Thomas Abrams

Assistant Professor, Undergraduate Coordinator

Ph.D. (Sociology, Carleton University)
Office: Macintosh-Corry Hall, D421
Phone: (613) 533-6568

Research Interests

Disability Studies, Sociological Theory, Social Inequality, Sociology of Health and Illness, Sociology of the Body.

Research Areas

Part of Queen’s Sociology’s “Power, Inequalities and Social Justice” cluster, my research falls within disability studies, sociological theory, and social inequality.  My doctoral and early postdoctoral work employed the phenomenology of Martin Heidegger to explore how disability is made meaningful in various institutional spaces, spanning from social policy settings to the art gallery.  More recently, I have applied this more theoretical work to the rehabilitation clinic, collaborating with the Critical Disability and Rehabilitation Studies (CDARS) lab, Bloorview Research Institute (Toronto).  As part of this interdisciplinary research team, I am exploring how young people experience rehabilitation, guided by dominant logics of choice and independence.  Aside from the clinical project, I continue to write about disability politics, inequality, and disability theory.


I did my graduate work at Carleton University’s Institute of Political Economy (M.A., 2009) and department of Sociology and Anthropology (Ph.D., Sociology, 2014). More recently, I was a SSHRC postdoctoral fellow in the department of Social Justice Education, OISE / University of Toronto (2014-2016), and later, a Killam postdoctoral fellow at Dalhousie’s department of Sociology and Social Anthropology (2016-2018).  


SOCY226 - Central Concepts in Sociological Theory
SOCY227 - Theorizing Contemporary Society
SOCY425 - Sociology of Health, Illness, and Disability
SOCY936 – Disability Studies


I am open to supervising students in disability studies and disability-adjacent areas (such as social policy, gender studies, or the sociology of the body), as well as those employing classical and contemporary social theory in their research.


Please see my Google Scholar profile for full publication list.


Abrams, T. (2016). Heidegger and the Politics of Disablement. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Selected Articles:

Abrams, T., and Setchell, J.. 2018. “Living with Death in Rehabilitation: A Phenomenological Account.” Human Studies 41 (4): 677–95.

Abrams, T., Setchell, J., Thille, P., Mistry, B. and Gibson, B.E., (Forthcoming) “Affect, Intensity, and Moral Assemblage in Rehabilitation Practice.”  BioSocieties. DOI: 10.1057/s41292-018-0115-2

Abrams, T. (2017). “Braidotti, Spinoza, and Disability Studies After the Human”. History of the Human Sciences. 30(5), pp. 86-103.

Abrams, T. (2014). “Flawed by Dasein? Phenomenology, Ethnomethodology, and the Personal Experience of Physiotherapy”, Human Studies. 37(3).  pp. 431-446.

Abrams, T. (2014). ““Boon or Bust?” Heidegger, Disability Aesthetics and the Thalidomide Memorial”. Disability & Society. 29(5). pp. 751-762.

Abrams, T. (2014). “Re-reading Erving Goffman as an Emancipatory Disability Researcher”. Disability Studies Quarterly. 34(1). Online:

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