Tomas Tierney

Thomas Tierney

Professor of Sociology and Anthropology - On Leave 2017-18

Department/Affiliation: Sociology and Anthropology
Phone: 330-263-2153
Office Address: 011 Kauke Hall


  • B.A., Moravian 1979
  • Ph.D., Massachusetts 1990

Courses Taught

  • SOCI 100: Introduction to Sociology
  • SOCI 204: Self and Society
  • SOCI 350: Classical Social Theory
  • 351: Contemporary Social Theory
  • SOAN 202: Globalizing Health (team-taught with Dr. Christa Craven)

Awards and Professional Memberships

  • American Sociological Association
  • American Political Science Association

Publications (Selected)

  • "Roberto Esposito's Affirmative Biopolitics' and the Gift," Theory, Culture, and Society, March 2015
  • "Punctual Selves, Punctual Death, and the Health-Conscious Cogito: Descartes' Dead Bodies," Economy and Society, 41, 2 (May 2012): 258-81.
  • "The Governmentality of Suicide: Peuchet, Marx, Durkheim, and Foucault," The Journal of Classical Sociology, 10, 4 (November 2010):357-389.
  • Review Essay of Judith Butler and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Who Sings the Nation? in Administrative Theory and Praxis, 30, 2, (June 2008): 269–278.
  • Review Essay of Michel Foucault, Security, Territory, Population: Lectures at the College de France, 1977-78, in Foucault Studies, 5 (January 2008): 74-83.
  • "Suicidal Thoughts: Hobbes, Foucault, and the Right to Die," Philosophy & Social Criticism,32, 5 (July 2006): 601-38.
  • "Foucault on the Case: The Pastoral and Juridical Foundation of Medical Power," The Journal of the Medical Humanities, 25, 4 (Winter 2004): 271-90. The Value of Convenience. A Genealogy of Technical Culture (SUNY Press, 1993)


Professor Tierney research focuses on the social implications of advanced medical technology, such as the growing “bioeconomy” of human tissues. Tierney’s most recent publications include: “Toward an Affirmative Biopolitics,” in Sociological Theory (2016); “Roberto Esposito’s ‘Affirmative Biopolitics’ and the Gift,” in Theory, Culture, and Society (2015); “Punctual Selves, Punctual Death, and the Health-Conscious Cogito” in Economy and Society (2012), and “The Governmentality of Suicide: Peuchet, Marx, Durkheim, and Foucault” in The Journal of Classical Sociology (2010).  He teaches Introduction to Sociology, Classical and Contemporary Social Theory, Self and Society, and Globalizing Health. 


Prior to joining the Wooster faculty in 1999, he was an Associate Professor of Philosophy and Political Science at Concord College (1990-98), and in Spring 1999 served as a National Endowment for the Humanities visiting Scholar at Otterbein College.