Bonnie O'Neill,
Associate Professor

2013 Lee Hall
Department of English
P.O. Box E
Mississippi State, MS   39762

Bonnie O'Neill
Professional Bio

Bonnie Carr O’Neill (B.A. Hamilton College, M.A. and Ph.D. Washington University in St. Louis) teaches American literature before 1900. Her research focuses on nineteenth-century American literature and culture. Her current book project, They Are the Age: Literary Celebrity and Public Life in America, 1835-1895, studies the formation of literary celebrity in the nineteenth-century U.S.,  its effects on authors and their works, and its uses and misuses for the public. Dr. O’Neill has published articles and presented papers on Emerson, Whitman, Fanny Fern, and Frederick Douglass. Her teaching interests include American women writers, the history of authorship, American Romanticism, and cultural studies.


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

Curriculum Vitae

Teaching Interests

Literary celebrity and the history of authorship, early American literature, nineteenth-century American literature, American women writers, American culture studies





In Progress

They Are the Age: Literary Celebrity and Public Life in America, 1835-1895. Forthcoming from University of Georgia Press.


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.  <>

Professional Affiliations and Service

Secretary/Treasurer, Ralph Waldo Emerson Society
Member, Society for the Study of American Woman Writers
Member, Modern Language Association
Member, American Studies Association