• 1055 Parkstead House, Whitelands


Research output per year

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Personal profile


A social anthropologist by training, I completed my PhD at James Cook University in Australia in 2000 based on fieldwork in South Korea on Chondogyo, one of the country’s many new religious movements. I continued to work in this area until 2006, coinciding with a move to Canada, when I moved into the anthropology of health and medicine.

Since that time my research has has focused primarily on bringing an anthropological lens to bear on smoking – both on tobacco use itself and efforts to eradicate it (especially tobacco ‘denormalization’ strategies). Likewise, I have a similar interest in cancer – both how it is experienced and how it is intervened into – especially in the ‘survivorship’ phase. However, I am also interested in procedural research ethics and scholarly publishing and the processes that shape academic knowledge production more broadly.

Prior to joining the Centre for Research in Evolutionary, Social and Interdisciplinary Anthropology in the Department of Life Sciences at the University of Roehampton, I held academic appointments in anthropology departments at the University of British Columbia in Canada, Macquarie University in Australia and University of Northern Colorado in the USA.



BA(Hons), MA, PhD


Being Human

Key Skills in Anthropology & Beyond

Professional affiliations

Editorial Board member, Critical Public Health (former co-editor)

Excecutive Committee member, Libraria

Royal Anthropological Institute, Fellow

European Association of Social Anthropologists, member

American Anthropological Association, member

External positions

Research Associate, Department of Anthropology; University of British Columbia; Vancouver British Columbia V6T 1Z1 Canada


Lecturer, Macquarie University


Lecturer, University of Northern Colorado



  • GN Anthropology
  • social anthropology
  • medical anthropology
  • public health
  • biomedicine
  • research ethics
  • scholarly publishing
  • disciplinarity

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.


Research Output

ASA Experiences of Ethics Review Survey

Bell, K., 2020, 17 p.

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

Open Access
2 Downloads (Pure)

Cigarette packaging legislation in Canada and the smoking subject

Bell, K., 2020, Health Matters: Evidence, Critical Social Science and Health Care in Canada. Mykhalovskiy, E. & Choiniere, J. (eds.). University of Toronto Press

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Premature evaluation? Some cautionary thoughts on global pandemics and scholarly publishing

Bell, K. & Green, J., 22 May 2020, In : CRITICAL PUBLIC HEALTH.

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

Signs, Things and Packaging: Recovering the Material Agency of the Cigarette Packet

Bell, K., 2020, In : Social Studies of Science. 50, 1, p. 30-49

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
108 Downloads (Pure)

Staging Prevention, Arresting Progress: Chronic Disease Prevention and the Lifestyle Frame

Bell, K., 2020, (Accepted/In press) Preventing Dementia? Critical Perspectives on a New Paradigm of Preparing for Old Age. Leibing, A. & Schicktanz, S. (eds.). Berghahn, (Life Course, Culture and Aging: Global Transformations).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


‘It’s a kind of magic’: Coronavirus attire, mimesis and the limits of rationalism

Kirsten Bell (Contributor)

8 Apr 2020

Activity: Public engagement and outreachMedia article or participation

The invisible materiality of the cigarette packet

Kirsten Bell (Speaker)

2 Apr 2019

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

Publishing in the Social Sciences: Tips, Traps and Transformations

Kirsten Bell (Speaker)

6 Jun 2019

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

Ethics Guidelines Working Group (External organisation)

Kirsten Bell (Member)


Activity: MembershipMembership of committee

Reducing the harmful use of alcohol: Roadmap for a whole of society approach

Kirsten Bell (Participant)

18 Feb 201919 Feb 2019

Activity: Public engagement and outreachPublic lecture/debate/seminar