Joseph R. O’Neill is an Honors Faculty Fellow at Barrett, the Honors College, and an affiliated lecturer in Classics (SILC). He is scholar of Greek and Roman literature, culture, and history. In Barrett’s signature course, the Human Event, Joseph uses a diverse range of art and literature from across cultures in different eras to investigate, among other things, the ways in which human societies develop strategies for processing trauma, the centrality of language and culture to the formation and maintenance of personal and social identities, and the species and limits of human knowledge. He teaches a range of courses on aspects of Greek and Roman civilization, especially Greek and Latin literature in all its variety. He has recently taught courses on sex and gender in Greek and Roman cultures, how war, trauma and political violence are both commemorated and systematically forgotten in ancient Mediterranean societies, and on powerful Roman women. In the fall of 2018, Joseph will be teaching a course on Greek and Roman medicine. Joseph is also interested in Norse literature and culture. He will be leading a Barrett-sponsored study trip to Iceland in May of 2019. Joseph is also affiliated with the newly formed certificate program Veterans, Service and Society, and in the spring semester will be teaching one of the program’s core courses, a seminar on representations of veterans and service in literature and the arts.
Joseph's research is focused on Roman literature and culture, in particular, the ways in which Roman authors created discourses that addressed the role political violence and moral injury played in the development of the Roman social order.