Faculty Bios

Dr. John Ellis, Associate Professor and Humanities Department Chair

Dr. Ellis specializes in the social and cultural history of the transatlantic world during the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries.  He is particularly interested in the history of the anti-slavery movement and other reforms during the Age of Revolutions, the history of childhood and education, borderlands history, environmental history, and the history of revivalism and evangelical Christianity.  His geographic interest lies especially in the history of the Ohio Valley, Mid-Atlantic, and Upper South in the United States and the history of England and Ireland in the British Isles.  He received his PhD in early American History at Purdue University in 2010 and has publications in The Journal of Southern History, The Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Faith and History, Ohio Valley History, The Indiana Historical Review, and elsewhere.  At BSU, he teaches US History I and II, Minnesota History, Native American History, and anything related to either American or European History from the 1500s through the 1870s.  He also teaches the history of World War II because who isn’t interested in it?

In his personal time, Dr. Ellis is avid traveler and outdoorsman.  He’s camped on all three American coasts (Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf), traveled to 49 of the 50 US states in his lifetime, and traveled to 11 different countries in the last 5 years!  He likes to discuss his travel adventures with his students.  His favorite places to visit are the UK, Australia, and Norway.  Unfortunately for his students, he grew up in Ohio and has been unable to shake his allegiance to OSU football, even after living in Minnesota for eight years.  He especially likes to tease his students about the University of Minnesota’s record against THE Ohio State University.  However, Minnesota is his adopted home.  He’s been to all 87 Minnesota counties and loves to visit its many great state parks.

Dr. Dan Allosso, Assistant Professor

Dr. Allosso teaches Modern World History, US History, and Environmental History, as well as Business, Economic, Technology, Latin America, East Asia, Women’s History and the History of World Religions. He received his Masters degree from Mankato State and his PhD from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Before returning to academia, Allosso had a career in High Technology during the 1980s and 90s, working as a systems engineer, manager, and salesman for firms ranging from startups to international industrial distributors to supercomputer companies like Silicon Graphics/Cray Research.

Dr. Allosso’s research interests include the role of social, religious, and cultural dissent in history. He writes for both academic and popular audiences. The Yale University Press published his rural American history, Peppermint Kings, in 2020. His next research project is a history of the white pine lumber industry, which stretched from New England to the Pacific Northwest (and included Bemidji) between the late seventeenth century and the present. Allosso likes to use interesting stories of unusual characters to examine historical themes and interpretations; this project will include lumber barons, labor organizers, and environmentalists. He has also written free, open-access textbooks for his Environmental History, Modern World, and US History courses that are available on the Open Textbook Network. Allosso is also a regular blogger at danallosso.substack.com.

Dr. Lindsay Bell, Assistant Professor

Dr. Bell received his PhD from Iowa State University in May 2020. He specializes in early twentieth-century United States History, specifically the role of sports to the construction of modern American culture. His dissertation, “Reconstructing Baseball’s Image: Landis, Cobb, and the Baseball Hero Ethos, 1917-1947”, explores the intersection of gender, race, and citizenship as the foundational constructs that contributed to the formation of American nationalism, identity, and manhood during the early twentieth century.

At Bemidji State Dr. Bell teaches both courses of US History, Women’s and Gender History, the American Revolution, the Cold War, and a course on the history of sports in the United States. He believes that a sociocultural approach to history that seeks to center people and their experiences in relation to systems of power provides a more accurate understanding of the past events that have shaped our modern world.