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Dr. Thomas L. Bell

Specialties: urban geography, economic geography, location theory, American popular culture, geographic methodology
See Also: Personal Website


Tom Bell has interests in urban geography, location theory, and popular American culture. His interest in central place principles has led him into research projects as different as determining the optimal location for public facilities, analyzing settlement patterns of the ancient cultures of the Maya, Aztecs and Egyptians, determining the transportation impacts of changes in modern retailing systems and the viability of small towns in Iowa. His interests in music and film have led him to research topics dealing with the geography of modern rock music and the culture industry that supports it. Bell’s teaching concentrates on urban and economic geography as well as the geography of American popular culture. He is responsible as well, for the department’s graduate course in methodology of the discipline. Bell has held many posts in the Southeastern Division of the Association of American Geographers including its presidency and is secretary of the local chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa Society on campus.

Contact Information

Dr. Thomas L. Bell
Ph.D., Univ. of Iowa
Professor Emeritus
Phone: (270) 779-1938
Fax: (270) 974-6025
Email: or

In addition to authoring or co-authoring many research articles, he is the co-author of a textbook in economic geography (Economic Growth and Disparities) and the author of another in general human geography (Human Geography: People, Places and Change).

For more information about Professor Bell’s research, teaching and publications, please view his web page at the link above.