Professor of French Emeritus
John O’Neal came to Hamilton in 1984 after receiving his bachelor’s degree from Washington and Lee University, his master’s degree from Middlebury College and his doctorate from the University of California, Los Angeles. He has written extensively in French and English about 18th-century French literature and thought. The last of his four authored books published during his years at Hamilton, The Progressive Poetics of Confusion in the French Enlightenment, appeared in 2011. Professor O’Neal directed the Hamilton in France program six times. The French government named him a knight in the Ordre des Palmes Académiques (Order of the French Academic Palms) in 1998, and in 2016, shortly before his retirement, promoted him to commandeur, the highest rank in this order founded by Napoleon.