About Us
Kieran Bonner
Kieran Bonner
Department of Sociology & Legal Studies

Acting Chair, Department of Sociology and Legal Studies


PhD, York University

MA, York University

BA Honours, Trinity College (Dublin)




SH 2005
Professor Kieran Bonner

My journey to St. Jerome's University is a circuitous one, one with many bumps on the road. I was born in Dublin and raised in Cashel, Co. Tipperary, Ireland, the eldest of 13 children in a rural working class family. As the son of a stonemason, I have much experience working in construction, working as a labourer and bricklayer in Ireland. I completed my undergraduate degree in Trinity College (Dublin), majoring in Economics and Sociology. During the summers I worked construction in the United States to help pay for university.


After my undergraduate degree, I worked in construction in San Francisco and Alaska for a few years. I came to Toronto with my wife for two years (as I promised her) to do MA in Analytic Sociology a perspective invented by Blum and McHugh, work I had been exposed to in Trinity. As if by accident, I found my Socratic vocation, and decided to pursue a PhD on power and ethics in this area. We stayed in Toronto for 10 years, during which time our three children were born. I got my first teaching job in a small liberal arts university (Augustana) in Camrose, Alberta. I really enjoyed the liberal arts ethos and came to be committed to its virtue as an educational foundation for a future life. For twelve years, we raised our family (‘a great place to raise kids’!!) and I taught many courses, working out my vocation in the context of a strong liberal arts community.


When an administration opportunity at St. Jerome's University came up, I pursued it as it seemed an ideal university to continue my work, combining the commitment to a liberal arts education with the opportunities to participate in graduate school supervision. Coming here also gave me the opportunity to work on several large interdisciplinary research projects with colleagues from across Canada. I continue to enjoy developing and practicing my vocation in life as well as in teaching, research and service here at St. Jerome's University.

The content that follows may only represent a portion of the Faculty member’s work.


The Material City, co-edited with Will Straw. McGill-Queen's University Press (2023)


Redefining the Situation, co-edited with Stanley Raffel. McGill-Queen's University Press (2019)


"Culture and 'Out of Place-ness' in Post Celtic Tiger Ireland, 2008 – 2013." Special Double Issue of The Canadian Journal of Irish Studies. Co-Edited (with Alexandra Slaby) Vol 37, Nos.1+2, 2011 (2013)  


A Great Place to Raise Kids: Interpretation, Science, and the Urban-Rural Debate. Montreal· London: McGill-Queen’s University Press. (1997/9)


Power and Parenting: A Hermeneutic of the Human Condition. London: Macmillan/New York: St. Martin’s Press. (1999)



(With Stanley Raffel) "Introduction" in Redefining the Situation: The Writings of Peter McHugh. Eds. K. Bonner and S. Raffel, Canada: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2019. (pp. vii - xxxvi)


"The Invention of Analysis: 'If This Is Sociology, I Want to Be in It'" in Redefining the Situation: The Writings of Peter McHugh. Eds. K. Bonner and S. Raffel, Canada: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2019. (pp.258-285)


“Gadamer, the Phaedrus, and the Arts of Healing, Teaching, and Rhetoric.” in: From Here to There: The Odyssey of the Liberal Arts. Eds. R. Barrus and J. Eastby Moraga, California: ACTC Press.


“Arendt’s Multi-Perspectivism and the Tension between Place and Space.” in: Place, Space and Hermeneutics. Ed. Bruce Janz. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing (pp.211–225). 


“End of Life Conflicts, the Law, and Arendt’s Political Thinking”, in The Art of Care: Moral Knowledge, Communication and the Culture of Caregiving. Eds. A. Blum and S. Murray. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. (pp. 73-88)


“Dialectic, Reflexivity and Good Troublesome Company", in The Reflexive Initiative: On the Grounds and Prospects of Analytic Theorizing. Eds. S. Raffel and B. Sandywell. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. (pp. 241-260)


"Socrates and Crito: Anxiety and the Engagement between the Empirical and Analytic (Ideal) Worlds of Athens", in Engaging Worlds: Core Texts and Cultural Contexts. Eds. R. Anderson, M. Brigit Flynn and J. Scott Lee. Moraga, California: ACTC Press. Submitted in 2010, published 2016. (Pp. 123-128)


Foreword: On the Condition of Human Life and on Bearing Bodily Sickness. By Lippi Brandolini (Trans. J. Barry; Intro A. Horvath) Cork, Ireland: Tivoli Academic Publishing Ltd. (ix-xi)



“Arendt, Role Theory and the Ethical Evaluation of Action", in Irish Journal of Sociology, Vol. 24 Issue 2. September 2016. Manchester University Press (pp. 200 – 225) DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7227/IJS.0007


