Photo of Associate Professor Sophie Tamas

Associate Professor Sophie Tamas

Subjectivity, trauma, and the (mis)uses of personal narrative; Emotional, feminist, psychoanalytic, and non-representational geographies; Qualitative, arts-based, autoethnographic and Indigenous research methods.

Degrees:B.I.S. (University of Waterloo), M.A. (Carleton), PhD (Carleton)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 3578
Office:A331 LA


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, post-qualitative, new materialist and trauma-informed approaches to subjectivity and knowledge.
  • Arts-based, feminist and Indigenous pedagogies.

2023 – 2024 Courses

  • On Leave

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.

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