Research Spotlight: Dr. Claudine Bonner

Research Spotlight aims to shed light on the diverse research culture of Acadia University by celebrating the work and interests of our researchers. Each profile features six questions: five about research, one just for fun. Learn about what’s happening across campus and get to know the faces you see every day.


Dr. Claudine Bonner

Women’s & Gender Studies and Sociology

Faculty of Arts

In terms of research, what are you working on right now?

I am working on a book chapter looking at the Dominion Steel and Coal Company and its role in the formation of a small West Indian community in Whitney Pier in the early decades of the twentieth century.

I am also in various stages of three other projects: one finishing up a look at the Reverend William A. White and the Number 2 Construction Battalion; the second exploring the Black Press in the Maritimes in the 19th and early 20th centuries; and I am also in the early stages of a project examining the ways teacher candidates are prepared to address issues of race and ethnocultural diversity in their classrooms.

How does that fit with your broader research interests?

My broad interest is in the history and experiences of African Diaspora communities in the Americas (Canada), so each of these projects complements this larger topic.

What most motivates you to do research?

My motivation is simple: I love research. I love the process involved in seeking out answers to questions we have, and the sharing of that new knowledge. I am driven by my own curiosity as well as a desire to add this knowledge to the curriculum—these are usually stories that have stayed in communities, and are somehow not always seen as part of the fabric of Canada.

What tips do you give your students when they embark on a new research project?

Try to do your own research—research the topic you want as opposed to asking others what you should do, especially if it’s for a longer project. Otherwise you may find yourself un-invested or bored with your choice.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions—so many of us suffer in silence because we’re embarrassed at not knowing, or think our questions aren’t scholarly enough or betray our ignorance. I think it is important to get to that place of knowing. It’s ok to not know something, and perhaps worse to not seek the answers out.

Do you have any forthcoming publications, events, or talks we should look out for?

As my projects evolve I am slowly seeing things coming down the pipeline. Sometime this year I will have two book chapters published. One is titled “Labouring for Change: Narratives of African-Nova Scotian Women, 1919 – 1990,” which looks at the experiences of African Nova Scotian women in the workforce as part of a collection of historical pieces on African Canadian women.

Tell me, what are you reading, watching, or listening to for fun these days?

I recently discovered the Netflix series Ozark with actor Jason Bateman and I’ve been binge-watching it with my partner.

Contact Dr. Claudine Bonner
Office: BAC 304
Phone: (902) 585-1296

Research Spotlight is an initiative of the Research & Graduate Studies office. If you would like to suggest someone to be featured in this series, or if you would like to be featured yourself, please contact Deborah Hemming, Research & Innovation Coordinator:

You can also download the form below, fill in your responses, and return it to Deborah by email.


Go back