bonnellj


Jennifer L. Bonnell

Photo of Jennifer L. Bonnell

Department of History

Associate Professor

Office: 2130 Vari Hal
Phone: 416 736 2100 Ext: 30422
Email: bonnellj@yorku.ca
Primary website: http://www.jenniferbonnell.com

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Accepting New Graduate Students


Jennifer Bonnell is a historian of public memory and environmental change in nineteenth and twentieth-century Canada. She is the author of Reclaiming the Don: An Environmental History of Toronto’s Don River Valley (University of Toronto Press, 2014) and the editor, with Marcel Fortin, of Historical GIS Research in Canada (University of Calgary Press, 2014). She is currently working on a new book project, titled "Foragers of a Modern Countryside: Honeybees, Agricultural Modernization and Environmental Change in the Great Lakes Region."

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Bonnell’s articles and essays have appeared in The Canadian Historical Review, The Journal of Canadian Studies, Museum & Society, and several edited collections. She has contributed to a variety of public history projects, including documentary film and television projects for the Evergreen Brick Works and Metal Dog Films, and research and public engagement work for environment and heritage organizations in the Toronto area. Her current research explores the role of beekeepers in documenting and decrying environmental change in the agricultural regions of Ontario and New York State in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries.

Degrees

Ph.D. History Education, University of Toronto
M.A. Environmental Studies, University of Victoria
B.A. (Honours), English and Environmental Studies, University of Victoria

Community Contributions

Bonnell has delivered numerous presentations on her research to historical societies, public schools, and local libraries in Toronto and the wider region. Recent initiatives include a keynote presentation, “Exploring Environmental History at the Museum,” for a City of Toronto Museums and Heritage Services event (2017). She is currently collaborating with Black Creek Pioneer Village and Jumblies Theatre on a multi-year interactive project titled "Changing the Narrative: Bringing Indigenous History to Black Creek Pioneer Village."

Research Interests

History , Environment, Public History and Collective Memory, Animal History, Urban History, Canadian History, History
  • Jennifer Bonnell and Alan Corbiere, Co-Investigators, “Indigenous Experience and the Creation of a Settler-Colonial Order within the Black Creek/Humber River Watershed,” SSHRC Insight Development Grant - 2020
  • Canadian Historical Association Clio Prize for Ontario - 2015
  • Ontario Historical Society Fred Landon Award for best book on Ontario regional history - 2015
  • Heritage Toronto Award of Excellence for best book on Toronto history - 2015

Current Research Projects

Changing the Narrative: Bringing Indigenous History to Black Creek Pioneer Village

    Summary:

    “Changing the Narrative: Connecting Indigenous and Settler Histories at Black Creek Pioneer Village” is a two-year public history project between York University researchers, Jumblies Theatre, and Black Creek Pioneer Village (BCPV), a museum owned and operated by Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. The project’s overarching goal is to bring Indigenous content, perspectives, and voices to the interpretation of early non-Indigenous settlement of the region at BCPV.

    See more
Foragers of a Modern Countryside: Honeybees, Agricultural Modernization and Environmental Change in the Great Lakes Region

    Summary:

    This transnational study explores the effects of agricultural modernization and the corresponding transformation of rural and suburban ecosystems upon honey bees and their keepers. My research to date has concentrated on the evolving relationship between fruit growers and beekeepers surrounding the advent of insecticide spraying legislation in Ontario in the early 1890s; and beekeeper and state responses to the emergence of American foulbrood, a bacterial disease that decimated apiaries from the 1880s to the 1940s.

    See more
A People’s History of Wildlife in British Columbia

    Summary:

    Commissioned in 2018 by the BC Wildlife and Habitat Branch, Ministry of Land, Water, and Resource Stewardship, this project will produce a social history of wildlife and wildlife management in British Columbia from pre-colonization through to the present. Drawing upon scholarly literature, government reports, and over eighty interviews with retired and active wildlife biologists, Indigenous leaders, hunters, anglers, and trappers, naturalists, industry representatives, and wildlife conservation organizations, it will explore the ways that government, Indigenous communities, and stakeholder groups sought to shape and deliver, or responded to the consequences of, wildlife management policies and practices in the province.

