In particular, he says, his most important contribution in philosophy has been the work he has written that details the need for overcoming the divisions in the field between analytic and continental philosophy.

Based on the strength of his work on bridging the analytic-continental divide, Bell was awarded a prestigious Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professorship in Philosophy at Royal Holloway, University of London, in 2019.

“In my application I argued that my work to bring to bear the insights across both analytic and continental traditions would serve the philosophy group at Royal Holloway well, for they practiced the type of pluralist philosophy that I argued was essential to the health and vibrancy of philosophy going forward,” he said.

During his visiting professorship, Bell advised a number of graduate students, served as an internal examiner for a Ph.D. dissertation and was invited to speak at several universities in the UK, as well as the University of Vienna and Charles University, Prague. His work on bridging the analytic-continental divide has been well-received both within the states and internationally.

“Professor Bell has achieved a genuine international reputation, especially for his work on the philosopher Gilles Deleuze, and has been an invited speaker at conferences in America, Asia, and Europe,” said History and Political Science Department Head William B. Robison. “His books are well-reviewed, and he enjoys the esteem of the very best scholars in his field. It is by no means hyperbole to describe him as a superstar.”

In addition to his most recent work in philosophy, Bell has come to be considered one of the leading scholars in the world on the work of Deleuze.

“When I began my career at Southeastern in 1993, there was little work on Deleuze, and much of the work that was done did not address his important philosophical contributions,” Bell explained. “In the years since then that has changed, and now my work has become central to the secondary literature on Deleuze. This has led to numerous invitations to speak as plenary or keynote at conferences and colloquium around the world, such as in Sydney, Australia; Manipal, India; Kaifeng, China; Osaka, Japan; Taipei, Taiwan; Cologne, Germany; and, most recently, Milan, Italy.

My research trajectory has certainly benefited from my years of teaching at Southeastern. Going forward I anticipate this will continue. I look forward, for instance, to teaching an Asian Philosophies class as I look to further expand upon the results of my research. I have no doubts that this class, along with others I continue to teach, will provide me with rich resources for my research.”