Photo of Sophie Tamas

Sophie Tamas

Associate Professor, currently on leave

Degrees:B.I.S. (University of Waterloo), M.A. (Carleton), PhD (Carleton)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 3578
Office:A331 LA
Cross-posted 50% Canadian Studies, 50% Geography

Cross-appointed with the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies.


My education began in creative writing, particularly playwriting. My undergraduate and MA theses looked at dating, courtship, storytelling, and feminist activism in a religious minority community. This was followed by eight life- and research-altering years as a stay-at-home mom and active volunteer in small-town non-profit social services.

My PhD research examined the long-term impact of domestic abuse, using arts-based and autoethnographic research methods to critique the dominant ‘recovery’ paradigm. It was followed by a SSHRC postdoctoral fellowship in Emotional Geography at Queen’s University, during which I studied scrapping – in scrapyards and in scrapbooks – as methods of redeeming value from loss. Then, as a Banting Fellow in Geography and Canadian Studies at Carleton, I developed an online dynamic atlas based on scrapbooking about the places and things that are lost or changed by leaving abuse.

I write academic and literary work in a variety of genres, including articles, poetry, non-fiction, and reader’s theatre. My research currently focuses on the ethical and practical challenges of using arts- and narrative-based qualitative research methods, especially autoethnography. I am writing a book on the (mis)uses of personal narrative in academic, literary, and therapeutic discourses, and hope to create an arts-based research lab at Carleton someday as well as a hub of activity in emotional geographies.

Research Interests

  • Emotional geographies of academic spaces and practices.
  • Personal narrative and creative arts at the intersection of academic, aesthetic, and therapeutic discourses.
  • Feminist, Indigenous, autoethnographic, post-qualitative, new materialist and trauma-informed approaches to subjectivity and knowledge.
  • Arts-based, feminist and Indigenous pedagogies.

Selected Publications

[in press]. Tamas, S. (2019). Autogeography. In L. Johnston and A. Datta (Eds.) The Routledge Handbook in Feminist Geography. Routledge.

Tamas, S. (2018). Happy ways: The writing subject. In L. Turner, N. P. Short, and T. Adams (Eds.) International Perspectives on Autoethnographic Research and Practice. Routledge. 245-255.

Tamas, S. (2018). Moving Pieces. Departures in Critical Qualitative Research 7.4. 113-122.

Tamas, S. (2016). Written raw: Omissions, overshares and the shameful ethics of personal narrative. In N. K. Denzin and M. D. Giardina (Eds.) Qualitative Inquiry Through a Critical Lens. Left Coast Press/Routledge. 119-124.

Tamas, S. (2018). Performance Autoethnography, Critical Inquiry, and the Future of ICQI: Three ‘truths’ and a lie. International Review of Qualitative Research 11(1), 57-63.

Tamas, S. (2017). The Shadow Manifesto. International Review of Qualitative Research 10 (1), 110-113.

Wyatt, J., Tamas, S., & Bondi, L. (2016). Traces: An introduction to the special issue. Emotion, Space and Society 19, 37-39.

 Davidson, J. & S. Tamas. (2016). Autism and the ghost of gender. Emotion, Space and Society 19, 59-65.

Tamas, S. (2016). Ghost stories. Emotion, Space and Society 19, 40-44.


  • Subject to loss. Emotion, Space and Society 11, 61-63.
  • Subject to revision. Emotion, Space and Society 11, 64-66.
  • My imaginary friend: Writing, community and responsibility. Cultural Studies – Critical Methodologies 14.3, 369-373.
  • Bedtime stories. In J. Wyatt and T.E. Adams (Eds.) Presence and absence, love and loss: Autoethnographies of parent-child communication. Rotterdam, NL: Sense Publishers. 131-140.
  • Scared kitless: Scrapbooking spaces of trauma.” Emotion, Space and Society 10, 87-94.


  • Researcher as hostess: Power, gender, loss, and cookies. Feminist Studies 39.2, 484-93.
  • with Jonathan Wyatt. Telling. Qualitative Inquiry 19.1, 60-66.
  • with Jonathan Wyatt. Intimate (dis)connections: Research, therapy, and ‘real’ life. Qualitative Inquiry 19.1, 3-8.
  • Who’s there? A week subject. In S. Holman Jones, T. E. Adams, and C. Ellis (Eds.), The handbook of autoethnography. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press. 186-202.


  • Writing trauma: Collisions at the corner of art and scholarship. Theatre Topics 22.1, 39-48.
  • Biting the tongue that speaks you: (Re)writing survivor narratives. International Review of Qualitative Research 4.4, 431-460.
  • Love and happiness? Qualitative Journal of Communication 2.1, 231-252.


  • Autoethnography, ethics, and making your baby cry. Cultural Studies – Critical Methodologies 11.3, 258-264.
  • Life after leaving: The remains of spousal abuse. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press.


  • Walking the lines: Art, research, and unknowing. Creative Approaches to Research 3.2, 3-18.



  • Sketchy rendering: Seeing an other. Qualitative Inquiry 15.3, 607-617.

Courses Taught

  • GEOG/ENST 2005 Introduction to Qualitative Research
  • CDNS 5202 Gendering Canada: Selected Contemporary Debates
  • CDNS 3400/WGST 3812 Feminists and Feminisms in Canada
  • GEOG 3001/CDNS 3000 Qualitative Methods/Producing Knowledge
  • FYSM 1600A Contemporary Controversies in Canada