    See more
    Collaborator Role: To be published by the Royal BC Museum in 2023

Books

Publication
Year

Jennifer Bonnell and Sean Kheraj, eds. Traces of the Animal Past: Methodological Challenges in Animal History (University of Calgary Press, Fall 2022)

2022

Jennifer Bonnell and Marcel Fortin, eds. Historical GIS Research in Canada. Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2014.

2014

Reclaiming the Don: An Environmental History of Toronto’s Don River Valley. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2014. Winner of the Canadian Historical Association’s 2015 Clio Prize for Ontario, the Ontario Historical Association's 2015 Fred Langdon Award, and Heritage Toronto's 2015 Award of Excellence

2014

Book Chapters

Publication
Year

“From Polluted Periphery to Vital Green Corridor: Toronto’s Don River Valley, 1793-1989,” in Dimitry Anastakis and James Onusko, eds., Ontario Since Confederation: A Reader (forthcoming with University of Toronto Press)

2022

“Occupational Hazards: Honey Bee Labour as an Interpretive Device in Animal History,” book chapter for Jennifer Bonnell and Sean Kheraj, eds., Traces of the Animal Past: Methods and Sources in Animal History (forthcoming with University of Calgary Press, Fall 2022).

2022

Graeme Wynn with Jennifer Bonnell. "Advocates and Activists.” In Colin M. Coates and Graeme Wynn, eds. The Nature of Canada, (Vancouver: OnPoint Imprint of UBC Press, 2019): 299-317.

2019

Jennifer Bonnell and Marcel Fortin. “Reinventing the Map Library: The Don Valley Historical Mapping Project.” In Jennifer Bonnell and Marcel Fortin, eds., Historical GIS Research in Canada (University of Calgary Press, 2014): 43-60.

2014

Gene Desfor and Jennifer Bonnell. “Planning Nature and the City: Toronto’s Lower Don River and Port Lands.” In L. Anders Sandberg, Stephen Bocking, Colin Coates and Ken Cruikshank, eds., Urban Explorations: Environmental Histories of the Toronto Region (Hamilton ON: Wilson Institute for Canadian History, McMaster University, 2013): 165-186.

2013

“A Social History of a Changing Environment: The Don River Valley, 1910-1931.” In Gene Desfor and Jennefer Laidley, eds., Reshaping Toronto’s Waterfront (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2011): 123-150.

2011

Jennifer Bonnell and Gene Desfor. “Socio-ecological Change in the Nineteenth and Twenty-first Centuries: The Lower Don River.” In Gene Desfor and Jennefer Laidley, eds., Reshaping Toronto’s Waterfront (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2011): 305-325.

2011

“Bringing Back the Don River: Sixty Years of Community Action.” In Wayne Reeves and Christina Palassio, eds., HtO: Toronto's Water from Lake Iroquois to Lost Rivers to Low-Flow Toilets (Toronto: Coach House Press, 2008).

2008

Journal Articles

Publication
Year

Jennifer Bonnell and Sean Kheraj, “Urban Environmental History in Anglophone Canada: Omissions and Opportunities,” Roundtable on the State of Urban History in Canada, 50th Anniversary Edition, Urban History Review (forthcoming Fall 2022).

2022

“Early Insecticide Controversies and Beekeeper Advocacy in the Great Lakes Region,” Environmental History 26, no. 1 (January 2021): 79-101.

2021

“Insecticides, Honey Bee Losses, and Beekeeper Advocacy in Nineteenth-Century Ontario,” Ontario History 112, no.2 (Fall 2020): 139-156. Special Issue: Ontario’s Environmental History.

2020

“An Intimate Understanding of Place: Charles Sauriol and Toronto’s Don River Valley, 1927-1989.” Canadian Historical Review 92, no. 4 (December 2011): 607-636.

2011

Jennifer Bonnell. “A Comforting Past: Skirting Conflict and Complexity at Montgomery’s Inn.” Journal of Canadian Studies 42, no.1 (Winter 2008): 127-153.

2008

“Difficult Exhibitions and Intimate Encounters.” With Roger I. Simon. Museum and Society 5, no.2 (July 2007): 65-85. http://www.le.ac.uk/ms/museumsociety.html.

