Vikki Bell BA PhD

Vikki's interests include transitional justice, cultural theory and questions of aesthetics, ethics and subjectivity.

Staff details

Vikki Bell BA PhD


Professor of Sociology




v.bell (

Vikki Bell is the author of four monographs, including Culture and Performance (Bloomsbury, 2007). Widely published in peer-reviewed journals, she has addressed questions of ethics, aesthetics, subjectivity and politics across the social sciences and theoretical humanities. Recently her work has explored cultural-aesthetic aspects of transitional justice in Argentina, where the research has been funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council, and, in 2015-7, by the Economic & Social Research Council, a project which extended her empirical work to include Chile. Vikki’s most recent book is The Art of Post-Dictatorship: Ethics & Aesthetics in Transitional Argentina (Routledge, 2014). Her recent articles include ‘Entwined Tellings and the Fragility of the Unique: Relating Narratives of Detention and Survival in Pinochet’s Chile’, Third Text (2018) and ‘Between Documentality and Imagination: Five Theses on Curating the Violent Past’ Memory Studies (2018).


Vikki Bell is Professor of Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London. She studied Social & Political Sciences at Cambridge and gained her PhD at Edinburgh University in 1992. She has taught across all levels at Goldsmiths since she joined in 1993, and has convened the MA Critical & Creative Analysis.

She has been a Visiting Scholar at Berkeley, University of California, Yale University, University of Buenos Aires and the International Institute for the Sociology of Law (Oñati, Spain). Vikki is also a Research Associate in the Faculty of Humanities at Universidad de San Martin (Buenos Aires, Argentina).

Publications and research outputs


Bell, Vikki. 2014. The Art of Post-Dictatorship: Ethics and Aesthetics in Transitional Argentina. Abingdon: Routledge, a GlassHouse Book. ISBN 9781138100220

Bell, Vikki; Drake, David and Edgar, Lisa. 2009. The Skater: Wendy McMurdo. Cardiff: Ffotogallery. ISBN 978-1872771731

Bell, Vikki. 2007. Culture and Performance: The Challenge of Ethics, Politics and Feminist Theory. Berg. ISBN 9781845201050


Bell, Vikki. 2021. Documenting Dictatorship: Writing and Resistance in Chile's Vicaría de la Solidaridad. Theory, Culture & Society, 38(1), pp. 53-78. ISSN 0263-2764

Bell, Vikki. 2020. ‘Always another breath in my breath’: on Denise Riley, the polyvocality of the subject and poetry. Feminist Theory, 21(3), pp. 317-329. ISSN 1464-7001

Bell, Vikki and Paolantonio, Mario Di. 2018. Presenting the (Dictatorial) Past in Contemporary Argentina: Truth Forums and Arts of Dramatization. Social & Legal Studies, 27(5), pp. 572-595. ISSN 0964-6639

Book Section

Bell, Vikki and Diettes, Erika. 2024. On the Making of the Oratorio for the Disappeared: Erika Diettes in conversation with Vikki Bell. In: Maria M. Delgado; Michal Kobialka and Bryce Lease, eds. Staging Difficult Pasts: Transnational Memory, Theatres, and Museums. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 190-206. ISBN 9781032326030

Bell, Vikki. 2017. On Isabelle Stengers’ ‘Cosmopolitics’: A Speculative Adventure. In: Alex Wilkie; Martin Savransky and Marsha Rosengarten, eds. Speculative Research: The Lure of Possible Futures. London: Routledge. ISBN 9781138688360

Bell, Vikki. 2016. ‘A Present Moment, More Present: John Berger’s Politics of Intensity’. In: Yasmin Gunaratnam and Amarjit Chandan, eds. A Jar of Wild Flowers: Essays in Honour of John Berger. London: Zed. ISBN 9781783608799

Edited Journal

Bell, Vikki, ed. 2010. Theory, Culture & Society 2010 Annual Review (double issue), Theory, Culture & Society, 27(7-8). 0263-2764

Campbell, Kirsten and Bell, Vikki, eds. 2004. Out of Conflict: Peace, Change and Justice, Social and legal studies, 13(3). 0964-6639

Bell, Vikki, ed. 1999. Performativity and Belonging An Introduction, Theory, Culture & Society, 16(2). 0263-2764

Conference or Workshop Item

Bell, Vikki. 2022. 'On Graciela Sacco'. In: Graciela Sacco: A Life of Interferences. Ubicua Gallery, London, United Kingdom 2 September 2022.

Bell, Vikki. 2011. ''Foucault, Iran and our Contemporary 'Arab Spring'''. In: . OECUMENE Project. Invited Seminar on 'Foucault, Iran and our Contemporary 'Arab Spring''. Open University, United Kingdom May 2011.

Bell, Vikki. 2011. '‘Writing to Dictators, Joking with Injustice: Aesthetics of Critique in the Art of León Ferrari''. In: seminar series Centre for Iberian and Latin American Visual Studies (CIVALS). Centre for Iberian and Latin American Visual Studies (CIVALS), Birkbeck College, University of London, United Kingdom March 2011.


Gunaratnam, Yasmin and Bell, Vikki. 2017. How John Berger Changed Our Way of Seeing Art.

Edited Book

Bell, Vikki, ed. 1999. Performativity & Belonging. London: Sage. ISBN 978-0761965237


Bell, Vikki; Bernasconi, Oriana; Hernández-García, Jaime and Sosa, Cecilia. 2021. Archivos de Violencia: Estudios de casos en América Latina. Project Report. Goldsmiths, University of London, London.

Bell, Vikki; Bernasconi, Oriana; Hernández-García, Jaime and Sosa, Cecilia. 2021. Archives of Violence: Case Studies from South America (2021). Project Report. Goldsmiths, University of London, London.

Bell, Vikki; Bernasconi, Oriana; Gomez, Cristina; Hernández-García, Jaime; Jaramillo, Jefferson; Lira, Elizabeth; López, Marisol; Roblez, Mitzi; Rojas, Hugo; Risco, Ana Maria; Ruiz, Jorge and Ruiz, Marcela. 2020. Guidelines and Recommendations on the Registry and Documentation of Forced Disappearances. Project Report. Santiago, Chile

Research Interests

Vikki's research interests include:

  • Transitional Justice, especially in relation to Cultural Processes and Concepts of Peace, with specific interests in Northern Ireland, Argentina and Chile
  • Contemporary Social and Cultural Theory, with specific interests in the work of Michel Foucault and Hannah Arendt
  • Ethics and Aesthetics
  • Feminist Theory and the Politics of Difference
  • The Concept of Performativity and its Critique

Funded research projects

2018-2020 British Academy Sustainable Development Programme ‘Documentality & Display: Archiving and Curating the Violent Past in Argentina, Chile and Colombia’ PI leading team of four including Research Fellow at Goldsmiths, and partners in Chile and Colombia £290,855.37 (Grant: SDP2@242)

2019-2020 Newton Prize award ‘Documenting the Past for the Sake of the Future’ £200,000. This award was the Chair’s award. Project was chosen unanimously by the Selection Committee chaired by Sir Venki Ramakrishnan. Presented December 2018.

2019-2022 CONICYT, Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnologíca, Chile. ‘Political Technologies of Memory: Contemporary Uses and Appropriations of Past Human Rights Violations Registry Devices in Chile’ Three year multi-disciplinary research team (PI: Oriana Bernasconi). With Museum of Memory and Human Rights and Human Rights Observatory (Universidad de Diego Portales)