Bonar Buffam

Assistant Professor

Other Titles: Sociology Program Coordinator
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 (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 (2020). ‘Martyrdom, Collective Memory and the Contested Penal Authority of Racial State Institutions.’ Punishment and Society, 18 pp. Published Online First on September 04, 2020.

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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