Bruce O'Neill, PhD

Assistant Professor
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Saint Louis University
PhD Stanford University
AM Stanford University
MSc London School of Economics
BA Villanova University

Bruce O’Neill is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology & Anthropology and in the Center for Intercultural Studies at Saint Louis University. His ethnographic research examines the precariousness of urban life, particularly the subjective and affective dimensions of downward mobility in post-Communist Bucharest, Romania. 

Professor O’Neill’s current project is a book entitled: Cast Aside: Bored and Homeless in Bucharest, Romania. Framed by the 2008 global financial crisis and by turbulent efforts at post-Communist liberalization, the book enters into a widely felt sense of boredom among Bucharest’s new homeless population. How does this affect, the book asks, provide a window into the felt-reality of displacement in a ruthlessly competitive market economy? 

Professor O'Neill's research interests include: urban anthropology, poverty and belonging, materiality, responsibility, affect, infrastructure, and post-socialism. In the Spring, Professor O'Neill will be teaching the courses "Cultural Anthropology" and "Urban Ethnography." He will also be teaching an ethnographic field school this summer, the details of which can be found here.

Selected Publications

2015 “Bored Stiff: Sex and Superfluity in a Time of Crisis,” Public Culture 27(2): 387-405.

2014  “Cast Aside: Boredom and Downward Mobility in Post-Communist Bucharest, Romania,” Cultural Anthropology, 29(1): 8-31

2012 “Infrastructural Violence: Introduction to the Special Issue,” Ethnography, 13(4): 401-412.Co-authored with Dennis Rodgers.

2012 “Of Camps, Gulags & Extraordinary Renditions: Infrastructural Violence in Romania,” Ethnography, 13(4): 466-486.

2010 “Down & Then Out in Bucharest: Urban Poverty, Governance & the Politics of Place in the Post-Socialist City,” Environment & Planning D, 28(2): 254-269.

2009 “The Political Agency of Cityscapes: Spatializing Governance in Ceausescu’s Bucharest,” Journal of Social Archeology, 9(1): 92-109.

Contact Information: 

1923 Morrissey Hall
Saint Louis University
3700 Lindell Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63108

Tele: 314-977-4278
Fax: 314-977-3623