Bonar Buffam

Associate Professor

Office: ART 306
Phone: 250.807.9223

Graduate student supervisor

Research Summary

Race and empire; crime and punishment; socio-legal studies; religion and secularity; urban geographies; social and cultural theory.

Courses & Teaching

SOCI 209: Foundations of Sociological Thought (Term 1); SOCI 496D: True Crime Sociology (Term 1); SOCI 377: Contemporary Sociological Theory (Term 2); SOCI 496N: Sociology of Religion (Term 2)


Previously Taught Courses at UBC Okanagan
IGS 520S – Power and Ideas
HIST 495 – History and Memory (w/ Dr. Brigitte Le Normand)
SOCI 209 – Foundations of Sociological Thought (w/ Dr. Brigitte Le Normand)
SOCI 249 – Crime and Society
SOCI 371 – Deviance and Social Control
SOCI 376 – Classical Sociological Theory
SOCI 496 – Law and Modern Personhood
SOCI 496 – Special Topics: Law and Violence
SOCI 496 – Special Topics: Race and Empire

Graduate Student Supervision
I am able to supervise graduate students in the Power, Conflict and Ideas theme in the Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies program at the Okanagan Campus of UBC. I am especially interested in supervising projects related to religion and secularism; race and racism; cultural criminology; and social theory.


PhD, University of British Columbia (Vancouver Campus)
MA, University of Alberta
BA, Simon Fraser University

Research Interests & Projects

Minority Politics and Religious Divides: Citizenship and The State Regulation of Religious Minorities in Western Canada, 1900-1975. Funded by SSHRC IG (2018-2021) $87,215. Sole Applicant

Aesthetic Sociologies. Co-investigators: Dr. Heidi Bickis and Dr. Ondine Park.

Selected Publications & Presentations

Google Scholar

Buffam, Bonar (2021). ‘Sacred Distinctions: Law and the Political Regulation of Sikh Gurdwaras in British Columbia.’ Law & Society Review, 55, 2, 343-358.

Buffam, Bonar (2020). ‘Racial Inquiries: law and the political visibility of racism in the Air India inquiry.’ Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power, 27, 4, 385-402.

Buffam, Bonar (2021). ‘Martyrdom, Collective Memory and the Contested Penal Authority of Racial State Institutions.’ Punishment and Society, 23, 3, 317-334.

Buffam, Bonar (2019). ‘Political Appearances: Race and the Places of State Authority in MetroVancouver’s Vaisakhi Celebrations.’ International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 39,11/12, 923-936.

Buffam, Bonar (2019). ‘Documentary practices: Race, bureaucracy and the legal regulation of gurdwaras in British Columbia.’ Sikh Formations: Religion, Theory, Culture, 15, 3/4, 396-410.

Buffam, Bonar (2018). ‘Cultural Confessions: Law and the racial scrutiny of the Indo-Canadian home in Metro Vancouver,’ Crime, Media, Culture, 14, 2, 153-169.

Buffam, Bonar (2018). ‘Racial accountabilities: the legal legibility of racial state violence in the Special State’s Attorney Report on police torture in Chicago,’ Cultural Studies, 32, 2, 326-347.

Buffam, Bonar (2016). ‘Neighborly demands: Property, propriety and the racial identification of crime in Chicago.’ Theoretical Criminology, 20, 1, 40-56.

Buffam, Bonar (2013). ‘Public demands: Law, Sanctuary, and the eventual deportation of Laibar Singh,’ Sikh Formations, 9, 1, 23-37.

Buffam, Bonar (2011). ‘Can’t hold us back! Hip-hop and the racial motility of aboriginal bodies in urban spaces,’ Social Identities, 17, 3, 337-350.

Buffam, Bonar (2011). ‘The virtual places of childhood: Hope and the micro-politics of race at an inner city youth centre,’ Tonya K Davidson, Ondine Park and Rob Shields (eds.) Ecologies of Affect: Placing nostalgia, desire, and hope. Kitchener-Waterloo: Wilfred Laurier Press, 197-216.

Buffam, Bonar (2009). ‘Bright lights and dark knights: Racial publics and the juridical mourning of gun violence in Toronto,’ Law Text Culture, 13, 55-79.


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