Michael E. Bell was awarded a Ph.D. in Folklore from Indiana University at Bloomington, where his dissertation topic was African-American voodoo practices. He also has an M.A. in Folklore and Mythology from the University of California at Los Angeles, and a B.A. in Anthropology and Archaeology from the University of Arizona, Tucson. For more than twenty-five years, Bell was the Consulting Folklorist at the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission in Providence, Rhode Island. He has also taught folklore, English, and anthropology at several colleges and universities. Dr. Bell has served as a scholar or consultant on numerous projects, particularly those concerned with folklore, folk art, oral history, and humanities programs for young adults. These projects have taken a variety of forms, including primary research and fieldwork, exhibits, publications, school curricula, workshops and lectures, festivals, performances, and media productions. In addition to many state and local grants, project funding sources have included the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, and the Smithsonian Institution. Bell has completed a variety of publications and media productions on topics ranging from local legends and the magical black cat bone to the occupational folklife of the shell fishing industry of Narragansett Bay. He lives with his wife, Carole, in Pawtuxet Village, near Providence, Rhode Island. Their family includes daughters, Meighan and Gillian, and son, Brendan.

Courtesy of Carroll & Graf Publishers