Bonnie O'Neill

Bonnie O'Neill


  • Graduate Faculty


  • Associate Professor



  • 2508 Lee Hall


  • Ph. D., 2003, Washington University in St. Louis
  • MA, 1997, Washington University in St. Louis
  • BA, 1995, Hamilton College=

Teaching Interests

  • Early American literature
  • nineteenth-century American literature
  • American women writers
  • American culture studies

Dr. Bonnie Carr O’Neill teaches early American literature and nineteenth-century American literature. Her research focuses on nineteenth-century American literature and culture, with special emphasis on the interrelations of literature and public life. Her book Literary Celebrity and Public Life in the Nineteenth-Century United States (Georgia, 2017) explores the personalization of public life that accompanied an expanding celebrity culture and its effects on authorship and civic discourse. Celebrity culture, she argues, intensifies already-fraught questions of national belonging and democratic participation even as, for some, it provides means of redefining personhood and cultural identity. Currently, Dr. O’Neill is working on a project on Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, the popular nineteenth-century minister, lecturer, and activist.


Book and Journal Articles

  • "Fame." Emerson and Fame, ed. Wesley T. Mott. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2013.
  • “The Personal Public Sphere of Whitman’s 1840’s Journalism.” PMLA 126 (4) [October, 2011]: 983-98.
  • “‘Does such a being exist?’: Olive Branch Readers Respond to Fanny Fern.” Correspondences:  Essays on the History, Theory, and Practice of U.S. Letters, 1620-1860.  Ed.  Sharon M. Harris and Theresa Strouth Gaul. London: Ashgate, 2009.
  • “‘The best of me is there’: Emerson as Lecturer and Celebrity,” American Literature 80 (4) [December, 2008]: 739-767.
  • “Pastoral for the Flaneur? Whitman’s Legacy of Love and the Challenge of Public Space,” Mickle Street Review 17, 18 (Fall, 2005): Special Issue: Whitman and Place.
  • President-Elect, Ralph Waldo Emerson Society
  • Member, Society for the Study of American Woman Writers
  • Member, Modern Language Association
  • Member, American Studies Association
  • Member, C19: The Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists.