Elouise M. Bell

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Elouise M. Bell is professor emeritus of English and former Associate Dean of General and Honors Education at Brigham Young University, where she taught from 1963 through 1994. She served as composition coordinator and also received the Karl G. Maeser Award for Distinguished Teaching. On various sabbaticals, she taught at the University of Arizona, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Berzenyi College in Hungary. In 1983, the Utah Women's Political Caucus honored her with a Susa Young Gates Award for “contributing to human rights and the cause of women.” In 1986, she received BYU’s Alcuin Award for excellence in teaching, and in 1990, she was awarded a General Education Professorship for contributions to the university’s general education curriculum.

Bell was born on September 10, 1935, and received her bachelor’s degree in English and journalism at the University of Arizona, graduating magna cum laude, and earned her master’s degree at BYU.

She was active in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served on the Young Women general board (1973–1975). She served on the Utah Arts Council and toured the West with her one-woman play based on the life of Mormon pioneer midwife Patty Bartlett Sessions, Aunt Patty Remembers. She received the Utah Woman of Achievement Award from the Governor’s Commission on Women and Families and an Honorary Life Member award from the Association for Mormon Letters.

She is considered a Mormon humorist and her publications include essays, reviews, stories, and poems in such periodicals as English Journal, Women Studies Quarterly, BYU Studies, Network, Dialogue, Sunstone, and the Ensign. She wrote columns for three Utah newspapers and published two books, Only When I Laugh (1990) and Madame Ridiculous and Lady Sublime (2001). Her collection of essays, Only When I Laugh, received the 1990 Association of Mormon Letters award for Personal Essay. She was a popular speaker.

She retired to South Carolina and continued to teach an occasional class as part of Coastal Carolina University’s Lifelong Learning Program. She moved to Oklahoma in 2005.