“Principles, dialectic, and the common world of friendship: Socrates and Crito in conversation", in History of the Human Sciences Volume 27 Issue 2 April 2014 (pp. 157 – 179) DOI: 10.1177/0952695113518782


“Reason Giving, City Icons and the Culture of Cities: Data from a Radical Interpretive Perspective", in Compaso: Journal of Comparative Research in Anthropology and Sociology. Volume 4, Number 2, Summer 2013 (pp. 21 – 31)


“A Floating Anchorage of Identities: An Introductory Essay on Culture in Post-Celtic Tiger Ireland” (with Alexandra Slaby) in the Special Double Issue “Culture and ‘Out of Placeness’ in Post Celtic Tiger Ireland, 2008 – 2013.” Canadian Journal of Irish Studies. Vol. 37, No. 1 + 2, 2011 (pp. 23- 34)


“Exciting, Intoxicating and Dangerous: Some Tiger Effects on Ireland and the Culture of Dublin.” in the Special Double Issue “Culture and ‘Out of Placeness’ in Post Celtic Tiger Ireland, 2008 – 2013.” Canadian Journal of Irish Studies. Vol. 37, No. 1 + 2, 2011 (pp. 50 - 75)


“Eros and Ironic Intoxication: Profound Longing, Madness and Discipleship in Plato’s Symposium and in Modern Life", in History of the Human Sciences, Volume 26 Issue 5 (December 2013) pp. 116 – 133



Author. Principles and Perspective: Education and Politics in the Digital Age. Chester Ronning Centre, Augustana campus, University of Alberta. 2019 (The online publication of the two Distinguished Visiting Lectures talks given in 2016. (65 p)


Contributions to Irish Real Life Festival (IRL), Waterloo, Ontario -  Moderating “Crossing the Ocean by Pen” Panel Discussion on art and Irish Canadian Immigration; Moderating Q&A on the play “A Rose Upon the Blood” by Paddy Gillard-Bentley. 2016. 3; Dinner Speaker and Host for “From Donegal to Damascus” for fundraising dinner for Reception House in Kitchener; Honorary Speaker and Flag Raiser for the raising of the Irish flag in Speaker’s Corner in Kitchener (1st time in history of KW); and CTV news interview on university students and St. Patrick’s Day celebrations (2016-17).


Invited guest expert for the UW School of Planning two day graduate student orientation.


Introducing and leading a discussion for Multicultural Cinema Club week in Kitchener City Hall during the “Tapestry” Festival in Kitchener.


Research Grant from St. Jerome's University Research Fund (Competition) “The Culture and Ethics of Profound Longing: Desire, Alcohol and Addiction.” (2016)
Co-Applicant on SSHRC Connections Grant “Heritage in transition: scenes of urban innovation”, 4th Annual IASCC Conference, Syros, Greece. (2016)
St. Jerome's University Additional Professional Development Fund (Competitive). Presenting papers at the 2nd International Association for the Study of the Culture of Cities in Toronto and the 21st Annual ACTC Conference in Plymouth, Mass (2015)
Co-Applicant on SSHRC Connections Grant "Technologies and techniques:" the 11th conference of the International Institute for Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis. (2013)
Co-Investigator on SSHRC Insight Grants Competition entitled, “Innovating Cultural Communities: Care as an Aesthetic Engagement” has received a 4A status from University of Waterloo’s 4A Scholar program. (2013)
Publication Grant from Aid to Scholarly Publications Fund (Competition): Culture and 'Out of Place-ness' in Post Celtic Tiger Ireland. Canadian Journal of Irish Studies. Vol 37, No.1. Guest Co-Editors Kieran Bonner and Alexandra Slaby. (2013)
Research Grant from St. Jerome's University Research Fund (Competition): Arendt’s Political Theory and Blum and McHugh’s Analysis: Responses to the Limits of the Social Science Paradigm (2011)
Co-Investigator, Canadian Institute of Health Research: City Life and Well Being: the Grey Zone in Health and Illness. (2006-2011)
Co-investigator, SSHRC: The Culture of Cities: Montreal Toronto Berlin Dublin. (2000-2005)
Research Grant: The Blum and McHugh History Project. (2006)
SSHRC Grant-Aid to Small Universities. Collaborated with the Academic Dean on an application for a 3-year grant for the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in the Liberal Arts at Augustana (1999)
Research consultant for Professor Ioan Davies’ research project on the Changes in Identity and Culture in Dublin of the 1990s.(1999) Globalization and the Culture of the City (1998)
Publication Subvention. Augustana University College (1997)
Publication Subvention A Great Place to Raise Kids?  Experience, Knowledge, Interpretation and the Dilemma of the Urban-Rural Discourse. Aid to Scholarly Publications Program of SSHRC (1995)
Faculty Research Fund Re-examining the distinction between modernity and tradition in sociology through research on the case of parenting: An exploratory study. Augustana University College, for computer notebook to facilitate interviews, literature search, etc. as well as ongoing research activities (1993)
Research Grant, Committee for Research, Scholarship and Creative Work, Augustana University College, for travel to Ireland and within Ireland to conduct interviews and literature search about the difference a rural setting makes to parenting (1993)
Founding member of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in the Liberal Arts, (funded by SSHRC) and publisher of Dianoia (1990-1995)
Principal Investigator, SSHRC Strategic Research Grant, Socialization and Gemeinschaft: Myth, Ideology or Reality.  Literature search, content analysis and focused interviewing (1989-1990)
Co-Initiator/Director, Committee for Research, Scholarship and Creative Work at Augustana University College, Invitational issue of Dianoia launched in Spring 1990 (1989-1990)
Co-Director of a pilot research project: A Phenomenological Analysis of the Interest of the Community in the Relation Between Parents and Children. Committee for Research, Scholarship and Creative Work, Augustana University College (1988)


Hannah Arendt Visiting Fellow, Hannah Arendt Center for Humanities and Politics at Bard College (2011)
Visiting Fellow in the Humanities at Galway University in Ireland (1993-1994)


SOC 101: Introduction to Sociology

SOC 355J: Power and Parenting
SOC 369J: The Sociology of Community

SOC 383: Ethnomethodology in Theory and Practice

SOC 436: Alcohol and Well-Being

SOC 430: Special Topics in Sociology [Topic: Alcohol, Grey Zone, Well-Being]
SOC 498: Directed Studies: Alcohol, Well-Being, Grey Zone


Contemporary and Classical Theory and Methodology (esp., Phenomenology, Ethnomethodology, Hermeneutics, Analysis);
The Culture of Cities: Dublin, Montreal, Toronto
The Grey Zone of Health and Illness (Alcohol Consumption and Addiction)
Theorizing Community and the Urban-Rural Discourse
Sociology of the Family (Parent/Child relations)
Ancient Athens (Homer, Sophocles, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle)


The content that follows may only represent a portion of the Faculty member’s work.



St. Jerome’s University

Acting Chair, Department of Sociology & Legal Studies (2023-2024)

Director, Human Sciences Program (2018-2020)
Chair, Department of Sociology and Legal Studies (2018-2020)
Chair/Vice Chair of Legal Studies Undergraduate Coordinating Committee (2015-2017)
Member, OCUFA Board of Directors, Academic Staff Association representative (2015-2017)
Chair, Senate Governance Committee (2014-2015, 2016-2017)
Member, Senate Governance Committee (2012-2017)
Member, Senate Finance Committee (2012-2016)
Chair, Legal Studies Hiring Committee (2012-2016)
Chair, Department of Sociology and Legal Studies, Member of Academic Committee (2010-2018)
Past President, Member of the Executive, OCUFA Director, Academic Staff Association (2010-2013)
Director of the Human Sciences (2009-2016)
Acting President, Academic Staff Association (2009-2010)
Acting Chair of Sociology, Director of Human Sciences (2008-2009)
Member, Research Committee (2008-2009)
Member, Academic Committee (2008-2009)
Member, University Catholic Community Advisory Council (2008-2009)
Member, Inefficiency Committee (2007-2008)
Member, Research Committee (2007-2008)
Founder and Director of the Human Sciences Initiative (2005-2006)
Member, President’s Ad Hoc Financial Advisory Committee (2005-2006)
Member, Inefficiency Committee (2005-2006)
Member, Interdisciplinary Program Committee (2005-2006)
Acting Chair, Department of Philosophy (2003-2004)
Co-investigator and Chair, Executive Committee, Culture of Cities Project. (2000-2005)
Acting Chair, Department of French and Italian Studies (2000-2001)
Vice President and Academic Dean (1999-2005)


University of Waterloo
Executive Member of Board of Directors, Heritage Resources Centre, Faculty of Environment (2015-2018)
Member, Senate (2014-2015)
Associate Chair, Graduate Studies in Sociology (2008-2012)
Member, Department Advisory Group (2008-2012)
Member, Graduate Affairs Committee (2008-2012)
Member, Graduate Affairs Group (2008-2012)
Director of the Human Science Initiative (2007-2009)
Member, Undergraduate Affairs Group (2007-2008)
Acting Director, Sexuality, Marriage and Family Studies (2007-2008)
Internal Member, History Program Review (2003)
Member, Excellence in Research Awards Committee (2002-2004)
Member, Senate, (2005-2006)
Member, Vice President of Research Nominating Committee (2005-2006)
Member of 3-person tribunal to adjudicate the appeal of the President of Waterloo’s decision to reject an early tenure application (2005-2006)


Board of Directors Member, Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) (2016-2018)
Board Member on Advisory Board, Centre for Memory and Testimony Studies, Wilfred Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario (2015-2018)