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Jessy Bell

Jessy Bell is a PhD candidate in the Department of Art History at Northwestern University and a scholar of modern and contemporary art, architecture, and urbanism. She engages modernity from a global perspective with expertise on the former Yugoslavia and Soviet Union, including Yugoslav exchange with nations of the Global South. Her work explores the cultural complexities and mediapolitics of the built environment, construction labor, contested space, and rebuilding after catastrophe, paying special attention to the liberatory dimensions of revolutionary promises. Her dissertation, “Infrastructures of Solidarity: Nation and World Building in Socialist Yugoslavia, 1945–91,” examines how material and social infrastructures in Yugoslavia—such as highways and WWII memorial monuments—negotiated national belonging and facilitated multiethnic, trans-generational, or nonaligned solidarities. She received her BA in Art History from the University of California, Berkeley, graduating as department valedictorian. Her work has been supported by the Institute for International Studies, the Schiff Foundation, the Buffett Institute, the Social Science Research Council, and the Mellon Foundation, among others.