Sonja Boon

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

phone: 709.864.2551
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. The Life of Madame Necker: Sin, Redemption and the Parisian Salon. London: Pickering & Chatto, April 2011.

Refereed Articles

Boon, Sonja. "Gender, Class and Epistolary Suffering: Narrating the Bodily Self in Women's Medical Consultation Letters to Samuel-Auguste Tissot," forthcoming in The Bulletin of the John Rylands Library Vol. 90, No. 2 (Fall 2014).

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," forthcoming in SubStance: A Review of Theory and Literary Criticism Vol. 42, no. 3 (December 2013).

Boon, Sonja. "Recuperative Autobiography and the Politics of Life Writing: Lineage, Inheritance and Legacy in the Life Writings of the Marquise de La Ferté-Imbault." Journal of Women's History, Vol. 24, no. 3 (2012): 13-38.

Boon, Sonja. "Autobiography by numbers; or, Embodying Maternal Grief." Life Writing, 19, no. 2 (2012): 191-202.

Boon, Sonja. "Just the kind of girl who would want a chap to be a man': Constructions of Gender in the war stories of Tryphena Duley." Newfoundland and Labrador Studies 25, no. 1 (2010): 73-90.

Boon, Sonja. "Maternalising the (Female) Breast: A comparison of Marie-Angélique Anel Le Rebours' Avis aux mères qui veulent nourrir leurs enfans (1767) and La Leche League International's The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (1963)." Limina: A Journal of Historical and Cultural Studies 15 (2009): 1-16.

Boon, Sonja. "Performing the Woman of Sensibility: Suzanne Necker and the Hospice de Charité," Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies 32, no. 2 (2009): 235-254.

Boon, Sonja. "Last Rights, Last Rites: corporeal abjection as autobiographical performance in Suzanne Curchod Necker's Des inhumations précipitées (1790)," Eighteenth-Century Fiction 21, no. 1 (2008): 89-107 ( special issue: Death/La Mort). Winner of the Canadian Women's Studies Association Graduate Essay Prize, 2007.

Refereed Book Chapters

Boon, Sonja, "I am very badly in need of help": Promises and Promissory Notes in Women's Letters to J.R. Smallwood," in Linda Cullum and Marilyn Porter, eds. Creating this Place: Women, Family and Class in St. John's, Newfoundland, 1900-1950 (Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press, forthcoming 2014).

Boon, Sonja, "Mothers and Others: The Politics of Lactation in Medical Consultation Letters Addressed to Samuel-Auguste Tissot" in Raymond Stephanson and Darren Wagner, eds. The Secrets of Generation: Reproduction in the Long Eighteenth Century (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, forthcoming 2014).


Gender Studies

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000