2007


Current Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Fall/Winter 2022 AP/HIST4840 6.0 A Public History SEMR
Fall/Winter 2022 AP/HIST2500 6.0 A Canadian History LECT


Upcoming Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Fall/Winter 2022 AP/HIST2500 6.0 A Canadian History LECT
Fall/Winter 2022 AP/HIST4840 6.0 A Public History SEMR
Winter 2023 GS/HIST5543 3.0 M Nature & Society in the Industrial World SEMR


Jennifer Bonnell is a historian of public memory and environmental change in nineteenth and twentieth-century Canada. She is the author of Reclaiming the Don: An Environmental History of Toronto’s Don River Valley (University of Toronto Press, 2014) and the editor, with Marcel Fortin, of Historical GIS Research in Canada (University of Calgary Press, 2014). She is currently working on a new book project, titled "Foragers of a Modern Countryside: Honeybees, Agricultural Modernization and Environmental Change in the Great Lakes Region."

Bonnell’s articles and essays have appeared in The Canadian Historical Review, The Journal of Canadian Studies, Museum & Society, and several edited collections. She has contributed to a variety of public history projects, including documentary film and television projects for the Evergreen Brick Works and Metal Dog Films, and research and public engagement work for environment and heritage organizations in the Toronto area. Her current research explores the role of beekeepers in documenting and decrying environmental change in the agricultural regions of Ontario and New York State in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries.

Degrees

Ph.D. History Education, University of Toronto
M.A. Environmental Studies, University of Victoria
B.A. (Honours), English and Environmental Studies, University of Victoria

Community Contributions

Bonnell has delivered numerous presentations on her research to historical societies, public schools, and local libraries in Toronto and the wider region. Recent initiatives include a keynote presentation, “Exploring Environmental History at the Museum,” for a City of Toronto Museums and Heritage Services event (2017). She is currently collaborating with Black Creek Pioneer Village and Jumblies Theatre on a multi-year interactive project titled "Changing the Narrative: Bringing Indigenous History to Black Creek Pioneer Village."

Research Interests

History , Environment, Public History and Collective Memory, Animal History, Urban History, Canadian History, History

Awards

  • Jennifer Bonnell and Alan Corbiere, Co-Investigators, “Indigenous Experience and the Creation of a Settler-Colonial Order within the Black Creek/Humber River Watershed,” SSHRC Insight Development Grant - 2020
  • Canadian Historical Association Clio Prize for Ontario - 2015
  • Ontario Historical Society Fred Landon Award for best book on Ontario regional history - 2015
  • Heritage Toronto Award of Excellence for best book on Toronto history - 2015

Current Research Projects

Changing the Narrative: Bringing Indigenous History to Black Creek Pioneer Village

    Summary:

    “Changing the Narrative: Connecting Indigenous and Settler Histories at Black Creek Pioneer Village” is a two-year public history project between York University researchers, Jumblies Theatre, and Black Creek Pioneer Village (BCPV), a museum owned and operated by Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. The project’s overarching goal is to bring Indigenous content, perspectives, and voices to the interpretation of early non-Indigenous settlement of the region at BCPV.

    Project Type: Funded
Foragers of a Modern Countryside: Honeybees, Agricultural Modernization and Environmental Change in the Great Lakes Region

    Summary:

    This transnational study explores the effects of agricultural modernization and the corresponding transformation of rural and suburban ecosystems upon honey bees and their keepers. My research to date has concentrated on the evolving relationship between fruit growers and beekeepers surrounding the advent of insecticide spraying legislation in Ontario in the early 1890s; and beekeeper and state responses to the emergence of American foulbrood, a bacterial disease that decimated apiaries from the 1880s to the 1940s.

A People’s History of Wildlife in British Columbia

    Summary:

    Commissioned in 2018 by the BC Wildlife and Habitat Branch, Ministry of Land, Water, and Resource Stewardship, this project will produce a social history of wildlife and wildlife management in British Columbia from pre-colonization through to the present. Drawing upon scholarly literature, government reports, and over eighty interviews with retired and active wildlife biologists, Indigenous leaders, hunters, anglers, and trappers, naturalists, industry representatives, and wildlife conservation organizations, it will explore the ways that government, Indigenous communities, and stakeholder groups sought to shape and deliver, or responded to the consequences of, wildlife management policies and practices in the province.

    Collaborator Role: To be published by the Royal BC Museum in 2023

All Publications


Book Chapters

Publication
Year

“From Polluted Periphery to Vital Green Corridor: Toronto’s Don River Valley, 1793-1989,” in Dimitry Anastakis and James Onusko, eds., Ontario Since Confederation: A Reader (forthcoming with University of Toronto Press)

2022

“Occupational Hazards: Honey Bee Labour as an Interpretive Device in Animal History,” book chapter for Jennifer Bonnell and Sean Kheraj, eds., Traces of the Animal Past: Methods and Sources in Animal History (forthcoming with University of Calgary Press, Fall 2022).

