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Dr Rachael Bell staff profile picture

Contact details +6469516591

Dr Rachael Bell

Lecturer in History

Doctoral Co-Supervisor
School of Humanities Media and Creative Comm


Certifications and Registrations

  • Licence, Co-Supervisor, Massey University

Research Expertise

Research Interests

New Zealand social history, particularly the tranmission of historical knowledge and its impact on national history and national identity.

Rural history and the cultural history of animals in society.


21st Century Citizenship

Area of Expertise

Field of research codes
Historical Studies (210300): History And Archaeology (210000): New Zealand History (210311)

Research Projects

Summary of Research Projects

Position Current Completed
Project Leader 1 3

Current Projects

Project Title: Staying on the Land? Surviving the reform of New Zealand Agricultural 1984-1987

Date Range: 2020 - 2023

Funding Body: Royal Society of New Zealand

Project Team:

Research Outputs


Bell, RE. (2017). Naming and claiming: Official history as contemporary history in the recording of New Zealand 23rd Battalion, Galatas, Crete, 1941. War & Society. 36(2), 120-132
[Journal article]Authored by: Bell, R.
Bell, RE. (2014). A Window for Revisionism – Presenting Te Tiriti in the Primary School Bulletins, 1957. New Zealand Journal of History. 48(2), 119-135
[Journal article]Authored by: Bell, R.
Bell, RE. (2014). Evidence and Interpretation: New Zealand’s Official History, the battle for Crete May 1941. War in History. 22(3), 364-381
[Journal article]Authored by: Bell, R.
Bell, RE. (2013). The Scholar's Conscience: JC Beaglehole: public Intellectual, Critical Conscience, Doug Munro, Steele Roberts. New Zealand Books / Pukapuka Aotearoa, A Quarterly Review. 23(103), 20-20Retreived from http://nzbooks.org.nz/2013/contents/issue-103-contents/
[Book Review]Authored by: Bell, R.


Bell, RE. (2017). The formation of the 'good citizen': Using history to build a future in mid-twentieth-century New Zealand. In A. Brown, & J. Griffiths (Eds.) The Citizen Past and Present. (pp. 223 - 247). Auckland, New Zealand: Masssey University Press
[Chapter]Authored by: Bell, R.
Bell, RE. (2017). Introduction: A nation on the cusp. In RE. Bell (Ed.) New Zealand between the Wars. (pp. 8 - 31). Auckland, New Zealand: Massey University Press
[Chapter]Authored by: Bell, R.Edited by: Bell, R.
Bell, RE. (Ed.) (2017). New Zealand between the wars. Auckland, New Zealand: Massey University Press
[Edited Book]Edited by: Bell, R.
Bell, R., Kawharu, M., Taylor, K., Belgrave, M., & Meihana, PN. (Eds.) (2017). The Treaty on the ground - where we are headed and why it matters. Auckland, New Zealand: Massey University Press
[Edited Book]Authored by: Taylor, K.Edited by: Belgrave, M., Bell, R., Meihana, P., Taylor, K.


Bell, RE.Breakfast at six: Novelist Mary Scott and the rehab wives: Modernity and romance in rural New Zealand. . New York, USA
[Conference Paper]Authored by: Bell, R.
Bell, RE. (2014, February). ‘A Crazy Delightful Contraption’: The use of humour in an Official War History of WWII. Presented at Australian humour studies 20th AHSN Colloquium on 'Anything Goes?'. National Library of New Zealand.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Bell, R.
Bell, RE. (2013, November). A Window for Revisionism? Radicalism in the NZ School Publications Branch in the 1950s. Presented at New Zealand Historical Association Conference 2013
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Bell, R.


Bell, RE. (2012). Memory, history, nation, war: The official histories of New Zealand in the second world war 1939-45', Ph D. in history, Massey University, 2012. (pp. 1 - 285).
[Other]Authored by: Bell, R.

Teaching and Supervision

Courses Coordinated

  • 148.143 The Past as Entertainment: History Through Movies, Mini-series and Games
  • 148.316 New Zealand Between the Wars

Graduate Supervision Statement

I have a strong research base in twentieth century New Zealand history and work primarily using oral histories. In my teaching and supervision I like to encourage students to tap into the powerful historical resource that exists in the living memories of those around us.

Masters theses that I have supervised recently based around oral histories include:

Phoebe Hall: ‘Leading in Local Government: A Study of Jenny Rowan’ (Current)

Helen Peters: ‘Going Up North: Unmarried Mothers and the New Zealand State, 1950 – 1980’  (2020)

Suzie Katavich: ‘Reactions to the Vietnam War: A Case Study for Palmerston North’ (2020)

Masters on other twentieth century New Zealand topics have included:

Michaela Press: ‘“The Art of Good Mothering”: Childrearing Advice for Pakeha Mothers in the Interwar Period’ (2020)

Jessica McLean: ‘Images and Identity: the Demonstration of New Zealand’s National Identity through the Propaganda of the Second World War’ (2016)

Dr Rachael Bell is available for Masters and Doctorial supervision.

Summary of Doctoral Supervision

Position Current Completed
Co-supervisor 1 0

Current Doctoral Supervision

Co-supervisor of:

  • Delwyn Blondell - Doctor of Philosophy
    Incorrigibles: Misfits and New Zealand Society 1870-1930

Media and Links


  • 01 May 2015 - Magazine
    Vietnam: the Legacy, Australian Women's Weekly
    Interveiwed for the 'Rewind' series, Australian Women's Weekly, re 50th anniversary of NZ troops leaving for the Vietnam War. Content covered the history of the protest movement surrounding the war an