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Danielle Procope Bell, Ph.D.

El-Ra Adair Radney
Assistant Professor, English and the Africana Studies Program
University of Tennessee
414 McClung Tower, Knoxville, TN 37996-0430


Dr. Procope Bell’s research areas are mid-to-late-nineteenth and early twentieth-century African American literature and contemporary Black feminist criticism.

Her book project, tentatively titled Respectable Radicalism: The Rhetoric of Black Women’s Intellectualism, examines how so-called “respectable” rhetoric coheres with radical thought in Black women’s writing in the nineteenth century. Respectable Radicalism focuses on Black women’s strategies to be heard, traces Black women’s intellectual thought, and considers the multivalent ways that Black women make plain their inherent humanity through a strategic use of respectable rhetoric. At the core, her work examines strategies of Black resistance and the makings of Black subjectivity in a world bent on refusing citizenship, and even personhood, to Black people.

At the University of Tennessee, Dr. Procope Bell teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on African American literature and Black feminist theory, with a focus on literary criticism and effective writing.


Ph.D., English, Vanderbilt University, 2021
M.A., English, Vanderbilt University, 2017
M.A., Comparative Literature, University College London, 2016 B.A., English and Philosophy, University of the Pacific, 2014