Sonja Boon

Science Building, SN4080
Department of Gender Studies
Memorial University
John's, NL A1C 5S7

phone: 709.864.4617
email: sboon @


BMus (Toronto), M.Mus. (Indiana), PGRNCM (Manchester), MA (Simon Fraser), PhD (Simon Fraser)

Areas for Student Research Supervision

  • feminist theory
  • life writing and auto/biography studies
  • autoethnography
  • corporeal feminisms
  • women's history
  • performance studies


Examples of Recent Courses Taught

  • GNDR 1000: Introduction to Gender Studies (Fall 2013)
  • GNDR 4000: Contemporary Feminist Issues (Winter 2013)
  • GNDR 2005: Identities and Difference (Winter 2013)
  • GNDR6100: Feminist Epistemologies and Methodologies (Fall 2013)


Sonja Boon researches in the areas of feminist theory (corporeal feminisms), life writing (auto/biography), autoethnography, and women's history. At a broad level, her work considers the intersections between life writing, bodies, citizenship and theory. More specifically, she is intrigued by the possibilities of writing the body; that is, of narrating a form of corporeal autobiography or body story, in which the workings of the body, and one's experiences of those workings, are key ingredients in the stories of the self. Dr. Boon is also a professional early musician who has performed and recorded as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician across North America, as well as in Europe and Japan.



Boon, Sonja. What the Oceans Remember: Searching for Belonging and Home (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2019)

Boon, Sonja and Lesley Butler and Daze Jefferies), Autoethnography and Feminist Theory at the Water’s Edge: Unsettled Islands (Palgrave Pivot, 2018)

Boon, Sonja. Telling the Flesh: Life Writing, Citizenship and the Body in the Letters to Samuel Auguste Tissot (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2015)

Boon, Sonja. The Life of Madame Necker: Sin, Redemption, and the Parisian Salon (Pickering & Chatto, 2011)

Selected Articles and Book Chapters

Boon, Sonja. “Telling Stories with Gold.” Imagining the Guyanas, eds. Lawrence Aje, Thomas Lacroix, and Judith Misrahi-Barak. PoCoPages: Horizons Anglophones, Presses universitaires de la Méditerranée, 2019.

Boon, Sonja and Gina Snooks, “Salt Fish and Molasses: Unsettling the Palate in the Spaces Between Two Continents.” European Journal of Life Writing, vol. 6 (2017): 218-241. doi: 10.4362/ejlw.6.213

Boon, Sonja. “Dusting for Fingerprints: Bodily Traces, Embodied Memories and the Forensic Self,” Life Writing vol. 14, no. 1, 2017, pp. 69-82. Open access:

Boon, Sonja. “Minuet as Method: Embodied Performance in the Research Process,” Methodological Challenges in Nature-Culture and Environmental History Research, edited by Jocelyn Thorpe, Stephanie Rutherford and L. Anders Sandberg. 187-199. London: Routledge, November 2016.

Boon, Sonja with Jocelyn Thorpe, Alissa Trotz, Helen Leung, Heather Latimer, Marie Lovrod, Glenda Bonifacio, Trish Salah, Lisa Bednar, Krista Johnson, Rachel Hurst, Carla Rice and Margaret Hobbs, “Reflections on the Intro Course: A Pedagogical Toolkit,” Atlantis: Critical Studies in Gender, Culture and Social Justice. Vol. 37, No. 2 (2016): 54-67. Open access:

Boon, Sonja. “‘I did not mean to make away with the child, I did not know what I was about’: Autobiographical Traces of Infanticide in Eighteenth-Century Trial Records,” European Journal of Life Writing. Vol. 4 (2015): 56-76. Open access:

Boon, Sonja and Beth Pentney. “Virtual Lactivism: Breastfeeding Selfies and the Performance of Motherhood,” International Journal of Communication . Vol. 9 (2015): 1759-1774. Open access:

Boon, Sonja. “Epistolary Labours: Reading Childbirth and the Politics of Reproductive Medicine in Two Eighteenth-Century Women’s Letters,” Journal of the Motherhood Initiative (formerly, Journal of the Association for Research on Mothering) Vol. 5, No. 1 (2014): 160-171.

Boon, Sonja. “‘A lack of eyelids on the face of the soul’: Vulnerability, Longing and Stigma in Hélène Cixous’ The Day I Wasn’t There,” SubStance: A Review of Theory and Literary Criticism Vol. 42, no. 3 (December 2013): 85-104.

Creative Non-Fiction

Boon, Sonja. “Plucked Chicken,” ROOM Magazine. Forthcoming, 2020

Boon, Sonja. “Fifty Shades of Black Fat: An Inventory. Big: Stories of Plus-Sized Life, edited by Christina Myers. Vancouver: Caitlin Press, February 2020

Boon, Sonja. “Thirteen Litres,” Geist: Ideas + Culture, 101 (Summer 2016): 13-15.

Boon, Sonja. “French Kiss,” Don’t Talk to Me About Love: An Online Magazine Exploring Love in Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry and Art. 2016.

Boon, Sonja. “But Where Are You Really From?,” The Ethnic Aisle (Canada Issue), Fall 2015.