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Washington and Lee University

Washington and Lee University

Melina Bell

Associate Professor of Philosophy

Washington Hall 312
(540) 458-8899

Curriculum Vitae

Melina Bell’s primary research interests are in political philosophy, philosophy of law, and feminist philosophy.  Her publications have focused on several different ways in which the basic structure of society, or particular domains within it, reflect hierarchies of social power that unduly restrict human freedom and opportunity and impede human flourishing.


University of Pennsylvania, Ph. D.
Tufts University, M.A.
Boston University, M. P. H.
Boston University, J.D.
Hofstra University, B.A.


Political and Social Philosophy
Philosophy of Law
Feminist Theory
Ethical Theory
Applied Ethics
Philosophy of Education


  • PHIL 100 Introduction to Philosophy
  • WST 120 Introduction to Women's Studies and Feminist Theory
  • PHIL 242 Social Inequality and Fair Opportunity
  • PHIL 244 Feminist Social and Political Philosophy
  • PHIL 246 Philosophy of Sex
  • PHIL 254 Philosophy of the Family
  • PHIL 354 Distributive Justice

Advanced Seminars

  • PHIL 295 Utopia
  • PHIL 395 John Stuart Mill
  • WST 396 Women's Studies Capstone Seminar: Marriage and Family

Selected Publications

  • "Children Are People", Review Journal of Political Philosophy (forthcoming)
  • "Is Women's Bodybuilding Unfeminine?: Breaking the Mold of Gender Norms", in Philosophical Reflections on Physical Strength: Does a Strong mind Need a Strong Body?, ed. Mark A. Holowchak, Terry Todd, and J. S. Russell (Edwin Mellen Press, 2010), pp. 179-198
  • "Valuing All Families," Law, Culture and the Humanities 5 (2009), pp. 288-316
  • "Strength in Muscle and Beauty in Integrity: Building a Body for Her," Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 35 (2008), pp. 43-62
  • "Regulating Transfer and Use of Fetal Tissue in Transplantation Procedures: The Ethical Dimensions," American Journal of Law & Medicine 20 (1994), pp. 277-294