Pamela Block, Ph.D.

p_block Pamela Block, Ph.D.

 Professor, Disability Studies
 Director, Disabilities Studies Concentration, Ph.D. Program in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
 Stony Brook University

Phone: (631) 444-3197


Pamela Block CV


Dr. Block is Professor and Director of the Concentration in Disability Studies for the Ph.D. Program in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, a former President of the Society for Disability Studies (2009-2010), and a Fellow of the Society for Applied Anthropology. She is also affiliated with the Stony Brook University Departments of Occupational Therapy, Cultural Analysis and Theory, Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies and the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care and Bioethics.
Dr. Block received her PhD in cultural anthropology from Duke University in 1997. Her dissertation was entitled "Biology, Culture and Cognitive Disability: Twentieth Century Professional Discourse in Brazil and the United States." She researches disability experience on individual, organizational and community levels, focusing on socio-environmental barriers, empowerment/capacity-building, and health promotion. Her qualitative research combines historical analyses with community-based ethnographic and participatory approaches. Dr. Block continues to study multiple marginalization and the intersections of gender, race, poverty, and disability in Brazil and the United States. She has taught in the areas of disability studies, autism studies, assistive technology, foundations of OT, qualitative research design, human subjects research ethics, and grant writing. Most recently, Dr. Block has been involved in supporting disability social entrepreneurship through organizations such as EmpowerSCI – a nonprofit providing independent living skills and secondary rehabilitation to individuals with recent spinal cord injury, and VENTure – a policy and technology think tank on issues of concern to people who use ventilators. Dr. Block organized the NIH-funded strand of the Society for Disability Studies 2013 and 2014 meetings entitled "Translational Research in Disability Studies and the Health Sciences," and received NIH Funding for the 2015 "Converging Sciences Summit: Community Engagement and Population Health" at Stony Brook University.

Educational Background

  • Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Brown University, 1999-2001
  • Ph.D., Cultural Anthropology, Duke University 1997
Field of Specialization:  Disability Studies
Doctoral Dissertation: Biology, Culture and Cognitive Disability: Twentieth Century Professional Discourse in Brazil and the United States                              
  • B.A., Liberal arts, Hampshire College, 1990
Senior Thesis:   Motherhood and Power in Women Strike for Peace

Her recently published book:

Occupying Disability: Critical Approaches to Community, Justice, and Decolonizing Disability

Editors: Block, P., Kasnitz, D., Nishida, A., Pollard, N.


EmpowerSCI (2012-Present):

VENTure (2012-Present): |

InDialog (Fall 2012). Humanities, Social Sciences and Human Evolution: Three Facets of the Same Enterprise:

Growing Up with MS (2008):

Project Shake It Up (2001-2005):

Student Activities:

Dr. Pamela Block's HAX663 class attended one of her OT student class. which was held at West Meadow Beach.  Students in her picture are left to right:Emily Whearty, Sylette Henry-Buckmire, Dr. Pamela Block and Chris-Mike Agbelie.