2022

Graeme Wynn with Jennifer Bonnell. "Advocates and Activists.” In Colin M. Coates and Graeme Wynn, eds. The Nature of Canada, (Vancouver: OnPoint Imprint of UBC Press, 2019): 299-317.

2019

Jennifer Bonnell and Marcel Fortin. “Reinventing the Map Library: The Don Valley Historical Mapping Project.” In Jennifer Bonnell and Marcel Fortin, eds., Historical GIS Research in Canada (University of Calgary Press, 2014): 43-60.

2014

Gene Desfor and Jennifer Bonnell. “Planning Nature and the City: Toronto’s Lower Don River and Port Lands.” In L. Anders Sandberg, Stephen Bocking, Colin Coates and Ken Cruikshank, eds., Urban Explorations: Environmental Histories of the Toronto Region (Hamilton ON: Wilson Institute for Canadian History, McMaster University, 2013): 165-186.

2013

“A Social History of a Changing Environment: The Don River Valley, 1910-1931.” In Gene Desfor and Jennefer Laidley, eds., Reshaping Toronto’s Waterfront (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2011): 123-150.

2011

Jennifer Bonnell and Gene Desfor. “Socio-ecological Change in the Nineteenth and Twenty-first Centuries: The Lower Don River.” In Gene Desfor and Jennefer Laidley, eds., Reshaping Toronto’s Waterfront (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2011): 305-325.

2011

“Bringing Back the Don River: Sixty Years of Community Action.” In Wayne Reeves and Christina Palassio, eds., HtO: Toronto's Water from Lake Iroquois to Lost Rivers to Low-Flow Toilets (Toronto: Coach House Press, 2008).

2008

Books

Publication
Year

Jennifer Bonnell and Sean Kheraj, eds. Traces of the Animal Past: Methodological Challenges in Animal History (University of Calgary Press, Fall 2022)

2022

Jennifer Bonnell and Marcel Fortin, eds. Historical GIS Research in Canada. Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2014.

2014

Reclaiming the Don: An Environmental History of Toronto’s Don River Valley. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2014. Winner of the Canadian Historical Association’s 2015 Clio Prize for Ontario, the Ontario Historical Association's 2015 Fred Langdon Award, and Heritage Toronto's 2015 Award of Excellence

2014

Journal Articles

Publication
Year

Jennifer Bonnell and Sean Kheraj, “Urban Environmental History in Anglophone Canada: Omissions and Opportunities,” Roundtable on the State of Urban History in Canada, 50th Anniversary Edition, Urban History Review (forthcoming Fall 2022).

2022

“Early Insecticide Controversies and Beekeeper Advocacy in the Great Lakes Region,” Environmental History 26, no. 1 (January 2021): 79-101.

2021

“Insecticides, Honey Bee Losses, and Beekeeper Advocacy in Nineteenth-Century Ontario,” Ontario History 112, no.2 (Fall 2020): 139-156. Special Issue: Ontario’s Environmental History.

2020

“An Intimate Understanding of Place: Charles Sauriol and Toronto’s Don River Valley, 1927-1989.” Canadian Historical Review 92, no. 4 (December 2011): 607-636.

2011

Jennifer Bonnell. “A Comforting Past: Skirting Conflict and Complexity at Montgomery’s Inn.” Journal of Canadian Studies 42, no.1 (Winter 2008): 127-153.

2008

“Difficult Exhibitions and Intimate Encounters.” With Roger I. Simon. Museum and Society 5, no.2 (July 2007): 65-85. http://www.le.ac.uk/ms/museumsociety.html.

2007


Current Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Fall/Winter 2022 AP/HIST4840 6.0 A Public History SEMR
Fall/Winter 2022 AP/HIST2500 6.0 A Canadian History LECT


Upcoming Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Fall/Winter 2022 AP/HIST2500 6.0 A Canadian History LECT
Fall/Winter 2022 AP/HIST4840 6.0 A Public History SEMR
Winter 2023 GS/HIST5543 3.0 M Nature & Society in the Industrial World SEMR